Back-to-School Online Ed News You Can Use

Hope everyone had a great summer! Lots has happened in the Online Ed realm – please see below and click links to learn more. Best wishes in your final preparations for fall classes!

Blackboard and Turnitin Updates – Very important

    • If you’ve been away for the summer, you may not yet have noticed the Blackboard system update, with new features and functions to learn about
    • This update means your procedure for copying content from previous courses to fall courses or helping students finish incompletes is different – your old courses are on a different server
    • The Blackboard system will receive minor updates on August 13 which will fix current YouTube and Turnitin integration issues in Blackboard.
    • DO NOT copy old Turnitin assignments to fall courses, and until August 13, don’t create new Turnitin assignments either. After August 13, you may create new Turnitin assignments (though please note that the Turnitin company is taking Turnitin down on Aug. 15 from 7-11 am for maintenance).
    • Voice Authoring is no longer working properly in Blackboard and is permanently removed. 
    • Opt-in Blackboard notifications via text messages are not working – we are still hoping to get this fixed. 
  • Finally, if you or your students use the Blackboard Mobile Learn application, it will need to be reconnected to MiraCosta’s Blackboard system.

Fall Flex – Reserve your spot now! 

Sign up now for August Flex workshops. You may also review the details of the Online Education workshops that Karen and I (and some additional faculty) are offering before entering MyFlex.

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 (under “ASK US” at upper right). These services are open to all MiraCosta students in any class! Also, the OEI has made its set of student online learning readiness modules open and available to anyone – feel free to link to any that you like.

Fall Student Orientations to Online Learning 

I will offer eleven online learning orientation sessions this fall. Please share the schedule with your online/hybrid students and encourage their attendance. I will provide a report to online instructors of the students who have completed this orientation this fall or previously. 

Online Instructors: 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.

Zaption Pilot

Zaption enables creation of assessments within videos, and integrates with Blackboard to provide detailed analytics on video viewing and assessment results. We still have a few faculty spots for a pilot over the 2015-16 year. Please contact me if you are interested.

Online Education Initiative (OEI)

Much has happened over the summer. The biggest news is that the OEI is making the selected common course management system, Canvas, available to all CCCs at no cost. It’s very likely that a faculty-led effort will take a close look at MiraCosta’s course management system selection this year. MiraCosta will continue to offer two pilot OEI courses this fall, and will continue to have opportunities for more faculty to offer pilot classes in upcoming semesters. To learn more about OEI, please see or feel free to contact me if you have questions.

Encouraging a Growth Mindset in Students

A wonderful online educator from the U. of Oklahoma, Laura Gibbs, is looking for collaborators on a project to help promote a growth mindset in students through fun and simple memes (pictures with sayings). Check out her resource site and invitation to collaborate:

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