Canvas now open to all MiraCosta faculty

All spring 2017 classes are available to faculty now in both Blackboard and Canvas. MiraCosta will support Blackboard, Moodle, and Canvas through spring of 2018, with full conversion to Canvas by summer 2018. (Faculty who wish to use Moodle for any classes should request those from Karen Korstad –

Please see the TIC page on Canvas for lots of great resources if you wish to begin learning about Canvas. A number of MiraCosta faculty have been teaching Canvas pilot classes this fall, including the Canvas Transition Team of Billy Gunn, Curry Mitchell, Gail Meinhold, Leola McClure, and Robert Kelley. They are currently developing training resources to share with all faculty, and we will soon release a list of Canvas introduction/open lab sessions to be held this fall. We are also planning an all-day Canvas workshop for the first day of Flex week in January (Friday the 13th).

You may also be interested in the video of the fall Flex “Goodbye Blackboard and Moodle, Hello Canvas” webinar featuring Billy Gunn and Curry Mitchell.

Finally, if you have not seen the FA’s update on the Canvas transition, it is recommended reading.

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

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tool searches through course content and returns invalid or unresponsive external links in both published and unpublished content.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

What are the different assignment submission types in Canvas?

As the instructor, you can decide what kinds of submissions are acceptable. You may allow students to:

  • No Submission: Assignments can be created that have No Submission. These work well for in-class presentations, daily participation points, or other optional activities used for extra credit. This is the only way to create an “ad-hoc” column in the gradebook.
  • Online Submission: Assignments can be created that have Online Submissions. Students can submit work in the form of file or image uploads, URLs, text entry, GoogleDocs, or audio or video recordings or uploads. You may allow one, several or all of these options for student assignment submissions.
  • Upload a File: For example, this would be used to submit a Microsoft Word file. Instructors can also limit the file types (i.e. .docx or .doc) that will be accepted for submission. If these file types limitations are set for an assignment, students will only be able to submit the allowed file types.
  • Submit a Text Entry: This assignment must be typed directly into the LMS, no file attachments can be submitted. It is strongly recommended that you type the assignment in Microsoft Word first and save it to your computer. For example, this would be used to submit text for a Journal Assignment entry.
  • Enter a Website URL: For example, this would be used when students are required to upload a video to YouTube and submit a link to it for the instructor to review.
  • Submit Media for an Assignment: For example, this option would be used when students are required to record a short video of themselves.
  • Submit a Google Doc for an Assignment: This assignment must be submitted as a Google Doc. For example, this option would be used when students are required to collaborate on a paper using the Collaboration tool and Google Docs.
  • On Paper: Assignments can also be delivered to the instructor On Paper. On Paper Assignments are usually evaluated by hand and grades are manually entered in the Gradebook.

Other Options:

  • Group Assignment: You can assign work to a Group Set for an assignment.
  • Peer Reviews: You can require students to review each other’s work.

More information on assignments and step-by-step instructions can be found in the Canvas Guides for Instructors by Instructure.

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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