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.

Copying into Canvas from Blackboard or Canvas

MiraCosta College is transitioning from Blackboard to Canvas. Starting in summer 2018, Canvas will be the sole supported course management system for MiraCosta classes.

Canvas to Canvas

If you are teaching with Canvas, and/or you have created content within a Canvas course you can copy the entire course or parts of the course into one Canvas course from another.

Blackboard to Canvas

When moving your course from Blackboard to Canvas, it is recommended to only export parts, not all, of your Blackboard course.

These documents will help explain the process.

Content from Blackboard that is most likely to import well into Canvas

  • Announcements
  • Assignments
  • Discussion Boards – Only discussion prompts will transfer over.
  • Tests, Surveys and Pools – These will transfer and be located in the Quizzes section of Canvas. Only multiple choice, fill in the blanks, essay, matching, numerical and formal will transfer. If not supported by Canvas, the question becomes a text only question.

For most other content and activities, it’s best to re-create/re-upload within Canvas. If you try to import entire courses or content areas into Canvas from Blackboard the work to re-organize and clean up the results generally exceeds the work to rebuild. Keep in mind that you can copy-paste text from Blackboard into Canvas – you don’t need to literally retype everything. It’s recommended that you use the “Paste and Match Style” command in your browser’s Edit menu, or first paste into an intermediate program where you can convert to unstyled text, to ensure that you don’t paste in unwanted code.

We have training classes and videos with ideas for Canvas. Check out the Canvas Information & Resources page.

Camtasia and Snagit

Camtasia SnagitMiraCosta College has a site license for TechSmith Camtasia and Snagit. The software is available at no cost to employees for on campus and home computers.

 

Obtaining the Software

On Campus Computer

This software is included in computer installations as part of MiraCosta’s basic software configuration. If your campus computer does not have these tools, submit a helpdesk ticket, requesting the latest version of Camtasia and Snagit.

Contact the Employee Helpdesk at 760-795-6850 for questions and assistance.

Home Computer

E-mail Abdy Afzali aafzali@miracosta.edu or call (760) 757-2121 ext 6731 if you are interested in the Camtasia or Snagit software for home usage.

Software Overview

Find out more about Camtasia and Snagit.

Camtasia Tutorials

PC

MAC

Snagit Tutorials

PC

MAC

Screen Recording for YouTube Recommendation

For screen recording (creating a video), either within Snagit or Camtasia Studio, Karen Turpin recommends the following settings for a clear YouTube video output.

  1. Use the Chrome web browser
  2. Record at the custom size  1280 x 720
    1. You can set this at time of recording by selecting a custom size.
  3. On the Chrome browser zoom in to 110% or 120% .
    1. This will help create readable text within the video.

MCC Canvas Tutorials & Articles

 

A collection of MCC specific tutorials & articles can be found below, or search for a topic in the search box in the top right corner of this website. The official Canvas Guides are a great source of tutorials on all Canvas features for instructors. You may also be interested in MiraCosta’s general Canvas Information & Resources page.

Assignments

Calendar

Communication Tools

Content / Course Design

Google Docs

Grades

LTI Tools

People

Start / End of Semester

Support

 

Return to Canvas Information & Resources

Canvas Information & Resources

Canvas-Logo

MiraCosta’s Canvas system may be accessed at miracosta.instructure.com – faculty and students log in with their SURF username and password. You’ll also find buttons to log into each of MiraCosta’s course management systems at miracosta.edu/onlineSee below for many great resources to help you learn to use Canvas, and earn MiraCosta Flex credit along the way.

 


Top Canvas Resources for Faculty

  • Canvas Instructor Guides – comprehensive step-by-step tutorials on all Canvas features
  • Canvas Instructor videos – small but useful set of videos on key Canvas features
  • MiraCosta Canvas tutorials – locally created guides on key Canvas features and how Canvas works with SURF
  • Still transitioning from Blackboard or Moodle to Canvas? Please review this guide with links to key resources.
  • 24-7 Canvas hotline for faculty: 1-833-345-2890
  • Questions about how Canvas works specifically at MiraCosta? Contact Karen Turpin, Online Instructional Technologist: kturpin@miracosta.edu / 760-795-6787

Canvas Workshops

Online Introduction to Teaching with Canvas

Over 250 MiraCosta faculty members signed up for 4-week online “Introduction to Teaching with Canvas” classes in 2017-18. If there is additional demand for this class in the future, Online Ed will consider how best to offer it. MiraCosta faculty and staff can also join a completely independent version of the class. You’d be working on your own through the material without feedback from instructors nor regular communication with fellow students, but it may be a helpful way to get up to speed on the basics of Canvas on your own. You may also be interested in joining the free @One version of this class – see the @One catalog to sign up for an upcoming session.

Videos of Past MiraCosta Workshops

Flex Credit is available for viewing MiraCosta workshop videos. This is a pre-approved activity (in the Other Activities category Conferences and Presentations) – see this PDP presentation for details on how to record pre-approved activities.

Tour a MiraCosta Canvas Class!

What does a Canvas class look like? Well, there are a number of approaches to designing a class in Canvas. Check out some short videos by MiraCosta faculty. And then go behind the scenes – in Canvas – to learn more!

Gail Meinhold – Nutrition & Aging (4:45)
Explore some of Gail’s course and get tips from her – in Canvas!

Robert Kelley – Behavioral Stats (4:13)
Explore some of Robert’s course and get tips from him – in Canvas!
Canvas Student Orientation – this open Canvas course can also be a good way for faculty to introduce themselves to Canvas from the student perspective. Faculty are also welcome to link directly to this resource within their own Canvas classes to help their students learn key features of Canvas.

curry mitchell – English 100 (6:02)
Explore some of curry’s course and get tips from him – in Canvas!
Explore curry’s tips and code for Tabs, Accordions, Buttons, and Grids – in Canvas!

Billy Gunn – Film 111 (6:48)
Explore some of Billy’s course and get tips from him – in Canvas!

Leola McClure – Group Communication (5:01)

Flex Credit is available for time spent engaging with any of the above resources. This is a pre-approved activity (in the Other Activities category Conferences and Presentations) – see this PDP presentation for details on how to record pre-approved activities.

More Faculty Resources

Again, Flex Credit is available for time spent engaging with any of the above resources.

Blackboard to Canvas Transition Resources

Moodle to Canvas Transition Resources

Canvas Faculty and Student Support

MiraCosta’s Online Education department provides support for faculty using Canvas, and MiraCosta’s Student Help Desk provides support for students in Canvas classes.

When local support is unavailable, including evenings and weekends, Canvas provides technical support for faculty and students at the following phone numbers.

Faculty: 1-833-345-2890

Students: 1-877-884-1673

Canvas has excellent “Getting Started” guides for faculty and for students. See above for more faculty training resources.

Faculty and students can also create a helpdesk ticket for support from within Canvas by clicking on the Help icon and then selecting Report a Problem.

You may also review recent and upcoming updates to the Canvas system, as well as submitting or voting on feature additions and changes you’d like.

Canvas Status Updates

Click the link below if you are experiencing Canvas errors – these may be due to temporary issues with the entire Canvas LMS service and not something we control locally.

Canvas Status Updates

LTI Tools Available in Canvas

  • Turnitin – originality checking, online grading and peer review
  • ConferNow – Live web conferencing using Zoom
  • Google Drive – enabling tighter integration between Google apps and Canvas
  • Various publisher tools – click to learn more
  • Many other LTI tools (“Apps”) are available – some have been made available institutionally and you can see those in the Navigation tab of Course Settings; others can be enabled by faculty individually; you can see those in the Apps tab of Course Settings. See the Canvas Guide on the App Center to learn more.

Workarounds

Canvas does not have a dedicated journaling tool like the one in Blackboard. However, it is possible to use Canvas tools to provide students with a place to submit their writings or reflections at various points throughout the semester. This is done by creating a series of assignments within the same assignment group.

How did MiraCosta get to Canvas?

MiraCosta College took on a comprehensive Course Management System evaluation in spring 2016 that led to the selection of Canvas. The college then transitioned away from Blackboard and Moodle and to Canvas during 2016-17 and 2017-18. Starting in summer 2018, Canvas is the sole supported course management system for MiraCosta classes.

One of MiraCosta’s early Canvas adopters, music professor Christy Coobatis, says this about using Canvas in spring 2017:

Has been an extremely successful semester because of it! 

Both students and I loved the program.

I have more and clearer communication than ever before!

Another, Adult High School professor Julie Cord, says:

I am in LOVE with Canvas and I truly feel it has helped support my students and my teaching already in very substantial ways.

1 2 3