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 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 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

MiraCosta Canvas Updates for Canvas Instructors Spring 2017

Hello! You are among over 130 faculty who have published courses in MiraCosta’s Canvas system. I hope the semester is starting well for you and your students, and just wanted to reach out to you with a few items.

Faculty Support Resources

Hopefully you are well aware of all the resources linked at In particular, our Canvas Transition Team faculty are making themselves available in the TIC multiple times over the first few weeks of the semester – check out their schedule at the top of the TIC Canvas page. Feel free to drop in and chat about any questions/challenges you may have.

We’re also hearing good things about the 24×7 Canvas support available at 1-877-884-1673. Remember, this comes directly from Canvas, so they don’t necessarily have all the answers when it comes to MiraCosta-specific questions (such as how students get added to your class). But they are great for any general questions and guidance about the use of Canvas.

Student Support Resources

Please recommend the Student Help Desk to your students. They can provide live support that is very MiraCosta-specific. When the Student Help Desk is not available, students may also use the 24×7 Canvas support number. Also, please reinforce with your students the ease of access to these resources simply by clicking the Help item at the bottom of the main Canvas menu (the blue menu at far left once logged into Canvas). There are also two more Canvas-specific MiraCosta student success workshops this semester:

  • Today (Feb. 2), 5-6 pm in CLC 133 – Student Help Desk introduction to Canvas (by Jesse Leon)
  • Monday, Feb. 6, 12-1 pm in OC 1201 – Student Orientation to Online Learning in Canvas (by Jim Julius)

Student Names in Canvas

Please note that unlike Blackboard and Moodle, students are not able to customize their first name from within Canvas. If a student wishes to have a different first name displayed in Canvas for any reason, they just need to stop by A&R and fill out a “Preferred Name Change” request.

Your Feedback

As you are among the first MiraCosta faculty to use Canvas for a class, your feedback is very valuable – as is your students’. Please feel free to contact me at any time with any feedback you may have about Canvas – positive, negative, or anything in-between! I’m especially interested to hear what support resources have been of greatest value to you as you’ve been learning to use Canvas, and what suggestions you have for adding to/improving MiraCosta’s workshops and support offerings.

Thanks and best wishes for the semester,

Jim Julius, Ed.D.

Faculty Director, Online Education


Dec. 2016 Online Ed News You Can Use

Can you believe the semester is almost over?

Spring Classes – Blackboard & Canvas

All spring 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 see the TIC page on Canvas for lots of great resources including workshop schedules (two coming up on 12/9 and 12/13, and many planned for Flex week), recordings of previous workshops, and links to much more. Also, if you have not seen the FA’s position on the Canvas transition, it is recommended reading – negotiations are ongoing.

Online Instructors: 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. 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.

Spring Student Orientations to Online Learning

I will offer twelve online learning orientation sessions this spring. Please share the schedule (not updated for spring yet, but will be soon) with your online/hybrid students and encourage their attendance. I will offer a few that are based in Canvas; most will continue to be in Blackboard. Online instructors can pull a report from SURF of the students who have completed this orientation.

Online Academic Support Resources for ALL Students

As you create your spring 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!

Blackboard Quiz/Test Bug

As finals approach, if you give Blackboard quizzes or tests that include open-ended questions, and that present all questions at once, please review the details about a problem with students using Internet Explorer 11 to take your quiz or test.

Blackboard Archive Access

Access to the Blackboard archive server, which contains courses from spring 2015 and earlier, is now restricted to AIS helpdesk staff. You may view directions for requesting an export of courses from spring 2015 or earlier if you need to copy in an old course to update for spring.

Interested in Open Educational Resources (OER)?

College of the Canyons is hosting a free OER summit on January 31st. Visit the website to learn more and register.

Online Teaching Conference

After a few years in San Diego, the CCC Online Teaching Conference will be held in Anaheim June 19-21. The call for presentations has been extended until January 31, and the Office of Online Education will fund travel costs for all MiraCostans who have presentations accepted at the conference.

More Professional Learning Opportunities

Best wishes for a great break!

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

Canvas Workshops in December

The Canvas faculty Transition Team is offering several Canvas workshops in December. Sign up for these via MyFlex:

Workshop: All Hands on Canvas

This workshop is designed to give you open time to work with Canvas in a supported environment. A faculty member who has taught with Canvas will provide a very brief overview of Canvas in the first 10-15 minutes, and from there the time is open for you to become more proficient in your use of Canvas, and to work on developing a class in Canvas, with the support of experienced Canvas users. In addition, attendees may benefit from exploring Canvas resources.

Date / Time / Location / Facilitator(s):

Friday 12/2 – 1:30-3:00 pm – OC 4611 – Curry Mitchell
Tuesday 12/6 – 2:30-4:00 pm – OC 4612 – Gail Meinhold
Friday 12/9 – 1:30-3:00 pm – OC 4611- Billy Gunn & Leola McClure
Tuesday 12/13 – 9-10:30 am – OC 4803B – Billy Gunn

As always, you may wish to review the FA’s position on the Canvas transition.

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

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