Back-to-School Online Ed News You Can Use

Welcome back! Please review the important information below about online learning resources for you and your students.

Common Blackboard Tasks – Reminder

See our reminder videos and guides on copying course content from previous semesters and making your Blackboard course available.

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. 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 ten online learning orientation sessions this fall. Please share the schedule with your online/hybrid students and encourage their attendance. You may pull a report from the SURF Class Roster to see which of your students have attended an orientation session if you wish to require this or offer extra credit, as many instructors do.

Online/Hybrid 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. See detailed instructions if needed.

Canvas Transition

Following the decision made in the spring, the two-year transition to Canvas is beginning this fall with a small group of pilot instructors, including a Transition Team of five faculty who will be providing leadership and support for faculty making the transition over the coming year. Please see the TIC page on Canvas for lots of great resources if you wish to begin exploring Canvas now. The Transition Team will work with me to offer many learning opportunities on Canvas this fall – more information coming soon!

Distance Education Requirements and Guidelines

Please review the online class quality guidelines approved by the Academic Senate in the spring. The document has two parts – (I) Essential elements for all distance education classes as already required in department and college policies (especially AP 4105 and the Syllabus Checklist), and (II) Good practices featuring principles and examples commonly recommended for consideration in online education. You may review a 1-page handout and a 50-minute archive of a workshop I conducted earlier this week on this document.

Captioning Support

Robert Erichsen of DSPS is coordinating the submission of media for captioning through a special grant-funded program. This is open to all instructors using online multimedia and it’s extremely important that we ensure such material is captioned. Please contact him to learn more: rerichsen@miracosta.edu

Best wishes for a great semester!

Jim Julius, Ed.D.
Faculty Director, Online Education
Vice President, Academic Senate

Message to Summer and Fall DE Instructors

Hello – as an instructor of a summer and/or fall online/hybrid class at MiraCosta, the following information and action items are especially for you.

1. Update Online Class Schedule

It’s time to update the MiraCosta Online Course Schedule. It is VERY important that you complete this. Students use this information during registration and after enrolling to find out more about your class(es). Students have been learning about this resource during the Student Orientation to Online Learning and appreciate having more details about online and hybrid classes.

Providing clear, detailed information helps students (a) determine if your class is right for them, and (b) get ready for success in your course. For fully online classes, students may be anxious about how they are expected to get started. For hybrid classes, students want to know what the expectations are for in-person meetings and/or proctoring. Please add this information! Some instructors include details such as how much time students should expect to commit, what days work will be due for online classes, and/or what course materials are required.

Lisa Lane from the Program for Online Teaching has developed a video tutorial to demonstrate the process to update online class schedule. Or follow these directions:

  1. Go to the Online Course Schedule
  2. Click the Faculty Login link at the top right, and log in with your MCC username and password
    3. In the left menu, click on the + symbol to the left of Faculty Preferences (if the + symbol is displaying)
    4. In the left menu, click on Set Preferences (be patient, may take a few moments)
    5. Select the Term if necessary, and then select your class.
    6. If you have information from previous classes, you may copy it to the current class, or provide new information.
    7. Click the Set/Update Preferences button at bottom. A message appears toward the top, “Your preferences have been set for this course.”
    8. You may close the window, or choose a new class to update.

2. Incorporate Online Student Services, and consider tutoring options

Please make your students aware in your syllabus and online environment of online tutoring, online writing center, and the 24×7 online ask-a-librarian service (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.

A new online tutoring option for MiraCosta distance education classes is NetTutor, which is available to MiraCosta as a CCC Online Education Initiative pilot college. NetTutor provides 24×7 coverage of just about any academic subject, and is available via a link embedded within your class course management system environment (Blackboard or Moodle). The link would take students directly to the subject-specific tutoring area with no additional login required. Also with NetTutor, each instructor may specify “Rules of Engagement” that inform tutors about the approach and resources you would like them to use when working with your students. Contact me if you’re interested in NetTutor for your summer or fall class(es).

3. Refer your students to the Student Orientation to Online Learning

Over 1200 MiraCosta students have attended one of these sessions over the last two years. I will offer two online learning orientation sessions this summer and ten in the fall. Please share the schedule with your online/hybrid students and encourage their attendance. You can use SURF to find out which of your students have attended. When you scroll to the bottom of the Class Roster page, and click the “Student Orientation to Online Learning Roster” link, a PDF should open in a new browser tab or window with a roster showing which students attended an orientation, and on what date.

4. Consider the new MiraCosta Online Class Quality Guidelines

In March, the Academic Senate approved online class quality guidelines developed by the MiraCosta Online Educators committee. The document has two parts – (I) Essential elements for all distance education classes as already required in department and college policies and practices, and (II) Good practices featuring principles and examples commonly recommended for consideration in online education. Please take a look at these guidelines and put them to use!

Jim Julius, Ed.D.
Faculty Director, Online Education
Vice President, Academic Senate

MiraCosta transitioning to Canvas

Hello!

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.
  • Faculty who wish to try out Canvas prior to November but who are not part of the fall pilot group may access Canvas for free via https://www.canvaslms.com/try-canvas.
  • 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.

Jim Julius, Ed.D.
Faculty Director, Online Education
Vice President, Academic Senate

April Online Ed News You Can Use

Welcome back!

Course Management System Evaluation – STILL TIME FOR YOU TO PROVIDE INPUT!

Thanks to all who have responded to the CMS evaluation survey to help our task force choose between Blackboard, Moodle and Canvas. If you haven’t yet done so, please see http://miracosta.edu/cms-eval for background on the evaluation, and by this Thursday morning, faculty may complete the feedback process detailed at:

https://tic.miracosta.edu/campus-teaching-technologies/cms-evaluation-2016/cms-evaluation-2016-faculty-experience

Student Orientation to Online Learning – TUESDAY and WEDNESDAY

Two final SOOL sessions (especially for late-start online students) will be offered on 3/29 (4 pm) and 3/30 (9 am), both online.

Any instructor can now use SURF to find out which of their students have attended. Scroll to the bottom of any SURF Class Roster page, and click the “Student Orientation to Online Learning Roster” link to get a PDF showing which students attended an orientation, and on what date.

MiraCosta Online Class Quality Guidelines

In March, the Academic Senate approved online class quality guidelines developed by the MiraCosta Online Educators committee. The document has two parts – (I) Essential elements for all distance education classes as already required in department and college policies and practices, and (II) Good practices featuring principles and examples commonly recommended for consideration in online education. Please take a look at these guidelines and use them as you “develop and redesign online classes” and to “foster conversation in departments about online instruction.”

Open Educational Resources Adoption Grant for 2016-17

MiraCosta will be submitting a grant to support the adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER) in 2016-17 in order to reduce course material costs for students. I’ve been in touch with a number of interested departments and faculty, but if you’d like to learn more about OER or are interested to hear more about how these funds might provide support for you and your students, please contact me.

Online Teaching Conference

MiraCosta College has been sending great groups of faculty to OTC for several years. It’s again in San Diego, June 16-17 – see the conference website for details. It’s likely that Online Education will have budget to again support attendance for a number of faculty. If you are interested, please send me an email (jjulius@miracosta.edu) letting me know which hybrid/online classes you expect to teach in summer or fall (if any), and when the last time was that you attended OTC (if ever). Likely my budget can support registration and parking/mileage, but not hotel stays.

Professional Learning Opportunities (got Flex?)

Jim Julius, Ed.D.
Faculty Director, Online Education
Vice President, Academic Senate

March Online Ed News You Can Use

Course Management System Evaluation Update

The task force of faculty, staff, students, and administrators is working hard on this, and March will be a big month for getting your input. See http://miracosta.edu/cms-eval to view the 1-hour Canvas, Blackboard, and Moodle demonstration videos from Flex week, and to see details on our evaluation process. You can also learn there how to get access to Canvas, the latest Blackboard Ultra, and Moodle, if you’d like to try any of the systems out for yourself. Stay tuned for more from the task force!

Student Orientation to Online Learning Attendance Reporting

Almost 300 students have attended a Student Orientation to Online Learning this semester, bringing the total to nearly 1200 students since we began offering this two years ago. I’m very happy to announce that any instructor can now use SURF to find out which of their students have attended. When you scroll to the bottom of the Class Roster page, and click the “Student Orientation to Online Learning Roster” link, a PDF should open in a new browser tab or window with a roster showing which students attended an orientation, and on what date. If the roster doesn’t open, please ensure that it wasn’t blocked by a popup blocker. Two final SOOL sessions will be offered on 3/29 and 3/30.

Open Educational Resources Support

Recent legislation (AB 798) makes $50,000 per college available to support the development and adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER) in order to reduce textbook costs to students. Support for OER is an item in the Online Education Plan, but OER, while often digital, can also be in print and can be used in any class. If you’d like to learn more about OER or are interested to hear more about how these funds might provide support for you and your students, please contact me.

TIC Resources: Now with iPad Pro!

Remember that OC 1253, the Technology/Teaching Innovation Center, includes workstations, software, and a space for faculty to work in a supportive environment. We also have laptops, netbooks, tablets, and more available for checkout, if you’d like to explore a new tool and/or check out how your online class looks on different devices. Our newest devices are two iPad Pros. Visit the Tools in the TIC webpage to learn more.

Online Education Initiative (OEI) Update

MiraCosta College is one of 24 OEI pilot colleges; two of our faculty have been actively teaching OEI pilot classes and several others are moving toward doing so. Eight of the pilot colleges are planning to pilot the OEI Course Exchange this fall; MiraCosta at present is not slated to do so until fall of 2017. However, many resources are already available to all MiraCosta online instructors through the OEI. See the latest update from OEI’s director to learn more.

Professional Learning Opportunities (got Flex?)

  • The ASCCC is holding a regional meeting on Online Education at Glendale College on Saturday, April 9. I can support faculty attendance – let me know if you are interested.
  • The Online Teaching Conference is returning to San Diego this June. If you have been accepted as a presenter, please let me know! I’ll begin recruiting general faculty interest around spring break (early bird registration ends April 15).
  • Are you interested in becoming a peer course reviewer for the OEI, or just learning more about the OEI course rubric? 1-day workshops are coming up, with the closest this Friday 3/4 at Orange Coast College. I can support faculty attendance – let me know if you are interested.
  • The University of Central Florida is running a free, open course called Becoming a Blended Learning Designer this spring – it started a week ago so check it out!
  • March 7-11 is Open Education Week with all kinds of free online presentations and learning opportunities.
  • Check out recorded archives of past Online Education workshops .
  • Take @One’s free, self-paced Introduction to Teaching with Canvas if you’re curious about the Canvas course management system.

– Jim

Jim Julius, Ed.D.
Faculty Director, Online Education
Vice President, Academic Senate

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