MiraCosta College is transitioning from Blackboard and Moodle to Canvas during 2016-17 and 2017-18. Starting in summer 2018, Canvas will be the sole supported course management system for MiraCosta classes. If you are interested, see the details on the spring 2016 process that led to the selection of Canvas.
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.
See below for many great resources to help you learn to use Canvas, and earn MiraCosta Flex credit along the way.
MiraCosta Faculty Workshops
4-week online Introduction to Teaching with Canvas
MiraCosta faculty members from the Canvas Transition Team oversee 4-week online “Introduction to Teaching with Canvas” classes in two versions. The Facilitated class is designed to require about 10 hours per week and includes required discussion board participation, completion of practice work, and optional weekly live online meetings. The Self-Paced class has the same “assignments” but no required interaction, for an estimated 7.5 hours/week.
Participating faculty may claim Flex credit for the time they spend on this class, up to a maximum of 40 hours for Facilitated or 30 hours for Self-Paced. Record your Flex time in MyFlex in the Coursework category under Other Activities. Additionally, those who complete the class requirements satisfactorily will receive a Certificate of Completion.
This was offered 7 times in 2017 and we will offer 3 Self-Paced classes in spring 2018:
Feb. 19 – Mar. 16, led by Sean Davis and Billy Gunn
Mar. 26 – Apr. 20, led by Sean Davis and curry mitchell
Apr. 23 – May 18, led by Billy Gunn and curry mitchell
Independent Study Introduction to Teaching with Canvas
MiraCosta faculty and staff can also join a completely independent version of the class described above. You’d be working on your own through the material without any 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.
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.
Want a personal consultation with an experienced MiraCosta faculty member? Contact a member of the MiraCosta Canvas Transition Team: Robert Kelley (Psychology), Billy Gunn (Film), Curry Mitchell (English), Sean Davis (Sociology). Sean is available at the San Elijo campus (SE 513) on Tuesday/Thursday afternoons between 1:20-2:20.
Moderated and time-bound version @One Introduction to Teaching with Canvas – normally there is a fee but MiraCosta faculty may sign up for free using the code OEIfree4U – you may prefer the local MiraCosta version of this linked above
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. These resources may help:
Guide from Oregon State on which Blackboard tools/content import well to Canvas and which do not (currently unavailable).
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.
All spring 2017 classes are available to faculty now in both Blackboard and Canvas. MiraCosta will support Blackboard, Moodle, and Canvas through spring of 2018, with full conversion to Canvas by summer 2018. (Faculty who wish to use Moodle for any classes should request those from Karen Korstad – email@example.com).
Please see the TIC page on Canvas for lots of great resources if you wish to begin learning about Canvas. A number of MiraCosta faculty have been teaching Canvas pilot classes this fall, including the Canvas Transition Team of Billy Gunn, Curry Mitchell, Gail Meinhold, Leola McClure, and Robert Kelley. They are currently developing training resources to share with all faculty, and we will soon release a list of Canvas introduction/open lab sessions to be held this fall. We are also planning an all-day Canvas workshop for the first day of Flex week in January (Friday the 13th).
The Blackboard system update on 9/25/16 (required for system security) introduced a bug within the discussion board tool.
Discussion boards which are set to Unavailable are no longer accessible by the instructor. If you have such discussion boards and you try to access them, you will get a message reading:
Either you are not logged in or you do not have the appropriate privileges to perform this action.
The workaround is you need to edit the discussion board and change its setting to Available. Then you will be able to access it. Clearly, this is not ideal, and we hope that Blackboard will fix this soon.
Here’s an addition to the workaround that will keep students out while the discussion board is set to Available. It’s a lot of extra work, but if you absolutely do not want students to access a discussion board while it is available for you to work on, you can follow this procedure.
It relies on using the “manage” option for the discussion board, and changing all the users with role “Participant” to instead have the role “Blocked”. The blocked users will still see the forum listed in the discussions, but when selecting it they will get the access denied message. But unblocked users (i.e. the instructor) can enter it.
Ensure that your Discussion Board forum is set to Available and is accessible to you.
Hover your mouse over the title for the forum then click the “options menu” icon (the circle with a “v” in it) that appears.
Select “Manage” to see a list of all the people who have access to the forum
If you have a large class, click the option to “show all”.
Click the checkbox in the column header to select everyone in the course.
Deselect the checkbox for anyone that should have continued access.
Select “Edit Role”
Remember if you block students using the additional workaround above, you will need to unblock them when you want them to be able to post and/or view the discussion board. Unblock by following the same procedure above, but in step 8 assign everyone the role “Participant”.
As you have likely heard, MiraCosta College will be transitioning to the Canvas course management system over the next two years. This decision was finalized on Friday by the College Council, concluding an in-depth and inclusive process this spring. The attached 6-page document summarizes the evaluation process and provides an overview of the transition timeline and support over the next two years
Some important highlights:
Blackboard and Moodle will continue to be available through spring 2018; only Canvas will be supported for MiraCosta classes starting in summer 2018.
MiraCosta’s Canvas system will be available to all faculty starting this November.
For fall semester instruction, we have a limited license for Canvas, allowing for 400 total users (faculty and students), meaning that we likely can have 10-15 instructors using Canvas for one class each in fall 2016.
See the MiraCosta TIC site with many links for Canvas training and support.
I am planning to soon send out a call for interest in being one of the 10-15 fall pilot faculty using Canvas for one class. The intent is that this group would be involved over several semesters, and thus this opportunity is open only to full-time faculty. The expectations and support of these faculty are to be negotiated by the district and Faculty Assembly, but if you would like to let me know of your interest in this opportunity, please feel free to let me know. Once the structure has been determined for the pilot group, I will send a message to all full-time faculty.
It is worth noting that over 70 other California Community Colleges have also made the decision to transition to Canvas, including several of our SDICCCA neighbors.
Finally, my thanks to the faculty, staff, students and administrators who participated on the CMS evaluation task force. They accomplished excellent work in a very tight timeframe, and MiraCosta should be confident in the quality of the decision-making process.