Online Education News Spring 2019

Online Teaching Conference

The CCC Online Teaching Conference returns to Anaheim June 17-19. MiraCosta is always well represented at this conference. Online Ed will fully fund attendance including hotel for a limited number of folks who want to go. If you’d like to go reach out to me for more information.

Professional Development Courses

@ONE offers an incredible array of online teaching classes ranging from general introductory and intermediate courses about online education, to more focused learning experiences related to topics such as culturally responsive teaching, accessibility, assessment, and much more. Check out the catalog.

Just In! New Self-Paced Accessibility Courses through @One! These offerings are FREE.

New Tools in Canvas

Arc Pilot – Arc is a video management system by the same folks who bring us Canvas. It offers a video archive, captioning services, the ability to make comments on videos, and much more – Learn more about Arc. Students have access to Arc as well, so this can be a powerful tool for courses that have video-based assignments. Earlier this Spring, we facilitated some workshops introducing Arc

Notebowl Pilot – This tool helps students stay connected to their online courses through social media-like posting, assignment tracking, and syncing their collective course calendar. Learn more about Notebowl. You can start using Notebowl in Canvas by enabling “Bulletin” in your course Navigation Settings.

NameCoach – Tired of mispronouncing or not knowing the correct pronunciation of a student’s name? NameCoach is to the rescue! This feature, already available in Canvas, allows students and instructors to voice-record their names – making it easier for folks to establish respectful relationships online. Learn more about NameCoach. Video tutorials on local use will be available on the TIC website soon

Title V Changes – Student-to-Student Contact

Potential Title 5 changes will require online classes ensure “student-to-student contact.” To learn more about these changes and techniques for facilitating student-to-student contact in an online environment, check out our Flex Workshop on this issue.

Student Orientation to Online Learning – Remaining Sessions

Please encourage students to attend one of our workshops! They will be introduced to a wealth of resources that will help them with both online and face-to-face learning.


  • Wednesday, February 6 from 12 – 1 pm ONLINE
  • Wednesday, February 6 from 3 – 4 pm OC 1201 (face-to-face)
  • Thursday, February 7 from 1:30 – 2:30 pm ONLINE
  • Monday, March 11 from 4 – 5 pm ONLINE
  • Wednesday, March 13 from 12 – 1 pm OC 1201(face-to-face)
  • Thursday, March 14 from 9 – 10 am ONLINE

Students can sign up here.

CVC-OEI Course Academy

If you teach a fully online C-ID approved course, you are eligible to receive support from the Online Education Initiative in preparation for possibly offering the class on the Course Exchange. Learn more about the Course Design Academy and/or sign up for a spring informational meeting.

That is all for now, folks! I wish you happiness and fulfillment in all of your online and screenless endeavors!

Sean Davis
Peace.Love.Unity.Justice for All.
my pronouns: he, him, his
Faculty Director of Online Education (Interim – Spring 2019)
Sociology Department

ARC Online Video Learning Platform

ARC Logo

Arc is the next-generation online video learning platform available within Canvas that unmutes learning by turning one‑way, passive video into inclusive, productive discussion. ARC is available to all MiraCosta College faculty, staff, and students through our Canvas LMS platform.

Arc is available in faculty and students from the main blue navigation bar in MCC Canvas.

ARC Main Navigation

Arc is also available to faculty only on the navigation menu within a Canvas course to RECORD or ADD video content.

Arc Course Navigation


Note that when accessing ARC within the Canvas Rich Content Editor, you’ll need to click the More External Tools button (looks like a V) and then select Arc from the bottom of the list.

Arc in Rich Content Editor in Canvas

Helpful Guides

Key ARC tutorials/videos to get you started:

To learn more about ARC and Canvas,  View the full set of ARC tutorials


Canvas Start of the Semester Instructor Checklist

Create or Import your Content

Multiple ways to begin to build your class

• Copy from another class in Canvas. Your access to classes you have previously taught in Canvas continues indefinitely.

• Copy in an entire course or portions of one from Canvas Commons.

• Create your content from scratch in Canvas

• Import content you previously exported 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


  • 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.

Quizzes.Next in Canvas

Quizzes.Next is Canvas’s new quiz/test assessment engine. Quizzes.Next will replace the original Quiz function in the near future (late fall 2018 or spring 2019, most likely).

Teachers can use Quizzes.Next to create assessments using a variety of question types, including some unavailable in the original Quiz tool. Quizzes.Next assessments are a particular type of Assignment rather than a distinct tool.

Locate Quizzes.Next in Canvas

  1. Click Assignments in the Canvas course menu
  2. Click the +Quiz/Test button near the top right of the screen.


Getting Started with Quizzes.Next

FAQs and Known Issues

As of summer 2018, Quizzes.Next is in Beta. You may find a few issues as you begin to work with this tool. Check the FAQ and Known Issues, and contact Canvas Support to report issues and get help.


Academic Integrity and Canvas Exams

Though cheating is certainly not unique to the online environment, many instructors have  reasonable concerns about opportunities for students to cheat online. These concerns may include:

  • inappropriate access to resources when completing an online assessment
  • copying answers or text found online
  • sharing answers with other students
  • contracting with a third party to complete online classwork

There are many approaches to decreasing the likelihood or ability for students to cheat in the online environment.

Course Redesign: Consider combining or replacing objective tests with other methods of assessment, such as projects, collaborative work, writing assignments, and personal reflections. Multiple choice and essay questions requiring application of skills and knowledge rather than simple factual recall are harder to cheat on. Consider designing tests as open note/open resource so that you do not get caught in an “arms race” with students. Consider requiring students to turn in drafts of projects and written work (for feedback from instructor and/or peers) well in advance of a final due date. Alter assignments and tests from semester to semester. Consider including more formative assessments and activities, and making high-stakes objective assessment a smaller portion of the overall course grade.

Proctoring: For objective assessments critical to the learning outcomes for an online course, consider using the MiraCosta Proctoring Center. For students at a distance, the Proctoring Center can help to establish proctoring in other locations. You may also consider the use of an online proctoring technology; Proctorio is available to MiraCosta faculty for this purpose.

Code of Conduct and Instructor Leadership: Discuss with students the reasons why academic integrity is important. Emphasize the benefits (and pleasures!) of truly engaging with course material and learning, rather than focusing on grades. Have students sign or even jointly develop a statement summarizing the expectations and requirements for academic honesty. Include a question on exams that has students agree to the code of conduct and/or that has students indicate that they have completed the exam on their own without using prohibited resources.

Making Canvas Exams More Secure

When conducting tests through Canvas, the following methods can further reduce the risk of cheating. Note that as of fall 2018, Canvas has two different tools for conducting tests – Quizzes (the original) and Quizzes.Next. Quizzes.Next is still being developed; at this time it has both advantages and limitations (view a comparison and/or a Quizzes.Next FAQ) compared to the original Quizzes tool, but it is expected to eventually fully replace Quizzes. Canvas guides for both Quizzes and Quizzes.Next are given for each item below as applicable.

  • Availability Window – Restrict the availability of the test to a specific date/time range. Quizzes | Quizzes.Next
  • Time Limits – Limit the time a student can spend on a test once they start it. Quizzes | Quizzes.Next
  • Disallow Multiple Attempts – Multiple attempts is a great option for a “mastery” quiz where you want students to retake it until they achieve a certain level of proficiency; this isn’t typical of a summative, high-stakes assessment. Quizzes | Quizzes.Next
  • Delay Per-Question Feedback (Quizzes only) – Providing students feedback on each question can help them learn; delaying the availability of this feedback until after the test availability window is over can help ensure the integrity of the exam. Quizzes [As of fall 2018, if feedback is built into a Quizzes.Next assessment, it is provided to students immediately and cannot be delayed.]
  • Answer Randomization – Answers to multiple choice questions can be randomized/shuffled so they are presented differently for different students. (Note: In Quizzes this is one setting for the entire quiz; in Quizzes.Next this is a per-question setting.) Quizzes | Quizzes.Next
  • Present Questions One at a Time – This can make it more difficult for students to “collaborate” if questions are also randomized. An additional option can prevent students from going back to previous questions, which can further strengthen the integrity of the exam, but can also frustrate students who legitimately realize they made a mistake on a previous question and wish to correct it. Quizzes | Quizzes.Next
  • Shuffle Questions (Quizzes.Next only) – This will present the quiz questions to students in random order. Quizzes.Next
  • Question Randomization with a Question Group/Item Bank – Drawing questions randomly from a pool (or pools) can make it even more difficult for students to productively share questions during an exam. Keep in mind that if your pool contains more questions than the number of questions you are drawing from the pool to go into the exam, you need to be careful about maintaining consistency of the questions within the pool (both in terms of outcomes measured and difficulty of the questions). Quizzes | Quizzes.Next
  • Calculated (Formula) Questions – Formula questions can include a range of values for one term/variable. Thus, the same question will have unique answers across different quizzes, but the question can still be auto-graded. Quizzes | Quizzes.Next
  • Require Presentation of ID – if you are not using a physical proctoring center, but you would like students to demonstrate that the person taking the test is the person enrolled in your class, one suggestion is to have students record a brief video holding a picture ID next to their face. If you use Proctorio, this step can automatically be included when enabling video proctoring; if you don’t, you could add an Essay question that directs students to access their webcam through the Rich Content Editor and record this. Of course, this requires students to have a webcam (and still wouldn’t prevent the student from doing this, then having someone else complete the rest of the exam). Quizzes | Quizzes.Next
  • Restrict Computer Activity During Exam – Technology such as Proctorio enables faculty to require that student’s computer and browser are “locked down” during an exam, preventing students from opening other browser windows or applications, taking screen captures, etc. This requires specific technology on the student computer. Note that Proctorio as of fall 2018 works only with Canvas Quizzes, not Quizzes.Next.
1 2 3