Considerations in Leaving Blackboard and Moodle

With the closure of Blackboard and Moodle (“legacy systems”) on June 30, 2018, faculty should consider their obligations and needs regarding the class content and student records that those systems have contained. Here are three primary considerations for faculty:

  1. Export all content from legacy systems to rebuild classes in Canvas if that is still needed.
  2. Access to grade records from legacy system classes in the event of grade challenges.
  3. Need to be able to resolve incompletes for classes that were run in a legacy system this spring.

Please review the following for information and instructions on downloading gradebooks, student work, and entire course archives from your:

See below for more details on the three considerations listed above, as well as one additional possible concern.

Rebuilding Legacy System Classes in Canvas

MiraCosta’s Canvas page for faculty includes all kinds of resources, information, and recommended training materials to help faculty learn Canvas, including information on transitioning from legacy systems to Canvas.

For simple classes where the course management system is used fairly minimally, transitioning to Canvas should be straightforward. For more complex classes, especially hybrid and online classes, faculty typically report that it is a significant investment of time to rebuild in Canvas, but one that is well worthwhile.

Some elements of classes may export from legacy systems and import into Canvas in a useful way. Other elements are best to copy separately and paste into Canvas or re-create altogether. The following resources may be especially useful in helping faculty with this process.

Reference material

Videos of MiraCosta workshops

Maintaining Grade Records in Case of Challenges

For access to grade records, it is each faculty member’s responsibility to download/export what they need from the legacy systems. Please refer to AP 4231 (Grade Changes) for details on the circumstances you need to be aware of.

Resolving Incompletes

With under 10% of our spring 2018 classes running in Blackboard or Moodle, and given the infrequency of this occurrence, this should be a very minor issue. But if it comes up, there are several possibilities for handling this, depending on the work that needs to be completed and how dependent on the course management system it may be:

  • For courses which the instructor has already rebuilt in Canvas and which will work for the student to complete work there, the faculty member can work with Karen Turpin to create a special copy/section of the Canvas course and enroll the student who needs to finish the incomplete.
  • For a Blackboard course that has elements that the student really needs to complete in Blackboard for consistency/coherency, the faculty member can work with Karen Turpin to restore the Blackboard course archive into the free online CourseSites version of Blackboard.
  • In some cases, it may be possible to resolve the incomplete without using a course management system at all. If the instructor has made copies of the content/assignments and grade records, the student work could potentially be done on paper or through digital copies of the course materials.

For advice and assistance with this should it become necessary, please contact Karen Turpin.

One Other Possibility: Audits

There is a fourth consideration that is more for the institution than for faculty: the possibility of outside agencies in the future conducting audits of past classes run in legacy systems.

This is a low-likelihood issue, yet one we do need to account for. There have been a handful of audits of online classes at California community colleges within the last few years; these are typically related to accessibility investigations – either prompted by an Office of Civil Rights complaint or through a random selection of the state auditor. There have also been audits during federal Department of Education investigations of compliance with financial aid regulations and distance education. In such cases, auditors likely would want to be able to view each class in its original form, in the legacy system in which it was offered.

Should such a situation arise, it is likely that MiraCosta would negotiate short-term access to Blackboard and/or Moodle systems as needed in order to meet the needs of the auditors, restoring archives that we have retained institutionally into those systems.

Countdown to Canvas: 8 weeks to go

To: All faculty

Blackboard and Moodle will no longer be options for instruction after the spring semester. The official end of our licenses providing access to Blackboard and Moodle is June 30. Please make sure you have extracted all needed content from all classes by then.

Faculty should consider 3 potential issues:

  1. If you have not yet rebuilt all your classes in Canvas, do you have all class content, resources, materials, etc. that you will need from the old system?
  2. Are you prepared for potential grade challenges on classes that were run in an old system?
  3. If you taught this spring in an old system, what would you do if a student needs to resolve an incomplete?

For much more detail on these issues, please see Considerations in Leaving Blackboard and Moodle

For some quick guidance on downloading class gradebooks and archives, see directions to do so for Blackboard or for Moodle.

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

Countdown to Canvas: 10 weeks to go

To: All faculty

Blackboard and Moodle will no longer be options for instruction after the spring semester. The official end of our licenses providing access to Blackboard and Moodle is June 30. Please make sure you have extracted all content from all classes for rebuilding in Canvas by then.

This week the final 4-week online MiraCosta Introduction to Teaching with Canvas class begins. Learn more and sign up if you’re interested.
For those who have signed up, watch for an email later today or tomorrow on how to get started.

Next week I’ll start sending more detailed tips about moving classes into Canvas for those who still have that work ahead of them.

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

Adios, Bb and Moodle – Completion of Canvas transition #1

To: All faculty

All fall and summer classes are available now in Canvas for you to begin preparations. Blackboard and Moodle will no longer be options for instruction after the spring semester.

The official end of our licenses providing access to Blackboard and Moodle is June 30. Prior to that, please make sure you have extracted all content from all classes for rebuilding in Canvas.

If you have been teaching classes in Blackboard or Moodle this year, and you have the possibility of needing to work with a student after June 30 to resolve a grade dispute and/or finish an incomplete class, you’ll need to be extra-careful to retain all the records that may be important such as grade details, your feedback to the student, and so on.

If you are still learning Canvas, we have one more upcoming 4-week online Introduction to Teaching with Canvas class, starting Monday, April 23. Learn more and sign up if you’re interested.

Going forward, I will be sending a weekly countdown message with reminders, tips, and recommendations until the closure of Blackboard and Moodle.

Tip #1: Explore the many MiraCosta-specific Canvas resources available to you, including resources specifically about transitioning from Blackboard to Canvas, many of which were created by MiraCosta faculty from the Canvas Transition Team.

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

Online Support for All Students – Please Be Aware and Share!

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 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.

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

Spring Student Orientations to Online Learning

I will offer many online learning orientation sessions this spring – 4 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 spring, 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 extensive coverage up to 24×7 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 spring 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

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