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.

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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
  • 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
  • Do you think Canvas might be down or experiencing errors? Check the Canvas Status website.

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.

CMS Evaluation 2016

In spring 2016, MiraCosta College conducted a re-evaluation of its course management system (CMS). This site served as a key resource during the process; now it remains as documentation of how the decision was made. You may also view/download a 6-page document describing the selection of Canvas and recommendations for a 2-year transition period from Blackboard and Moodle to Canvas.

Spring 2016 CMS Evaluation Timeline

  • January: Blackboard, Moodle, and Canvas conduct one-hour in-person presentations/demonstrations during Flex week (see below for recordings)
  • February: CMS Evaluation taskforce begins the process, dividing into subcommittees: Decision Analysis, Input Gathering, and Public Relations. (see below for details)
  • March: Intensive gathering of feedback from stakeholders including faculty, students, and IT staff (see below for details)
  • late March/early April: Analysis of feedback and final recommendation from taskforce
  • April 8: Academic Affairs Committee acts on taskforce recommendation
  • April-May: Governance Councils act on recommendation
  • May: College Council takes final action on recommendation

Videos of Blackboard, Moodle, and Canvas demonstrations

Introduction to January 2016 demonstration day by Jim Julius (about 25 minutes). You may also view the slides.

Vendor presentation/demos – each about an hour:

Canvas
BlackboardMoodle

Wrap-up questions and discussion (about 23 minutes):

March 2016 Hands-On Feedback Opportunities

All faculty, staff, and students were invited to try out Blackboard, Moodle, and Canvas in OC 1201 (library computer classroom) on Tuesday, March 15, 12-4 pm and Friday, March 18, 12-3 pm.

Participants who test drove the systems were asked to complete a survey on their thoughts and preferences. Their feedback was invaluable in helping the Course Management System Evaluation Task Force reach its recommendation. No appointment was needed. Participants dropped in when they had time to give each system a good look and provide feedback. Flex credit was available for faculty.

All faculty, staff, and students were also able to to try out the systems and provide feedback on their own without coming to the lab.

The feedback may be viewed:

Trying out Blackboard, Moodle, and Canvas

In addition to the structured hands-on opportunities described above, faculty could further explore each system in more of a “sandbox” environment:

  • Blackboard: Those who wanted to try the next-generation Blackboard “Ultra” system demonstrated in the video above were able to request access.
  • Moodle: Those who wanted to try MiraCosta’s Moodle system were able to request access.
  • Canvas: All MiraCosta faculty had access to MiraCosta’s OEI Canvas system for the purpose of trying out Canvas (not teaching live classes).

CMS Evaluation Taskforce and Subcommittees

The taskforce’s charge: Develop a recommendation regarding course management system selection to meet MiraCosta’s strategic online learning needs for the next five years.

The taskforce was made up of full- and part-time faculty, classified, student, and administrative representatives. Each taskforce member was also a member of either the Decision Analysis (DA), Input Gathering (IG), or Public Relations (PR) subcommittee.

  • Faculty: Sam Arenivar (DA), Adrean Askerneese (PR), Joanne Carrubba (DA), Mike Deschamps (PR), Billy Gunn (IG), Julie Harland (IG), Jeff Ihara (DA), Jim Julius (PR), Robert Kelley (DA), Richard Ma (IG), Angela Senigaglia (PR)
  • Classified: Robert Erichsen (IG), Karen Korstad (PR), Charlie Medina (IG), Steve Schultz (DA)
  • Administrator: Mike Fino (DA), Mario Valente (DA)
  • Student: Perla Davis (IG), Omar Jimenez (DA), Margo Newkirk (PR)

Taskforce and Subcommittee Leadership: Jim Julius was selected as the Taskforce chair at its initial meeting on 2/1/16. Mike Fino chaired the DA subcommittee with support from Sam Arenivar as the DA facilitator. Billy Gunn chaired the IG subcommittee. Mike Deschamps and Karen Korstad co-chaired the PR subcommittee.

The final decision was arrived at through the task force’s use of the Decision Analysis methodology. You may view the CMS DA final ratings, which show that Canvas was rated superior on 62 out of the 71 separate criteria identified.

Press Releases

FAQs and Further Information

CMS Background

Why and how is MiraCosta doing a CMS evaluation now?

The MiraCosta Online Educators committee has been discussing for some time the possibility of re-evaluating the College’s course management system(s). Most colleges and universities do this periodically to assess whether their current system remains the best choice as products emerge and change, and institutional priorities and goals for online education evolve. The 2015-18 Online Education Plan (written in early 2015) therefore included an action to re-evaluate its course management system.

In spring 2015, the CCC Online Education Initiative announced that Canvas was selected as the Common Course Management System and would be available at no charge to all CCCs.

Early in the fall 2015 semester, the MiraCosta Online Educators committee recommended initiating a CMS evaluation in the 2015-16 academic year, and in Nov. 2015, college leadership and MOE representatives agreed on the composition and charge for a CMS evaluation task force, as well as the inclusion of Blackboard, Moodle, and Canvas as the “contenders.”

In Dec. 2015, the Steering Committee routed responsibility for the task force’s decision through the Academic Affairs Committee; the decision will then be reviewed by the four governance councils: Academic Senate, Classified Senate Council, Associated Student Government Council, and Administrative Council.

Which course management systems have been used at MiraCosta?

Blackboard has been in use since Feb. 2004; Moodle has been another option since Aug. 2007. Etudes was also an option for MiraCosta faculty from July 2008 until June 2011. Note that MiraCosta is quite unusual within higher education in supporting multiple course management systems for use across the entire institution.

How important is a course management system for MiraCosta students and faculty?

A course management system is used by nearly every student and the vast majority of faculty at MiraCosta College. It’s a critical tool for communication, collaboration, assignment and grade management, and course material distribution in not only 100% online and hybrid classes, but most on-ground classes as well.

In fall 2015, nearly 89% of all MiraCosta credit classes used Blackboard or Moodle. Of all 1,589 credit and non-credit classes, 1,295 used Blackboard and 58 used Moodle.

Use of a MiraCosta course management system enables all of our 100% online classes to remain in compliance with federal authentication requirements for distance education, which are represented in MiraCosta Administrative Procedure 4105.

What’s going on with CMSs at other California Community Colleges?

Up to 2015, most California Community Colleges used either Blackboard or Moodle as their CMS; other CMSs in use included Etudes, Desire2Learn, and Canvas. As of this writing (February 2016) between 40 and 50 colleges have committed to switching to Canvas, and many more are expected to do the same in the near future.

Some examples of other CCC websites about their process for considering (or switching) to Canvas:

Within the SDICCCA region, Imperial Valley College, Grossmont-Cuyamaca, and Southwestern also made decisions in spring 2016 to transition to Canvas. Palomar is currently piloting Canvas, and the San Diego CC district is currently in the midst of a major change to their student information system and thus has been holding off on CMS evaluation.

Where can I get more background on CMSs in general?

A little Google searching will go a long way. Course management systems are widely used, but receive far more criticism than love from those who write about them. Here are a few recommended (recent, reasonably unbiased) places to start:

 

 

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