Back-to-School Online Ed News You Can Use

Hope everyone had a great summer! Lots has happened in the Online Ed realm – please see below and click links to learn more. Best wishes in your final preparations for fall classes!

Blackboard and Turnitin Updates – Very important

    • If you’ve been away for the summer, you may not yet have noticed the Blackboard system update, with new features and functions to learn about
    • This update means your procedure for copying content from previous courses to fall courses or helping students finish incompletes is different – your old courses are on a different server
    • The Blackboard system will receive minor updates on August 13 which will fix current YouTube and Turnitin integration issues in Blackboard.
    • DO NOT copy old Turnitin assignments to fall courses, and until August 13, don’t create new Turnitin assignments either. After August 13, you may create new Turnitin assignments (though please note that the Turnitin company is taking Turnitin down on Aug. 15 from 7-11 am for maintenance).
    • Voice Authoring is no longer working properly in Blackboard and is permanently removed. 
    • Opt-in Blackboard notifications via text messages are not working – we are still hoping to get this fixed. 
  • Finally, if you or your students use the Blackboard Mobile Learn application, it will need to be reconnected to MiraCosta’s Blackboard system.

Fall Flex – Reserve your spot now! 

Sign up now for August Flex workshops. You may also review the details of the Online Education workshops that Karen and I (and some additional faculty) are offering before entering MyFlex.

Online Academic Support Resources for ALL Students

As you finalize your syllabi and course resources, please make your students aware of online tutoringonline writing center, and the 24×7 online ask-a-librarian service (under “ASK US” at upper right). These services are open to all MiraCosta students in any class! Also, the OEI has made its set of student online learning readiness modules open and available to anyone – feel free to link to any that you like.

Fall Student Orientations to Online Learning 

I will offer eleven online learning orientation sessions this fall. Please share the schedule with your online/hybrid students and encourage their attendance. I will provide a report to online instructors of the students who have completed this orientation this fall or previously. 

Online Instructors: Please Update Online Class Schedule

For all those teaching an online or hybrid course this fall, please make sure your class description is up to date on the separate Online Class Schedule page. Students use this page to learn how to get started with your class, and you can provide other important information there to help students prepare for success.

Zaption Pilot

Zaption enables creation of assessments within videos, and integrates with Blackboard to provide detailed analytics on video viewing and assessment results. We still have a few faculty spots for a pilot over the 2015-16 year. Please contact me if you are interested.

Online Education Initiative (OEI)

Much has happened over the summer. The biggest news is that the OEI is making the selected common course management system, Canvas, available to all CCCs at no cost. It’s very likely that a faculty-led effort will take a close look at MiraCosta’s course management system selection this year. MiraCosta will continue to offer two pilot OEI courses this fall, and will continue to have opportunities for more faculty to offer pilot classes in upcoming semesters. To learn more about OEI, please see or feel free to contact me if you have questions.

Encouraging a Growth Mindset in Students

A wonderful online educator from the U. of Oklahoma, Laura Gibbs, is looking for collaborators on a project to help promote a growth mindset in students through fun and simple memes (pictures with sayings). Check out her resource site and invitation to collaborate:

Jim Julius, Ed.D.
Faculty Director, Online Education

April Online Ed News You Can Use

Blackboard Updates

  • Look for your summer and fall course shells in early May. A significant software and hardware upgrade for our Blackboard system is underway. Look for details on the system changes and process for updating your courses in late April.
  • The Blackboard Mobile Learn app, available for Apple and Android products, has been important to many faculty and students in providing better mobile access to many Blackboard features. Now accessing MiraCosta courses through the app is free – the previous small fee is gone. Learn more here and please share this information with your students!

OEI Town Hall: Tomorrow (4/8)

If you’d like to learn more about the CCC Online Education Initiative, tune in to the live stream of the OEI Town Hall event tomorrow, April 8, 10-11:50 am. Learn more and tune in here.

Student Support Resources, Online

As the end of the semester approaches, please remind your students about online tutoring, the online writing center, and the 24×7 online ask-a-librarian service (under “ASK US” at upper right). These services are open to all MiraCosta students – a great way for busy students to get support they need when they can’t come to the library.

Online Orientations to Student Learning Complete

The final two online orientation to student learning sessions were held after spring break. Nearly 250 students attended in all this spring. If you are an instructor who would like to review the list of attending students, let me know.

Online Teaching Conference in San Diego

More than two dozen MiraCostans have expressed interest in attending the Online Teaching Conference in San Diego, June 18-19, with funding from my office (Online Education). Early bird registration ends April 17, so let me know if you are interested ASAP.

Jim Julius, Ed.D.
Faculty Director, Online Education

Online Teaching Conference 2015 | Be an Early Bird!

Online Teaching Conference LogoThe Online Teaching Conference is in San Diego on June 18-19, with pre-conference workshops on June 17. As in recent years, I am able to help fund attendance, and I hope we again send a strong group of MiraCostans. The conference is focused on online teaching and learning in the California Community Colleges, and is a great opportunity to hear from and network with faculty and student services staff about helping students to succeed with online education. Keynotes include Phil Hill and Michael Feldstein of the excellent e-Literate blog, along with Online Education Initiative director Pat James.

If you are interested, please let me know soon, so that you can register at the early bird rate (by April 17) and so that I can plan the year-end Online Education budget accordingly.

Some procedural notes & caveats:

  • If you are planning to go, you’ll need to have your travel request signed by me in addition to the usual signers.
  • Note that because this conference is outside of the fall/spring semesters, it is not Flex-eligible for associate faculty.
  • Note that because the conference is local, most of our attendees will not be eligible for hotel stay or meal reimbursement. You will receive mileage reimbursement and conference registration. If you believe you have special circumstances that warrant coverage of hotel expenses, let me know.
  • Note that pre-conference workshops in which goods are provided (iPads, books, software, etc.) cannot be paid for via travel funds. You would need to find another source of funds to cover those fees if you are interested.

Jim Julius, Ed.D.
Faculty Director, Online Education

March Online Ed News You Can Use

Happy Spring!

Blackboard email Issues

Last spring, AOL and Yahoo changed some of their email rules (aka “DMARC”) to try to cut down on spam. Email messages with return addresses from AOL and Yahoo-family domains which did not actually originate from one of their servers are rejected by email systems following the DMARC rules, meaning that for some people, email they send from Blackboard is not received by others. We expect AIS to put a workaround in place over spring break. It does not fix email generated by Blackboard from tools such as announcements, grade center, and discussion boards. Email from these areas should be fixed during the next major Blackboard version upgrade, which is planned to take place between the spring and summer semesters.

Online Teaching Conference: Call for Proposals

The Online Teaching Conference will again be in San Diego, June 18-19. The call for proposals is open until March 15. As in recent years, I anticipate being able to help fund attendance, especially for accepted presenters, so please let me know if you are interested. (Note that because this conference is outside of the fall/spring semesters, it is not Flex-eligible for associate faculty.)

Online Education Initiative (OEI) updates

See the latest update on the OEI from executive director Pat James, with details about the selection of Canvas as the OEI common course management system, and insights from an OEI professional development summit held in San Diego last month (which was attended by four MiraCostans). Upcoming opportunities to learn more about the OEI include an ASCCC online education meeting on March 21, an OEI Town Hall at the Campus Technology conference in Long Beach on April 8, and the Online Teaching Conference in San Diego, June 18-19.

Late Start Online Learning Orientations for Students

This spring’s last two Student Orientation to Online Learning sessions will be held on the OC campus 3/24, and online 3/25. Details are on the TASC student success workshop site.

Professional Learning Opportunities  All Flex-Eligible

Jim Julius, Ed.D.
Faculty Director, Online Education

February Online Ed News You Can Use

Online Education Initiative (OEI) updates

OEI has made its selection of a common course management system: Canvas. Read more about the selection, or put on your hype goggles and learn about Canvas. We do not know when Canvas might become widely available, but we do expect that our OEI pilot courses will be offered via Canvas beginning next spring. MiraCosta’s first two OEI pilot courses are running this semester, taught by Curry Mitchell (English) and Christopher Sleeper (History). See also the latest general update on the OEI from executive director Pat James, and you can also review MOE’s OEI FAQ.

Online Learning Orientations for Students

Over 220 students attended online learning orientations this spring, nearly doubling the total attendance since these began to be offered last spring. Students mentioned more than 35 faculty as referring them to this workshop. Two more sessions will be available after spring break. If you are an instructor who would like to see the list of attending students, let me know.

Professional Learning Opportunities – All Flex Eligible

  • Check out an archive of a MiraCosta online ed workshop.
  • The ASCCC (Academic Senate of the California Community Colleges) is holding free Online Education regional meetings. The southern CA meeting is March 21 at Mt. San Antonio College. Learn more and sign up here.

The Online Teaching Conference will again be in San Diego, from June 18-19. The call for proposals is not yet open, but should be soon. As in recent years, I anticipate being able to help fund attendance, so please let me know.

Jim Julius, Ed.D.
Faculty Director, Online Education

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