Online Teaching Conference 2015 | Be an Early Bird!

Online Teaching Conference LogoThe Online Teaching Conference is in San Diego on June 18-19, with pre-conference workshops on June 17. As in recent years, I am able to help fund attendance, and I hope we again send a strong group of MiraCostans. The conference is focused on online teaching and learning in the California Community Colleges, and is a great opportunity to hear from and network with faculty and student services staff about helping students to succeed with online education. Keynotes include Phil Hill and Michael Feldstein of the excellent e-Literate blog, along with Online Education Initiative director Pat James.

If you are interested, please let me know soon, so that you can register at the early bird rate (by April 17) and so that I can plan the year-end Online Education budget accordingly.

Some procedural notes & caveats:

  • If you are planning to go, you’ll need to have your travel request signed by me in addition to the usual signers.
  • Note that because this conference is outside of the fall/spring semesters, it is not Flex-eligible for associate faculty.
  • Note that because the conference is local, most of our attendees will not be eligible for hotel stay or meal reimbursement. You will receive mileage reimbursement and conference registration. If you believe you have special circumstances that warrant coverage of hotel expenses, let me know.
  • Note that pre-conference workshops in which goods are provided (iPads, books, software, etc.) cannot be paid for via travel funds. You would need to find another source of funds to cover those fees if you are interested.

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

March Online Ed News You Can Use

Happy Spring!

Blackboard email Issues

Last spring, AOL and Yahoo changed some of their email rules (aka “DMARC”) to try to cut down on spam. Email messages with return addresses from AOL and Yahoo-family domains which did not actually originate from one of their servers are rejected by email systems following the DMARC rules, meaning that for some people, email they send from Blackboard is not received by others. We expect AIS to put a workaround in place over spring break. It does not fix email generated by Blackboard from tools such as announcements, grade center, and discussion boards. Email from these areas should be fixed during the next major Blackboard version upgrade, which is planned to take place between the spring and summer semesters.

Online Teaching Conference: Call for Proposals

The Online Teaching Conference will again be in San Diego, June 18-19. The call for proposals is open until March 15. As in recent years, I anticipate being able to help fund attendance, especially for accepted presenters, so please let me know if you are interested. (Note that because this conference is outside of the fall/spring semesters, it is not Flex-eligible for associate faculty.)

Online Education Initiative (OEI) updates

See the latest update on the OEI from executive director Pat James, with details about the selection of Canvas as the OEI common course management system, and insights from an OEI professional development summit held in San Diego last month (which was attended by four MiraCostans). Upcoming opportunities to learn more about the OEI include an ASCCC online education meeting on March 21, an OEI Town Hall at the Campus Technology conference in Long Beach on April 8, and the Online Teaching Conference in San Diego, June 18-19.

Late Start Online Learning Orientations for Students

This spring’s last two Student Orientation to Online Learning sessions will be held on the OC campus 3/24, and online 3/25. Details are on the TASC student success workshop site.

Professional Learning Opportunities  All Flex-Eligible

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

February Online Ed News You Can Use

Online Education Initiative (OEI) updates

OEI has made its selection of a common course management system: Canvas. Read more about the selection, or put on your hype goggles and learn about Canvas. We do not know when Canvas might become widely available, but we do expect that our OEI pilot courses will be offered via Canvas beginning next spring. MiraCosta’s first two OEI pilot courses are running this semester, taught by Curry Mitchell (English) and Christopher Sleeper (History). See also the latest general update on the OEI from executive director Pat James, and you can also review MOE’s OEI FAQ.

Online Learning Orientations for Students

Over 220 students attended online learning orientations this spring, nearly doubling the total attendance since these began to be offered last spring. Students mentioned more than 35 faculty as referring them to this workshop. Two more sessions will be available after spring break. If you are an instructor who would like to see the list of attending students, let me know.

Professional Learning Opportunities – All Flex Eligible

The Online Teaching Conference will again be in San Diego, from June 18-19. The call for proposals is not yet open, but should be soon. As in recent years, I anticipate being able to help fund attendance, so please let me know.

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

January Online Ed News You Can Use

Happy new year!

Online Education Flex Workshops 

You may now enroll in Flex week workshops. Karen and I are offering several workshops, including two that will be conducted online. View a list of our workshops and then sign up for all that are of interest!

Starting the semester with Blackboard (& our new TIC website!)

Check out Karen’s page with links to tips on typical start-of-semester Blackboard tasks (making a course available, doing a course copy, using your sample student). And notice that page lives on a completely redesigned TIC website!

Online Student Support Resources

As you finalize your syllabi and class resources, please make your students aware of online tutoring, the online writing center, and the 24×7 online ask-a-librarian service (under “ASK US” at upper right). These services are open to all MiraCosta students! Have you watched the 2-minute video on what an online writing center appointment is all about?

Online/Hybrid Instructors: Please Update Online Class Schedule

For all those teaching an online or hybrid class 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.

Online/Hybrid Instructors: Online Learning Orientations for Students

Over 250 students attended the first online learning orientations conducted at MiraCosta in 2014. Even more sessions, including more held live online, will be available this spring. Online and hybrid instructors, please share the schedule with your students and encourage their attendance. I will report back the students who complete the sessions if you wish to incentivize attendance. I will also list the students who already completed the orientation. Also, note that I am offering a Flex workshop (Monday, 2:30 pm, OC 4607) that is all about our online learning orientation.

Professional Learning Resources – All Flex Eligible

Best wishes for a great beginning to the new year.

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

November Online Ed News You Can Use

Online Education Initiative update

Last Friday, the MiraCosta Online Educators committee, in collaboration with the Academic Senate and Faculty Assembly, held a forum to address questions and provide more details about the OEI. Ric Matthews and Bonnie Peters from the OEI were on the panel along with Mike Fino, Jonathan Cole, Curry Mitchell (English faculty member who is participating in the OEI pilot), and me. Please see the OEI FAQ developed by MOE. (which is posted on MOE’s new website, also worth a look)

Remind Students – Great Online Support Resources

As the end of the semester approaches with term papers, final projects, and finals, please remind your students to take advantage of online tutoring, our online writing center, and the 24×7 ask-a-librarian service (under Ask Us at top right).

Please Update Spring Online Class Schedule

The spring class schedule is available, which means it’s time for online and hybrid class instructors to make sure their class info is updated on the Online Class Schedule site. (Thanks to those who already have!) Students use this supplemental schedule to learn more about the details of online classes. A more detailed email will go out to all spring online instructors next week.

Professional Learning Opportunities – Get Flex Credit

  • National Distance Learning Week is Nov 10-14! The US Distance Learning Association is running free webinars all week. Additionally, the Online Learning Consortium has a free Google Hangout at noon on 11/10: Distance Learning Best Practices for Community Colleges, and the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources has a free webinar at 10 am on 11/12 called Opening up Pedagogy in Communications and History Class.
  •  MiraCosta is now a member of the Instructional Technology Council, a national professional organization focusing on distance education in community colleges. See their most recent newsletter and explore their website. Many resources are publicly available but some require a member account – just let me know if you are interested in ITC credentials.

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

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