December & Flex Week Canvas workshops

December

The Canvas faculty Transition Team is offering three more Canvas workshops before break. 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 found at https://tic.miracosta.edu/campus-teaching-technologies/canvas/ .

Date / Time / Location / Facilitator(s):

Tuesday 12/6 – 2:30-4 pm – OC 4612 – Gail Meinhold
Friday 12/9 – 1:30-3 pm – OC 4611 – Billy Gunn
Tuesday 12/13 – 9-10:30 am – OC 4803b – Billy Gunn

You may also be interested in watching a recording of a recent workshop Sean Davis and Robert Kelley offered which included faculty and student perspectives on the experience of transitioning to Canvas.

January – Flex Week

Friday, January 13th will include a full day of Canvas workshops. The day will open with brief presentations/overviews of Canvas from the perspectives of several MiraCosta faculty. Each of those faculty will then lead hands-on workshops on various aspects of Canvas during the day, and the day will end with a facilitated open lab session for those who want to get to work with Canvas.

Tuesday, January 17th will feature a full day of 1.5 hour Canvas open lab sessions with the support of experienced MiraCosta faculty and staff. Attend as many as you like.

Thursday, January 19th we will offer one final hands-on Canvas workshop focusing on page design, an important skill for those who wish to explore possibilities for Canvas use beyond the basic approaches most typically used with Canvas.

Sign up for these via MyFlex when PDP releases the spring Flex schedule!

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

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

Blackboard Discussion Board Issue & Fix

The Blackboard system update on 9/25/16 (required for system security) introduced a bug within the discussion board tool.

Discussion boards which are set to Unavailable are no longer accessible by the instructor. If you have such discussion boards and you try to access them, you will get a message reading:

Access Denied

Either you are not logged in or you do not have the appropriate privileges to perform this action.

The workaround is you need to edit the discussion board and change its setting to Available. Then you will be able to access it. Clearly, this is not ideal, and we hope that Blackboard will fix this soon.

Additional Workaround

Here’s an addition to the workaround that will keep students out while the discussion board is set to Available. It’s a lot of extra work, but if you absolutely do not want students to access a discussion board while it is available for you to work on, you can follow this procedure.

It relies on using the “manage” option for the discussion board, and changing all the users with role “Participant” to instead have the role “Blocked”. The blocked users will still see the forum listed in the discussions, but when selecting it they will get the access denied message. But unblocked users (i.e. the instructor) can enter it.

  1. Ensure that your Discussion Board forum is set to Available and is accessible to you.
  2. Hover your mouse over the title for the forum then click the “options menu” icon (the circle with a “v” in it) that appears.
  3. Select “Manage” to see a list of all the people who have access to the forum
  4. If you have a large class, click the option to “show all”.
  5. Click the checkbox in the column header to select everyone in the course.
  6. Deselect the checkbox for anyone that should have continued access.
  7. Select “Edit Role”
  8. Select “Blocked”

Remember if you block students using the additional workaround above, you will need to unblock them when you want them to be able to post and/or view the discussion board. Unblock by following the same procedure above, but in step 8 assign everyone the role “Participant”.

Validate your course links in Canvas

It is important to verify that all links are working throughout a course. The course link validator tool can help make this task easy for faculty designing and teaching courses.

The course link validator tool searches through course content and returns invalid or unresponsive external links in both published and unpublished content.

The link validator also includes deleted links. Deleted links are links that are still in the course, but their linked content has been deleted (such as a course files or pages).

Note: Some links flagged as unresponsive are inaccessible by Canvas servers and will still work for students.

From within a Canvas Course

Open Settings

Canvas Settings

Select Validate Links in Content

Validate Links in Content

For additional directions refer to the Canvas guide: How do I validate links in a course?

Bb Collaborate Ultra Experience in Blackboard Learn

Blackboard Collaborate is a real-time video conferencing tool that lets you add files, share applications, and use a virtual whiteboard to interact. Collaborate with the Ultra experience opens right in your browser, so you don’t have to install any software to join a session.

Setup within a Blackboard Learn course:

  1. Click on a Content area.
  2. Click on Tools
  3. Select Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Experience
  4. Type in the box “Office Hours” (or other custom link name you prefer) and click submit.
  5. Click on the link name  to enter Collaborate and set up your rooms.
Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Experience in Blackboard Learn

Blackboard Collaborate Ultra Experience in Blackboard Learn

Additional Directions:

Accessible Narrated Streaming PowerPoint Presentations

Microsoft PowerPoint is a common teaching tool that many instructors use to present course materials. In order to use these presentations within an online course, instructors must make them accessible for students with disabilities. Narrating your PowerPoints and streaming them online with captions is an optimal way to make your presentations more engaging for your online students as well as compliant with Section 508 / WAI standards.

The following three videos will walk you through the process from start to finish.

Step 1:  Narrate your PowerPoint presentation and Save as a .mpeg4 movie file

This video will walk you through  narrating your PowerPoint presentation with your voice and saving the file as a .mpeg4 movie file.

Step 2:  Upload the PowerPoint .mpeg4 video file to 3C Media Solutions

This video will walk you through uploading your .mpeg 4 movie file to 3C Media Solutions.

3C Media Solutions is a free streaming video server funded by a grant from the California Chancellor’s office.

Step 3: Request Captioning and add the Presentation to your Canvas course

This video will walk you through requesting captioning for your video free of charge. This service is made possible by the DECT Grant funded by the California Community Colleges Chancellors Office. This video will also walk you through how to add your streaming video presentation to your Canvas LMS course.

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