Summer 2020 MiraCosta Online Ed Updates & Opportunities

Hello everyone, and happy summer! Please look over the following carefully. It’s full of important info and opportunities for all MiraCosta faculty!

Jim Julius
Faculty Director, Online Education


PROJECT Online Teaching Foundations – June 8-12

As I announced last week, MiraCosta will hold an online teaching institute the week of June 8-12. You can review daily topics, and respond to the interest survey if you haven’t yet done so (thanks to all who have!). This is a collaboration between the CTeaching & Learning Center, Online Education, and PDP. PROJECT stands for PROfessionals for Joy, Equity, and Community in Teaching!

Canvas updates

Canvas End of Term

After June 1, your spring Canvas classes go into read-only mode for you and your students. If you wish to remove access to any of your course materials for your current students beyond this semester, you need to do so by June 1. Review our Canvas end-of-term guide for details.

Canvas Studio is now a permanent tool

The Studio tool within Canvas allows you to create screencasts, turn videos into discussions, and even embed quiz questions into videos. It’s no longer a pilot – AIS has made a commitment to fund it on an ongoing basis. Check out our local introductory page or jump straight to Canvas’s full set of Studio tutorials

Combining course sections in Canvas – still not available, but progressing

The moratorium on combining multiple course sections into one Canvas site due to FERPA concerns is nearly resolved, but for the summer we remain unable to combine such sections in Canvas.

Support for pronouns in Canvas

The NameCoach tool is no longer being supported by state funding and will be removed from Canvas prior to the summer term. However, the good news is that Canvas itself now supports pronouns in the People area (class rosters) and all Canvas users will be able to select their pronouns in their settings. Look for more info on this soon.

New in Canvas: Ally – Providing course material options

Starting this summer, files you upload into Canvas such as PDFs, Word documents, and PowerPoints will be automatically available to students in multiple fully accessible and mobile-friendly formats. This tool is being funded by the chancellor’s office through the end of 2020. Look for more info on this soon.

Zoom app/client update needed by May 30

If you are a ConferZoom user, you should have received a message from CCC TechConnect directing you to update Zoom on all your devices. If you don’t, you will be forced to starting June 1, which could delay your access to a Zoom meeting. Please do so now if you haven’t already done so.

Summer Student Orientations to Online Learning

I’ll be offering nine Student Orientation to Online Learning student workshops in the first two weeks of the summer term – dates and times are posted on the TASC site. Student attendance at these sessions is available to you in SURF if you are teaching a summer class and wish to incentivize student participation. Learn more about the Student Orientation to Online Learning.  

Open Educational Resource (OER) and Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) reminders

Knowing that your classes will continue to be taught mostly or entirely online might get you rethinking your course materials. Be sure to consider OER and library options! The MiraCosta OER/ZTC disciplinary resource site includes recommended OER and library materials organized by discipline.

Teaching a Zero- or Low-Textbook Cost summer or fall class?

If you are teaching any summer or fall classes that have course material costs of $0 (zero) or under $40 (low), please be sure to designate those classes as such in SURF. This enables your class to receive a special denotation in SURF and also to be listed on the ZTC/LTC pageSee directions here.

Want support to bring down course material costs for your students by adopting OER?

We still have grant funds available that can provide stipends, support for student workers, instructional design expert assistance, and more, if you are undertaking work that will save students at least 30% over current course material costs through adoption of OER. Contact me to learn more.

Interested in getting involved in statewide OER work?

The statewide Academic Senate’s OER Initative (ASCCC OERI) is looking for faculty to serve in a wide range of capacities, from reviewers to discipline leads to regional leads, during the next academic year. If you are interested, please complete both the ASCCC OERI Application and the ASCCC Faculty Application for Statewide Service.

Online teaching at MiraCosta – next steps!

Dear MiraCosta faculty,

Congrats on your persistence, creativity, and care for our students to make it through this strange semester. Now, as you look ahead to the next round of online teaching this summer and/or fall, I want to provide you with some key information and invitations.

Invitations: Summer support

June 8-12 (and beyond): MiraCosta will hold an online teaching institute. This will be different from our transition week this spring in that it will be very focused on helping you develop and teach classes meeting the basic requirements and guidelines for online instruction at MiraCosta. There will be three main components to this:

  1. Zoom sessions offered daily. These will also be recorded so that they remain available throughout the summer and beyond.
  2. A Canvas course providing extensive resources and activities complementing the Zoom sessions.
  3. Opportunities for follow-up via ongoing support with communities of peers and/or expert guides.

For more details, check out the schedule of topics for the institute.

Please take a moment to let us know your interest in this, including if you would like to help present and/or be a peer support facilitator. 

June 17-19: The CCC system’s Online Teaching Conference is online and free this year. Check out the schedule and register!

July 13-16: Bruce Hoskins is leading development of a week of professional learning called Raise Your E(quity) Q(uotient)!, featuring professional learning opportunities centered around:

  • Becoming an Equity-Minded Professor
  • Building an Equity-Based Community
  • Facilitating an Equity-Centered Classroom

Look for more details coming soon.

Engaging with any of the above – whether live sessions, recordings, or independent study of additional materials – is Flex-eligible, but the possibilities for reporting summer Flex activities varies depending on whether the activity occurs before or after July 1, and by faculty status. Learn more on the PDP FAQs for full-time faculty or for associate faculty.

Information: Online Teaching Essentials

A number of you have asked me to summarize the expectations/requirements for online instruction at MiraCosta. The below are adapted from updates approved this spring to MiraCosta’s DE curriculum addendum to align with recent Title 5 changes. Expectations for MiraCosta online classes:

  • Ensure that the same standards of course quality shall be applied to distance education as are applied to traditional classroom courses and that the same course outcomes are achieved regardless of instructional modality. The MiraCosta Online Class Quality Guidelines document provides guidance for how to design and teach DE classes that are likely to effectively enable students to achieve the designated outcomes.
  • Ensure regular effective contact between instructor and students, and among students, including frequent, quality, instructor-initiated interaction. The MiraCosta Online Class Quality Guidelines document provides guidance for how to design and facilitate these interactions.
  • Create an environment of academic integrity, monitor progress, and track attendance.
  • Establish expectations on the frequency and timeliness of instructor-initiated contact and feedback, for student participation in student-student interactions, and manage unexpected instructor absences.
  • Meet the accessibility requirements in state and federal regulations.  MiraCosta’s Ten Tips for Creating Accessible Course Content provides specific guidance regarding how these regulations must be met. 
  • Uphold institutional procedures to authenticate students.
  • Help to make students aware of online student support services.

Please note that both AP 4105 and the MiraCosta Online Class Quality Guidelines document are in process of being updated to fully reflect the recent Title 5 changes which are included in the list above. If you have any questions about any of this, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Looking forward to continuing this journey with you!

Jim

Summer/fall class schedule release + Online Teaching Conference info

To: MiraCosta Faculty

Summer and fall class schedules were released last week, in case you did not notice. This means:

  1. Classes assigned to you in SURF for summer and fall have shells available for you to begin developing in Canvas
  2. If any of your summer or fall classes are Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) or Low Textbook Cost (<$40), you should designate them as such in SURF so that the classes will have the appropriate logo on the class schedule.

Please note: The fall schedule details are (of course) subject to change as the fall situation with Covid-19 gets clearer. Please direct any schedule questions to your department chair and/or dean.

Also, it was announced last week that the annual CCC Online Teaching Conference will be an all-online event this June and will be free to attend. Mark your calendars for June 17-19 and keep an eye on http://onlineteachingconference.org for more details to come soon.

Jim Julius, Ed.D.
Faculty Director, Online Education

FAQ Followups to Zoom security advice for MiraCosta faculty

Some quick FAQ follow-ups to all recipients of yesterday’s message:

Q: I am confused. What exactly am I supposed to do and not do if I use Zoom?

A: At this point, there are few absolute requirements. You are getting a variety of recommendations to consider. If you are comfortable with the way that you and your students use Zoom, nobody is requiring to you to use extra security measures or change your practice. However, if you use the ConferZoom LTI tool inside of Canvas for scheduling meetings, passwords are automatically imposed upon your meetings, and you do not have the option to use the Waiting Room.

Q: Waiting Room sounds good, but won’t it take a long time to check my roster and admit students? And be a big pain to manage once class starts?

A: This definitely adds time to your use of Zoom. Thus, the recommendations yesterday to try to get students to show up early and be sure to provide their real names as they access your Zoom meeting. Via the Participants window, you have the option to admit everyone in the Waiting Room at once if you can tell that everyone there is legit. Another recommendation was to consider adding a trusted student as a co-host, to help you screen and admit participants from the Waiting Room.

Upon reflection and input from a number of you, I know that not everyone is a master of the class roster. So here’s a shower thought: there could be some creative and fun ways to manage your student names so the admission process is easier (and Zoom becomes more interesting!). Work with your class to decide on a new naming scheme. Be creative but here are some ideas:

  • If everyone is comfortable providing their pronouns, include those. (e.g. Jim Julius (he/him) ).
  • Have everyone pick a descriptive and alliterative adjective to precede their name with. (e.g. Jolly Jim Julius)
  • Have everyone pick something neutral, such as a favorite color, to precede their name with (e.g. Green Jim Julius)

I’m sure you and your class can come up with something! If everyone accesses Zoom with a consistent naming scheme, it will be very easy to tell who can be admitted to the meeting without having to reference your class roster.

Q: I liked using the scheduling tool for online office hours that is built into the ConferZoom LTI. Should I stop using that?

Yeah, that probably was the best thing about the LTI. I am not sure what impact the changes to the way Zoom operates via the LTI will have on that feature, but you could continue to give it a try and see. As an alternative, the Canvas calendar has a pretty great feature for booking office hour time slots. You could use that Canvas scheduler for students to book their times to meet with you at a Zoom meeting link that you set up via conferzoom.org and post inside Canvas.

Q: Did you leave anything out of your message yesterday?

A: Thanks for asking! Yes, one important tip: Please make sure your Zoom client software is up-to-date! If you’re not certain if you have the latest version of the Zoom client, look for a Security shield on the Zoom toolbar when you start your meeting (it has some quick controls for altering security settings during your meetings). District computers should have this software automatically updated. But if you don’t have the latest version of Zoom, you can get it from http://zoom.us/downloads

Q: You’ve given me some great tips on how to use Zoom technically, but how can I make my Zoom sessions more inclusive and meaningful for students?

Great question – just today the Chronicle ran a good article on 8 Ways to Be More Inclusive in Your Zoom Teaching!

Q: Thank you!

A: You are very welcome!

Jim Julius, Ed.D.
Faculty Director, Online Education
jjulius@miracosta.edu

Zoom security advice for MiraCosta faculty

To: All MiraCosta faculty and deans

Quick takeaways for Zoom-using faculty from this email:

(1) Use Waiting Rooms, not passwords;

(2) If you use the ConferZoom LTI in Canvas, discontinue that and use conferzoom.org directly.

Details:

As you are likely aware, “Zoombombing” has been in the news. A few incidents have even happened at MiraCosta. Though some, including Zoom, have recommended or required passwords for Zoom meetings in response, it’s also increasingly clear that many or most of these incidents are occurring when students share Zoom meeting access information with others who are looking to cause mischief or worse. Passwords will not stop intruders like this.

Therefore we recommend that you:

  • ask students to access your Zoom meetings using their real names;
  • remind students that it is a violation of student responsibilities to share Zoom meeting access information with others outside of their class;
  • use Zoom’s Waiting Room feature to screen participants.

Please review some tips (with links to tutorials) about how to use the Zoom Waiting Room. If you haven’t already checked it out, please also see our 2-page Zoom tips document, which includes lots of recommendations for running a secure and smooth Zoom meeting.

ALSO: If you have been using Zoom through the ConferZoom LTI in Canvas:

  • Passwords appear to have been imposed upon all your meetings this week. We do not understand why this occurred (and it hasn’t happened to anyone who uses ConferZoom direclty), but it is causing problems for many students.
  • If you create new meetings through the ConferZoom LTI, passwords are included.
  • You are not able to use the Zoom Waiting Room for meetings created through the ConferZoom LTI.


Therefore we recommend discontinuing use of the ConferZoom LTI tool in Canvas. Rather, schedule and manage your ConferZoom meetings and recordings directly through http://conferzoom.org and share the links to your meetings/recordings with your students inside Canvas.

If you have any questions about any of this, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

– Jim

To: All MiraCosta faculty and deans

Quick takeaways for Zoom-using faculty from this email:

(1) Use Waiting Rooms, not passwords;

(2) If you use the ConferZoom LTI in Canvas, discontinue that and use conferzoom.org directly.

Details:

As you are likely aware, “Zoombombing” has been in the news. A few incidents have even happened at MiraCosta. Though some, including Zoom, have recommended or required passwords for Zoom meetings in response, it’s also increasingly clear that many or most of these incidents are occurring when students share Zoom meeting access information with others who are looking to cause mischief or worse. Passwords will not stop intruders like this.

Therefore we recommend that you:

  • ask students to access your Zoom meetings using their real names;
  • remind students that it is a violation of student responsibilities to share Zoom meeting access information with others outside of their class;
  • use Zoom’s Waiting Room feature to screen participants.

Please review some tips (with links to tutorials) about how to use the Zoom Waiting Room. If you haven’t already checked it out, please also see our 2-page Zoom tips document, which includes lots of recommendations for running a secure and smooth Zoom meeting.

ALSO: If you have been using Zoom through the ConferZoom LTI in Canvas:

  • Passwords appear to have been imposed upon all your meetings this week. We do not understand why this occurred (and it hasn’t happened to anyone who uses ConferZoom directly), but it is causing problems for many students.
  • If you create new meetings through the ConferZoom LTI, passwords are included.
  • You are not able to use the Zoom Waiting Room for meetings created through the ConferZoom LTI.


Therefore we recommend discontinuing use of the ConferZoom LTI tool in Canvas. Rather, schedule and manage your ConferZoom meetings and recordings directly through http://conferzoom.org and share the links to your meetings/recordings with your students inside Canvas.

If you have any questions about any of this, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

Jim Julius, Ed.D.
jjulius@miracosta.edu

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