Online Teaching Support and Professional Growth Opportunities

Hello, all!

Whew! You’ve just about made it to mid-semester. As you begin thinking about finishing fall well and looking ahead to another semester online in the spring, I want to remind you of various ways you can get support and enhance your professional knowledge and practice in online education.

Collegial Mentoring Available!

If you’d like to connect with a faculty colleague for any kinds of questions about online teaching – from getting a quick answer to a head-scratcher, to a more comprehensive conversation about effective practices and/or a walkthrough of a course – we have a dozen folks ready to help. Just fill out the form to request a mentor.

Career Education Faculty – Would you like professional instructional design support?

A strong workforce grant has given our CE faculty access to an outstanding instructional design expert, who has been working with many MiraCosta faculty for more than a year. She can help you with online course design guidance/advice and she can also work directly to make enhancements to your course(s), if you desire. Just reply to this email indicating interest and I will get you connected.

CE Faculty may also be interested in the Developing and Strengthening Online Career Education: The CVC-OEI Improving Online CTE Pathways Speaker Series featuring CE discipline-specific and general online teaching webinars later in October and November.

Interested in Open Educational Resources (OER)?

Adopting OER is a great way to support equity by lowering course material costs, and through greater flexibility to teach a course the way you think students will learn best, rather than being tied to the organization of a traditional textbook. Over 340 MiraCosta fall classes are listed in SURF as Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC)– that is awesome! Want to get more involved with OER?

  • MiraCosta still has grant funds available to provide stipends, timesheet-based compensation, and/or instructional designer expertise to support efforts to reduce course material costs by at least 30% through the adoption of OER and other no-cost course material. Please reply to me if you would like to learn more.
  • The statewide Academic Senate (ASCCC) has great resources available via the ASCCC OERI website, as well as a Canvas site ( with more informal sharing of discipline-oriented information.
  • The ASCCC is recruiting discipline faculty to support OER advocacy efforts by serving as Discipline Leads. “Our intent is to expand our discipline collections during the fall 2020 term and to increase our targeted advocacy efforts across all identified disciplines in the spring 2021 term. In order to meet these goals, we are now seeking Discipline Leads for disciplines that have never had a Lead and we will be seeking new Leads for the disciplines that have had a Lead previously. Read more about the disciplines we are recruiting, the Discipline Lead role, and the application process.
  • Register for Copyright, Fair Use, and Piracy. Where does OER Fit In?webinar from ASCCC this Friday, Oct. 16 at 3 pm.
  • The Open Education Global conferenceis online Nov. 16-20. MiraCosta is an OEGlobal member, making your registration just $25.

Additional Upcoming Events, Courses, and Recorded Workshops

  • Check out our comprehensive set of recordings of past MiraCosta Online Education workshops. Viewing workshop recordings is always Flex-eligible.
  • FACCC is holding a statewide “Future of Distance Education” event on Friday afternoon, Oct. 23.See details and register.
  • @ONE provides comprehensive online teaching courses for CCC faculty. New courses are starting soon – check out what’s available. Departmental travel funds can potentially be used to pay for your registration in these courses; if you don’t have access to such funds please reach out to me for support from the Online Education budget.

What Additional Training Opportunities Would You Like?

As you think about your needs over the next few months in finishing out fall and preparing for spring, what kinds of training and support are you looking for? Please reply to me with any requests/suggestions. I will be collaborating with Sean Davis, Joyful Teacher in Residence, to plan online teaching workshops over the next two months.

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

Important Zoom News / Updates

If you use Zoom for meeting and/or teaching (and don’t we all?), please review the updates and guidance below!

Participants self-selecting Breakout Rooms is now A THING!

I’ve heard from so many of you about this need. Zoom has finally come through! The latest Zoom app update, 5.3.0, includes this ability. Meeting hosts now see this option when setting up breakout rooms: Allow participants to choose room. Please note that in order to have your Zoom meeting participants use this feature, they must be on the latest Zoom mobile or computer app – browser-based Zoom does not support this. Make sure your students/participants have updated their app or downloaded the latest from .

Forcing Passwords on all Meetings is NOT a thing (yet)!

At the end of August, TechConnect sent out a notice saying that by the end of September, all ConferZoom meetings which were not set up with passwords would have passwords imposed upon them by Zoom. However, information on the ConferZoom site now states that Zoom has delayed this change. (By the way, TechConnect email notices are ending up in my Outlook junk. If you aren’t checking your Junk email once in a while, you may want to do so.) (Also by the way, Zoom is apparently going to start calling passwords “passcodes”.)

Zoombombing, sadly, is STILL a thing

While not extensive, I have heard several faculty report “Zoombombing” incidents this fall. This generally consists of an unwanted participant disrupting a Zoom meeting. It’s clear that most incidents of Zoombombing aren’t random “hacks” preventable through passwords on meetings, but rather cases where invited participants are sharing access information with outsiders. Waiting Rooms can help but even those aren’t foolproof (take that word literally), and they do add overhead to running a Zoom meeting. Check out our 2-page Zoom tips which describe a variety of strategies to try to reduce the likelihood/impact of Zoombombing. Most important may be the Security button on the Zoom toolbar to allow you to quickly deal with a disruptor by kicking them out, reporting them to Zoom, and/or shutting off access to certain tools. Also, if you experience Zoombombing, please fill out the Maxient CARE form to report the incident, which will help the college to centrally track this issue.

Privacy Guidance when using Zoom with students from multiple class sections

The college is continuing to explore issues related to privacy regulations and live online interactions with students. For now, please abide by the following:

  1. Recorded Zoom sessions should only be shared back with the participating class section
  2. Regular instructional sessions for Zoom classes should only be held with one class section (except for true cross-listed classes)
  3. Optional/supplemental Zoom sessions that combine students from multiple sections are ok (do give students the option to participate anonymously)

Weird issue with ConferZoom recordings in Canvas modules, on Chrome         

A ConferZoom cloud recording shared as a singular linked item in a Canvas module, set to open within Canvas rather than in a new tab, for unknown reasons now fails to play back properly in the latest version of the Chrome browser. If you share ConferZoom recordings this way, the simplest fix is to set the link to open in a new tab.

Zoom support info

  • If you are still using a free account from, please switch to a fully licensed account through CCC TechConnect. Details about how to do that, along with lots of other Zoom tips and recorded trainings by MiraCosta faculty, are available at
  • CCC Tech Connect provides 1 hour training sessions every day on using Zoom. Learn more including how to sign up.

Zoomily yours,

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

Adding faculty evaluators, tutors, SI leaders, and community ed students to Canvas classes

You cannot manually enroll users at the student permission level to your Canvas class.

If you have any of the following, follow the specified directions to have the user enrolled within your course at the student permission level.

  • Faculty Evaluator: Contact Heidi Willis at (760) 795-6827 or in the Office of Instruction when you need to provide access to a peer, your chair, etc. to conduct an evaluation. On the People roster, within Canvas, the user will be assigned the Evaluator role.
  • Tutor: Contact Janine Washabaugh at (760) 757-2121 ext. 7748 or in the Tutoring & Academic Support Center (TASC) . On the People roster, within Canvas, the user will be assigned the Tutor role.
  • Writing Center SI Leader: Contact Jessica Perez-Corona at (760) 757-2121 ext. 6339 or in the Writing Center. On the People roster, within Canvas, the user will be assigned the SI leader role.
  • Community Education Student: Contact Karen Turpin using the form here or email Include the confirmation of student enrollment through community education, the SURF ID of the student, and your 4 digit class number.

Also, keep in mind:

To add a TA or other MiraCosta College employee to your Canvas course with TA, designer, or observer permissions, see this set of instructions.

DO NOT attempt to add students to your course on Canvas. Students are automatically enrolled from SURF to your Canvas course several times a day.

You should not add anyone to Canvas as a teacher. Teachers are assigned via SURF.

MiraCosta Online Ed Key Issues Recap

Hello, faculty –

This is a quick recap with links to critical emails sent last week, for those who may have been immersed in summer until the last minute (good for you!). Please review any and all that may be of interest!

Email #1 – includes info on the new ability to merge Canvas course sections

Email #2 – includes a quick overview of MiraCosta’s primary online teaching tools, a heads-up about potential broken links in your courses, and a note about special support for CE faculty

Email #3 – includes info about online ed Flex workshops (now you can view archives of those), new Canvas-based faculty support resources, info on how to access past workshop archives, a note about updates to AP 4105, and info about Canvas support now available via chat

Email #4 – Includes key online student support resources to share with your students: the Canvas Student Support Hub, Student Orientation to Online Learning workshops, CARE resources for students in need, and support for student identity online (pronouns and preferred name)

PROJECT Trainers & Mentors Wanted – was sent by Sean Davis with a call for faculty interested in serving as compensated trainers and/or mentors for other faculty this fall to enhance our equity-minded online teaching practices. Remember to fill out the form by Friday, Aug. 21!

Best wishes for a great start to fall!

– Jim

Jim Julius, Ed.D.

Faculty Director, Online Education

MiraCosta Online Ed Pre-Fall Email #4

Enjoying your last hours of summer freedom? Haha! This is the fourth in a series of emails about all things online leading up to MiraCosta’s fall 2020 semester. If you missed email #1email #2, or email #3 (which, yes, was inadvertently labeled as a second #2 – oops) please check those out!

Thursday updates: all about connecting your students with support for online learning –

  • Student Support Services & Resources, Online
  • Student Orientation to Online Learning
  • Resources to Include in Your Classes
  • Pronouns and Preferred Name in Canvas – an important change

Campus Closed. Student Support Open.

Campus may be closed, but our amazing array of student support services and resources are just one or two clicks away. Point your students to the Student Support Hub in Canvas. Share the link and point them to the Student Support button on the left in Canvas for quick access to online support from the library, STEM & MLC, online tutoring, writing center, counseling, career center, open computer lab staff, student help desk and more! The new Help Hut on the MiraCosta website is also a quick way for students to connect with all kinds of support services, and the tutoring hub gives access from the website to all the academic support resources found in the Student Support Hub within Canvas.

Student Orientation to Online Learning Workshops

I’ll be offering over two dozen Student Orientation to Online Learning workshops this fall – see all dates and times on the TASC site and in Canvas announcements. These workshops help to familiarize students with the resources MiraCosta provides online to support them, as well as to adopt habits and attitudes of successful online students. Encourage your students to attend and, if you like, find out which of your students participated in order to incentivize their attendance.

Two Highly Recommended MiraCosta CARE Resources

The Reshaping Your School Schedule During Remote Instruction document has great info for students on good habits for online student success, self-care and mental health tips, online learning netiquette, Zoom tech tips, and more. Linking to it from your syllabus and course home page could easily provide students with a wealth of great tips tailored for this unique time. You may also wish to share the CARE form – students who are need of technology resources or have other major life concerns making it difficult to maintain their studies can seek help via this form. You also can fill out the form on behalf of students experiencing hardships.

Ensuring Student Identities are Equitably Presented in Canvas

  • Canvas itself now supports pronouns and all Canvas users are able to select their pronouns in their Settings. An announcement in Canvas reminds all users about this. If you previously used NameCoach to support pronouns, note that it is no longer available at MiraCosta.
  • Please make sure that students know that if they prefer to be known by a different name from their legal/formal name, they may indicate their preferred name via SURF – instructions are here. Preferred name is used in Canvas, on class rosters, and elsewhere around MiraCosta.

Got your Flex schedule all planned out? See you online!

– Jim

Jim Julius, Ed.D.

Faculty Director, Online Education

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