Online Ed Tech Pilots

In collaboration with the MiraCosta Online Educators committee and individual faculty, the office of Online Education regularly supports pilot evaluations of emerging technologies. For more information on current pilots, including getting involved if you are interested, please contact Jim Julius, faculty director of online education.

Note that in spring 2016, MiraCosta conducted a course management system evaluation process – this was led by a task force reporting to the Academic Affairs Committee and is separate from the pilots listed here.

Also note that in spring 2016, MiraCosta began offering VoiceThread as a replacement for Blackboard Collaborate Voice Tools, which is discontinued as of summer 2016. Although new to MiraCosta, VoiceThread is a new addition and not in pilot status. The license for 2016-17 is limited to 910 users, however, so we are monitoring its usage to determine whether to try to expand access.

Current Pilots

  • PlayPosit (2016-17) This technology was licensed to fill the gap left when Zaption was abruptly bought out and discontinued. See the description of Zaption below – PlayPosit is similar.
  • Zoom – This web conferencing software is being piloted by CCC Confer (under the “ConferNow” rebranding) and is available to all CCC faculty and staff. Full accessibility features are still being added, so it is not approved for general use, but may be piloted on a limited basis as appropriate.
  • Blackboard Collaborate Ultra – This web conferencing software is available within Blackboard or Canvas and can be used in place of the older Collaborate (or CCC Confer). It is more video-centric than the current CCC Confer and works directly within your browser without requiring Java and the separate launcher program like the traditional Blackboard Collaborate.
  • Tools from the Online Education Initiative – As an OEI pilot college, MiraCosta has access to a number of tools for trial or, in some cases, use in online classes. These include course management system Canvas, online tutoring platform and service provider NetTutor, online proctoring tool Proctorio, and online counseling platform Cranium Cafe.

Previous Pilots

  • Zaption (2015-16, renewed for 2016-17 but was bought out and discontinued) This technology integrates with course management systems and enables faculty to add questions directly within videos for students. Scoring of questions and tracking of student engagement with videos is automated and integrated with CMS grade books, if desired.
  • YouSeeU (2014-15) – this tool providing multiple assignment and test tools integrating instructor and student video within the course management system was piloted primarily by International Languages faculty. While several found it to be a promising tool, the overall learning curve and challenges it presented led pilot users to decide it wasn’t quite ready for adoption.
  • Camtasia Relay (2012-13, institutionalized in 2013-14) – this screencasting tool for faculty, staff, and students was piloted and found useful by many faculty and staff, and was fully adopted by the college. It is now called Techsmith Relay.
  • Respondus LockDown Browser (2012) – this tool for restricting student access to other digital resources while taking an online test was piloted by several faculty in collaboration with the Academic Proctoring Center. Its benefits were not found to outweigh the challenges associated with its use.