MiraCosta Canvas Instructor Info – Fall 2017

To MiraCosta faculty who are using Canvas this fall:

Thanks for your efforts in switching to Canvas! It’s looking like around half of our classes are using Canvas this fall. Below are some informational and invitational items that may interest you:

Turnitin Update for Canvas

Yesterday, Turnitin enhanced the assignment inbox within Canvas. Here’s a 1.5 minute video with an overview of the changes, if you’re a Turnitin user.

Past Canvas Classes May Remain Visible to Students

A significant difference between Blackboard and Canvas is that concluded Canvas classes from past semesters remain by default open to students. Canvas is smart about closing off some things that might compromise academic integrity, and I think it can be quite beneficial for students to be able to go back to review course material and discussion. However, if you are concerned about this idea and would like to learn more, and/or would like to know how to prevent students from accessing classes once the semester is done, please review this tutorial.

Canvas Mobile App Differences/Limitations

Canvas’s mobile apps are quite good, but they don’t give students and teachers all the same experiences that would get when they access Canvas via browser. If you’d like to know more about the differences, here’s a document that helps provide some detail. (And if you didn’t know that Canvas has a special app for teachers, it does! Get it for iOS or Android.)

One difference that’s not made clear on the document linked above is that if you enable the course setting to display recent announcements at the top of your course home page, they don’t actually display on the home page when viewed through the app. One of our instructors noticed this and brought it to my attention. I submitted a Feature Request to Canvas asking that this work in the app the same as in the browser. If you use this feature and agree, you can upvote the feature idea.

Canvas Feature Requests

Speaking of feature ideas, one of the nice things about Canvas is that you can influence its development. A number of you have reached out to me and/or Karen with suggestions – actually, you can go directly to the Feature Idea forums and vote on ideas or submit your own. Here’s a guide to how all that works if you’re interested.

Enhanced Gradebook Coming

Canvas has a beta-version gradebook with some significant updates that’s now an option for you. Check out this ~8 minute video and if you’d like to give this a try in a sandbox class, contact Karen Turpin (kturpin@miracosta.edu). Or just have a look and know that enhancements should be rolling into everyone’s Canvas classes within the next few months!

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

 

MiraCosta Online Ed News You Can Use – Welcome to Fall 2017!

For ALL faculty:

Canvas Transition

Blackboard and Moodle will no longer be available after spring 2018 – if you haven’t already begun learning Canvas, it’s time! Please see the TIC page on Canvas for lots of great resources. The Transition Team will be offering many Flex week workshops and more 4-week online Canvas training classes this fall – stay tuned.

Online Academic Support Resources for ALL Students

As you finalize your syllabi and course resources, please make your students aware of online tutoringonline writing center, and the 24×7 online ask-a-librarian service. These services are open to all MiraCosta students in any class!

Preferred Name Change Form for Students

A&R now has a very simple Preferred Name Change form up for students. Preferred name is the default name automatically used on class rosters and student ID cards, in class systems online (Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle), and to borrow items from the college library. This form is linked in two places on the A&R site:

It can be faxed or emailed to A&R so students don’t even need to come to campus. This is especially important as we transition to Canvas since unlike Blackboard, students don’t have a way to alter their first name within Canvas. So, for students who prefer to be known by a different name from their legal/formal name on record, this is a great option.

Open Educational Resources (OER) Update

Check out MiraCosta’s brand new OER website to learn more and find links to top sites with OER that might work for you and your students! MiraCosta College obtained about $150,000 in grant funds in the last year to expand adoption of free and open course materials. OER, while usually found online, can also be in print and can be used in any class. SB 1359, passed last fall, will require that our class schedule contain a special notation of all zero-textbook-cost classes starting in spring 2018.

For faculty teaching at least one online/hybrid class this fall:

Fall Student Orientations to Online Learning

I will offer many online learning orientation sessions this fall – 6 for Blackboard and 9 for Canvas. Please share the schedule with your online/hybrid students and encourage their attendance. You may pull a report from the SURF Class Roster to see which of your students have attended an orientation session if you wish to require this or offer extra credit, as many instructors do. Research conducted this summer shows that over the last 3 years 72.8% of those who attended the SOOL in the same or a previous term successfully completed DE courses vs. a 64.7% DE success rate for students who have not attended a SOOL.

Please Update Online Class Schedule

For all those teaching an online or hybrid course this fall, please make sure your class description is up to date on the separate Online Class Schedule page. Students use this page to learn how to get started with your class, and you can provide other important information there to help students prepare for success. See detailed instructions if needed.

NetTutor Online Tutoring Service

In addition to eTutoring, an online tutoring option for MiraCosta distance education classes is NetTutor. Unlike eTutoring, NetTutor provides 24×7 coverage of just about any academic subject, and is available via a link embedded within your class course management system environment (Blackboard or Canvas). The link would take students directly to the subject-specific tutoring area with no additional login required. Also with NetTutor, each instructor may specify “Rules of Engagement” that inform tutors about the approach and resources you would like them to use when working with your students. Contact me if you’re interested in NetTutor for your fall class(es).

Distance Education Requirements and Guidelines

Please review the MiraCosta online class quality guidelines. The document has two parts – (I) Essential elements for all distance education classes as already required in department and college policies (especially AP 4105 and the Syllabus Checklist), and (II) Good practices featuring principles and examples commonly recommended for consideration in online education. See also a 1-page handout and a 50-minute archive of a workshop I conducted last fall on this document.

Captioning Support

Videos shared online with students should be captioned. 3CMediaSolutions is a video storage and streaming system for California Community College faculty that provides free professional captioning as an option when you upload your media to the site. It’s a great way to manage your media and to get everything captioned. You can also work with Robert Erichsen of DSPS to submit media for captioning through a special grant-funded program. Please contact him to learn more: rerichsen@miracosta.edu

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

Summer 2017 Online Ed News You Can Use

Summer & Fall Classes – Blackboard & Canvas

All summer and fall classes are available to faculty now in both Blackboard and Canvas. Remember, MiraCosta will support Blackboard, Moodle, and Canvas through spring of 2018, with full conversion to Canvas by summer 2018. Please refer to information I recently sent out for more details on Canvas and Blackboard.

As you update syllabi and classes…

Please make your students aware of online tutoring, the online writing center, the 24×7 online ask-a-librarian service, and support workshops for online learning. These services are open to all MiraCosta students in any class! For online and hybrid classes, you may wish to review the online class quality guidelines approved by the Academic Senate last spring. The document has two parts – (I) Essential elements for all distance education classes as already required in department and college policies (especially AP 4105 and the Syllabus Checklist), and (II) Good practices featuring principles and examples commonly recommended for consideration in online education.

New Preferred Name Change form for students

A&R now has a very simple Preferred Name Change form up for students. Preferred name is the default name automatically used on class rosters and student ID cards, in online courses (Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle), and to borrow items from the college library. This form is linked in two places on the A&R site:

It can be faxed or emailed to A&R so students don’t even need to come to campus. This is especially important as we transition to Canvas since unlike Blackboard, students don’t have a way to alter their first name within Canvas. So, for students who prefer to be known by a different name from their legal/formal name on record, this is a great option.

Online/Hybrid Instructors: Please update Online Class Schedule

For all those teaching an online or hybrid course this summer or fall, please make sure your class description is up to date on the Online Class Schedule page. This is especially important over the next few semesters as students will be wondering which course management system to find each class in. You can provide that and other important information there to help students prepare for success in your class. Please contact me if you are uncertain how to update the information.

Summer Student Orientation to Online Learning sessions

I will offer two online learning orientation sessions for Blackboard and two for Canvas this summer. Please share the schedule with your online/hybrid students and encourage their attendance. You can use SURF to find out which of your students have attended. When you scroll to the bottom of the Class Roster page, and click the “Student Orientation to Online Learning Roster” link, a PDF should open in a new browser tab or window with a roster showing which students attended an orientation, and on what date.

Trial of a New Online Teaching Evaluation Tool this summer

This year, MOE investigated tools that may increase the typically very low response rates for student surveys of online instruction, and recommended that MiraCosta take a close look at CourseEval HQ. PG&E and FA approved the idea of running a trial of this in the summer term with the clear caveat that student responses would be shared only with the instructor and not used for any evaluative purposes; only response rate data will be shared more widely. If you are a full-time faculty member teaching an online or hybrid class in Canvas this summer and would like to be part of this initial trial of the tool, please contact me.

NetTutor Online Tutoring Service

An online tutoring option for MiraCosta distance education classes is NetTutor, which is available to MiraCosta as a CCC Online Education Initiative pilot college. NetTutor provides 24×7 coverage of just about any academic subject, and is available via a link embedded within your class course management system environment (Blackboard or Canvas). The link would take students directly to the subject-specific tutoring area with no additional login required. Also with NetTutor, each instructor may specify “Rules of Engagement” that inform tutors about the approach and resources you would like them to use when working with your students. Contact me if you’re interested in NetTutor for your summer or fall class(es).

Summer Online Ed Professional Learning Opportunities

Happy summering,

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

Mar-Apr 2017 Online Ed News You Can Use

Canvas Learning Opportunities

As you’re hopefully aware, MiraCosta is transitioning to the Canvas course management system. Keep an eye on the TIC Canvas page for great resources from our faculty Transition Team, including workshops, screencasts, and open Canvas classes for you to explore. For those of you at San Elijo, Sean Davis is holding open “Canvas Office Hours” on Tuesdays/Thursdays from 1:20-2:20 pm in SEC 513.

Online Teaching Conference – want to go?

Every June, the California Community Colleges holds the Online Teaching Conference featuring dozens of faculty-led presentations. MiraCosta typically sends 15-20 faculty to this excellent event, which this year is in Anaheim from June 19-21. The Online Education department has funding to cover conference registration fees for about that many faculty, including pre-conference workshops if desired. Early bird registration deadline is April 15, and it’s important not to wait – last year several MiraCosta faculty couldn’t attend because registration was completely filled well in advance. Please reply to me (Jim Julius) if you are interested in attending.

Open Educational Resources Updates

Did you know MiraCosta has received about $150,000 in grant funding over the last year to help faculty develop more classes that use Open Educational Resources (OER)? Did you know that SB 1359 requires all CSUs and CCCs to denote zero-textbook-cost classes in the online class schedule by 2018? If you’d like to learn more about OER, there are many online events this week, which is designated as Open Education Week. Here’s a list of select community college-focused online events this week – you can receive Flex credit for attending these types of webinars.

Student Orientation to Online Learning – final two this week

I am running two final Student Orientation to Online Learning sessions this week – today (Tuesday 3/28) from 12-1 pm and tomorrow (Weds. 3/29) from 5-6 pm. Both are online and both are Blackboard-oriented. These are especially aimed at students in online late start classes but are open to anyone. Feel free to refer your students to the TASC workshops page for the workshop sign-ups and access information.

Captioning Opportunity

Please look for this morning’s email from Robert Erichsen, MiraCosta Access Specialist, on captioning videos you provide in your online class materials. This is important for compliance with federal and state regulations, as well as simply to ensure that all students are able to fully access the information you are providing.

Online Tutoring – outage

Hopefully you know that MiraCosta provides free online tutoring for all students (see http://miracosta.edu/etutoring for subjects and schedule). The eTutoring site will be updated on Wednesday, 3/29, meaning that online tutoring will be unavailable that day – if you encourage your students to use eTutoring, please let them know about this.

Happy Spring!

Jim Julius, Ed.D.
Faculty Director, Online Education
Vice President, Academic Senate

Feb-Mar 2017 Online Ed News You Can Use

Canvas Transition and Upcoming Online Mini-Course

As you likely know, MiraCosta has begun its transition to Canvas, which will be complete in summer 2018 when Canvas will be our only course management system. Over 20% of all spring classes are in Canvas now, and over 43% of all MiraCosta students are currently taking one of those classes. The TIC page on Canvas includes many excellent resources for learning Canvas, including a number of videos of Flex Week workshops conducted by the MiraCosta faculty Transition Team.

Members of the Transition Team will be facilitating a 4-week “Introduction to Teaching with Canvas” course for MiraCosta faculty starting March 6. See the TIC Canvas site for more information and please contact me if you are interested. Look for more details coming next week.

Open Educational Resources (OER) Update

MiraCosta College has obtained about $150,000 in grant funds in the last year to expand adoption of free and open course materials. Support for OER is an item in the Online Education Plan, but OER, while often digital, can also be in print and can be used in any class. SB 1359, passed in the fall, will require that our class schedule contain a special notation of all zero-textbook-cost classes starting in spring 2018. Look for an effort soon to inventory our classes to learn which already are using low- and no-cost materials. If you’d like to learn more about any of this, please contact me, and/or check out some activities and resources shared by Palomar College.

Student Orientation to Online Learning Attendance

Nearly 1700 students have attended a Student Orientation to Online Learning in the last three years. Any instructor can use SURF to find out which of their students have attended. When you scroll to the bottom of the Class Roster page, and click the “Student Orientation to Online Learning Roster” link (see image below), a PDF should open in a new browser tab or window with a roster showing which students attended an orientation, and on what date. If the roster doesn’t open, please ensure that it wasn’t blocked by a popup blocker. Two final SOOL sessions will be offered on 3/28 and 3/29.

Student Orientation Link location on SURF

Online Education Initiative (OEI) Update

The OEI is an effort to improve student access and success by making it easier for students enrolled at a CCC to take high-quality online classes offered by other CCCs when they can’t take a local version of the course. MiraCosta College is one of 24 OEI pilot colleges and a number of our faculty have been actively teaching OEI pilot classes. Several pilot colleges have recently implemented the OEI Course Exchange and MiraCosta will be working towards having this in place by fall. See the latest update from OEI’s director or an outsider’s summary of OEI’s “intended consequences” to learn more. And if you teach an online C-ID approved course, look for an invitation to get more involved with the OEI soon.

Faculty Support Request Form on TIC Site

If you haven’t explored the http://tic.miracosta.edu site lately, please check out all the great resources it offers to faculty on the various online educational technologies that MiraCosta supports. Also, please note now that on the left hand edge of any page on that site, you’ll find an orange bar that takes you to a form where you can request all kinds of support from Online Education and the TIC, from equipment checkout, to scheduling a consultation, to common requests related to course management systems.

Professional Learning Opportunities (got Flex?)

  • The Online Teaching Conference is moving to Anaheim this June. If you have submitted a presentation, or if you would like to attend, please let me know! I can provide registration fee support. Full-time faculty who need support for lodging, please consider accessing the additional professional development funds recently announced by PDP. (Because of the timing of the conference after spring semester, those funds unfortunately wouldn’t work for part-time faculty.)
  • March 27-31 is Open Education Week with all kinds of free online presentations and learning opportunities.
  • Check out recorded archives of past Online Education workshops .
  • Sign up for an upcoming online 1-hour webinar (free) or full course (may be a fee) on online teaching from @One.
  • The deadline for submitting presentations for this summer’s Canvas conference in Colorado (“InstructureCon”) is March 1.

Happy Spring!

Jim Julius, Ed.D.
Faculty Director, Online Education
Vice President, Academic Senate

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