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.
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/online . See below for many great resources to help you learn to use Canvas, and earn MiraCosta Flex credit along the way.
Questions about how Canvas works specifically at MiraCosta? Contact Karen Turpin, Online Instructional Technologist: firstname.lastname@example.org / 760-795-6787
Do you think Canvas might be down or experiencing errors? Check the Canvas Status website.
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.
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!
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.
Guide from @One that shows the relationship between Canvas tools and Blackboard tools, and provides links to tutorials on the Canvas tools.
In many cases, it may be easier to re-create classes in Canvas rather than exporting a class from Blackboard and importing it into Canvas. However, you may wish to try exporting portions of Blackboard classes, or entire classes, and importing into Canvas. See Copying Into Canvas from Blackboard or Canvas for details.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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: