MiraCosta Online Ed News You Can Use – Welcome to Fall 2017!

For ALL faculty:

Canvas Transition

Blackboard and Moodle will no longer be available after spring 2018 – if you haven’t already begun learning Canvas, it’s time! Please see the TIC page on Canvas for lots of great resources. The Transition Team will be offering many Flex week workshops and more 4-week online Canvas training classes this fall – stay tuned.

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. These services are open to all MiraCosta students in any class!

Preferred Name Change Form for Students

A&R now has a very simple Preferred Name Change form up for students. Preferred name is the default name automatically used on class rosters and student ID cards, in class systems online (Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle), and to borrow items from the college library. This form is linked in two places on the A&R site:

It can be faxed or emailed to A&R so students don’t even need to come to campus. This is especially important as we transition to Canvas since unlike Blackboard, students don’t have a way to alter their first name within Canvas. So, for students who prefer to be known by a different name from their legal/formal name on record, this is a great option.

Open Educational Resources (OER) Update

Check out MiraCosta’s brand new OER website to learn more and find links to top sites with OER that might work for you and your students! MiraCosta College obtained about $150,000 in grant funds in the last year to expand adoption of free and open course materials. OER, while usually found online, can also be in print and can be used in any class. SB 1359, passed last fall, will require that our class schedule contain a special notation of all zero-textbook-cost classes starting in spring 2018.

For faculty teaching at least one online/hybrid class this fall:

Fall Student Orientations to Online Learning

I will offer many online learning orientation sessions this fall – 6 for Blackboard and 9 for Canvas. Please share the schedule with your online/hybrid students and encourage their attendance. You may pull a report from the SURF Class Roster to see which of your students have attended an orientation session if you wish to require this or offer extra credit, as many instructors do. Research conducted this summer shows that over the last 3 years 72.8% of those who attended the SOOL in the same or a previous term successfully completed DE courses vs. a 64.7% DE success rate for students who have not attended a SOOL.

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. See detailed instructions if needed.

NetTutor Online Tutoring Service

In addition to eTutoring, an online tutoring option for MiraCosta distance education classes is NetTutor. Unlike eTutoring, NetTutor provides 24×7 coverage of just about any academic subject, and is available via a link embedded within your class course management system environment (Blackboard or Canvas). The link would take students directly to the subject-specific tutoring area with no additional login required. Also with NetTutor, each instructor may specify “Rules of Engagement” that inform tutors about the approach and resources you would like them to use when working with your students. Contact me if you’re interested in NetTutor for your fall class(es).

Distance Education Requirements and Guidelines

Please review the MiraCosta online class quality guidelines. The document has two parts – (I) Essential elements for all distance education classes as already required in department and college policies (especially AP 4105 and the Syllabus Checklist), and (II) Good practices featuring principles and examples commonly recommended for consideration in online education. See also a 1-page handout and a 50-minute archive of a workshop I conducted last fall on this document.

Captioning Support

Videos shared online with students should be captioned. 3CMediaSolutions is a video storage and streaming system for California Community College faculty that provides free professional captioning as an option when you upload your media to the site. It’s a great way to manage your media and to get everything captioned. You can also work with Robert Erichsen of DSPS to submit media for captioning through a special grant-funded program. Please contact him to learn more: rerichsen@miracosta.edu

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

Try These 10 Things To Fix Your Computer Problem Before You Call Support

Troubleshooting computer problems is part of modern life when you teach online. Before you make that support call, try your hand at fixing some of the most common problems yourself.

  1. Check your Course Management System (CMS) Status
    Is it a maintenance time? Or is your CMS currently experiencing an outage?

    1. Canvas
    2. Moodle
    3. Blackboard
  2. Clear Browser Cache (history, cookies, etc.)
    Clearing your browser cache often will resolve the problem by allowing your computer to download the latest version of the webpage and/or software.
  3. Try a Different Browser
    If you have cleared your browser cache and things are still not working as you expect try a different browser. Example: if you are using Chrome, try Firefox and visa versa. Ensure that your browsers are up to date. You can always download the latest version free online.

    1. Chrome
    2. Firefox
  4. Restart your Computer
    Many faculty and staff solve their problems with this simple step. Always a good option to try.
  5. Check your Internet Connection Speed
    A slow connection could be why your CMS system is running slow.  Share your result with your internet service provider as necessary to resolve.
  6. Enable Browser Cookies
    Cookies are small files which are stored on a user’s computer. They are designed to hold a modest amount of data specific to a particular client and website, and can be accessed either by the web server or the client computer. This allows the online server to deliver a page tailored to a particular user, or the page itself can contain some script which is aware of the data in the cookie and so is able to carry information from one visit to the website (or related site) to the next.
  7. Enable Java
    It strongly recommended to have the latest version to ensure proper functionality of our online systems.

    1. Review ‘What is Java and Why do I need it?
    2. Download Java
  8. Manage Pop-Up Blockers
    Pop-up windows, or pop-ups, are windows that appear automatically without your permission. They vary in size but usually don’t cover the whole screen. They are often required for certain online website applications to work properly.
  9. Make sure that your Operating System is fully updated. 
    Neglecting updates could deprive you of important bug and performance fixes.

    1. Apple Computer
    2. PC Computer 
  10. Check your Device Settings
    This is a great tool to identify what is on your computer, browser version, plugins, etc. This tool can help you update your computer yourself, and/or can be provided to tech support to assist you further with troubleshooting.

Canvas and Blackboard: Important Updates

Hello, MiraCosta faculty – happy summer!

As you are hopefully well aware, MiraCosta is transitioning to Canvas. Blackboard and Moodle remain available through next spring, but by summer 2018 we will be fully onto Canvas. This spring, over 20% of our classes used Canvas and I have heard so much positive feedback from faculty and students. Read on for important information about both Canvas and Blackboard.

Canvas Info

If you are planning on working in Canvas this summer, be sure to bookmark MiraCosta’s primary Canvas support page:

https://tic.miracosta.edu/campus-teaching-technologies/canvas/

The page includes information about upcoming Canvas classes and recordings of past classes, screencasts of MiraCosta faculty touring you through their classes, and much more. Full-time faculty can still sign up for the upcoming 4-week online summer Canvas training.

In addition, the following new TIC pages may be of interest:

All summer and fall MiraCosta classes are available to faculty in Canvas, so even if you’re not quite ready to teach with it, you can begin exploring it any time.

We are considering how long faculty would like to keep past classes in Canvas in their Dashboard vs. having the classes moved to the Past Courses area of Canvas. If you would like to learn more about this and weigh in, please take this quick survey.

Blackboard Info

All summer/fall classes continue to be available in Blackboard as well.

A major required update to our Blackboard system is occurring this Monday, June 5, and the Blackboard system will be unavailable throughout the day.

The system’s appearance and functions should remain largely consistent with your previous experience, but if you wish to learn more about the changes that are included in this update, please visit Blackboard’s release notes site and check out the notes for the Q4 2015, Q2 2016, Q4 2016, and Q2 2017 releases.

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

Canvas Start of the Semester Instructor Checklist

Create or Import your Content

You have multiple ways to build your class

• Copy content from a previous semester in Canvas:

• Create your content from scratch in Canvas:

• Import content from a Blackboard course:

Review Assignments, Quizzes, and Discussions

  • Verify activities to be used in the course are published.
  • Verify dates. Due dates are added to the calendar and the syllabus and serve as reminders to students. “Available from” and “Until” dates will unlock and lock the activity.
  • Verify instructions are accurate and well formatted.
  • Verify the submission type (assignments only).
  • Verify number of attempts is correct (quizzes only).
  • Verify assignment groups are set up correctly. See: How to use Assignment Index Page.
  • Verify assignments are weighted correctly, if using a weighted grading system. See: How to Weight Assignment Groups.
  • Verify discussions are ordered logically on Discussions list page.
  • Verify Quiz “Options” are correct. See: Canvas Quiz Options.

Review Course Details

Final Preparations

Cautions

  • Canvas email (Inbox/Conversation) messages will not be sent out if the course is unpublished. Send Email from your SURF Roster instead prior to publishing the course.
  • Pay attention to the time stamp on anything you have placed a date on. 12:00 means the very first minute of the selected day. For end dates, it is often best to choose 11:59 PM to ensure you are setting it up on the correct date.

Export/Import Course Content within Blackboard

This page details how to copy course content from Summer 2015 or later Blackboard courses to a new course on Blackboard.

To copy courses within the Blackboard system, follow the directions below. As a reminder, the Course Copy feature has been disabled and you need to use the Export and Import tools. If you would like to copy a course from the “old Blackboard” (spring 2015 and earlier), please see here.


Export your previous course

Start on https://blackboard.miracosta.edu

 

 

Step A: Export your Courseexport

  1. Enter your previous course at: https://blackboard.miracosta.edu
  2. Click Packages and Utilities in the Control Panel at left
  3. Click Export/Archive Course
  4. Click Export Package on the Action Bar
  5. Under the File Attachments area leave the defaults as is:File Attachments
  6. Click the Select All button
  7. Click Submit

After you click submit, the system begins to create the course package. When the package is complete, you will receive an email from the system.

Step B: Download the Course Package

After you complete Step A and receive the confirmation email, you can download the course package.

  1. Click Packages and Utilities in the Control Panel at left
  2. Click Export/Archive Course
  3. Click the link for the package that you want to download.
  4. Save the file to the appropriate location on your computer.

Note: Do not unzip an export package or delete files from the package, otherwise the package will not be imported correctly.

Repeat Step A and Step B for all courses you would like to export from Blackboard.

Mac Users

If your ZIP file is opening in Safari on the Mac, review these directions to resolve this issue. https://tic.miracosta.edu/safari-export-unzips-resolve/

PC Users

If your ZIP file is opening in Firefox on the PC, review these directions to resolve this issue. https://tic.miracosta.edu/firefox-pc-export-unzips-resolve/


Import your Export File to your new Blackboard Course Shell.

Courses are available at: https://blackboard.miracosta.edu 

 

 

Step C:  Import Your Course Package

  1. Enter your new course at https://blackboard.miracosta.edu
  2. Click Packages and Utilities in the Control Panel at left
  3. Click Import Package / View Logs
  4. Click Import Package.
  5. Provide the path to the course package .zip file that you created in Steps A and B, or click Browse to search for the package file.
  6. Click the Select All button for the course materials to include.
  7. Click Submit.

When the import is complete, you will receive an email from the system. After you receive the email you may return to https://blackboard.miracosta.edu and your content will be available in the course.

Repeat Step C for all courses you would like to import. Be careful to select the correct import file package you created in Steps A and B.

Technical Support

If you need assistance contact Karen Korstad at 760-795-6787 at kkorstad@miracosta.edu

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