Dec. Online Ed News You Can Use

Course Management System Evaluation this Spring

This spring, MiraCosta College will be re-evaluating its course management system. We have been using Blackboard as our primary system for many years, as well as supporting Moodle for some faculty who prefer that system. Our new Online Education Plan includes a directive to re-evaluate these systems; further, through the statewide Online Education Initiative, we now have access to a different system called Canvas (which many California Community Colleges are now moving to) at a greatly reduced cost. Thus, faculty and administrative leaders here have agreed that it is time to conduct a thorough re-evaluation in line with our strategic goals for online education. A task force is being formed and input will be sought from as many faculty and students as possible.

To kick off the process, please consider attending demos by representatives of Blackboard, Moodle, and Canvas on Tuesday, Jan. 19 from 9:30-2:20 (come for part of the time even if you can’t be there for all of it). This has been requested as a Flex activity; lunch will be included. Stay tuned for more details.

Professional Learning Opportunities (got Flex?)

  • Online Ed workshops planned for spring Flex week include online sessions on Blackboard Basics and Screencasting with TechSmith Relay; course management system demonstrations of Blackboard, Moodle, and Canvas; and an online session about the CCC Online Education Initiative. Look for these and more when the Flex calendar is released!
  • This Friday from 11-12, check out a free online webinar entitled E-Learning Accessibility: Principles, Strategies, and Resources to Help Faculty Improve Teaching/Learning Online. Register in advance.
  • The Online Teaching Conference will again be in San Diego this June (6/16-17). Online Education will pay for conference registrations for all MiraCosta presenters. The call for proposal deadline has been extended to this Friday, 12/18 –  submit your proposal here! Whether my office will have funds to support attendance of some or all interested non-presenting MiraCostans is dependent on how the budget looks in the spring.
  • @One still has some availability in their spring online course schedule – sign up now before they fill. Or take one of their free self-paced courses, including the new Introduction to Teaching with Canvas if you’re curious about the Canvas course management system.

Spring Online Class Schedule

If you are teaching an online or hybrid spring class, please be sure to add details for each class to the MiraCosta online class schedule to help students select and get started with your class(es). Just over 50% of the spring online and hybrid classes have been updated as of this writing – if yours is not among them, please follow the directions here ASAP.

Online Ed Support During Break

The office of Online Education, including the TIC, will be open to support faculty through December 23, and will reopen on January 4, 2016.

Online Tutoring New Option for Spring

A new online tutoring option available in spring 2016 for MiraCosta students in distance education classes is NetTutor, which will be 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 Blackboard or Moodle class. 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. If you are interested in implementing NetTutor in any of your spring distance education classes, or would like to hear more about MiraCosta’s online tutoring options, please contact me ASAP.

VoiceThread Coming

Blackboard’s Voice Tools will be discontinued this summer. As a replacement, this spring MiraCosta will have VoiceThread available for faculty who wish to incorporate multimedia discussions into their classes. Learn more about VoiceThread, and contact me if you’re interested in trying it in the spring.

Happy holidays!

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

Spring Online & Hybrid Class Instructor Information

Please review the following key information/requests for instructors of MiraCosta spring online and/or hybrid classes:

1. Online Class Schedule – Please Update!

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 (https://youtu.be/appOsmmRKDU) to demonstrate the process. Or follow these directions:

 

To Update an Online Class Information Page

  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.

The sooner you complete this, the better – spring registration began today!

2. New Online Tutoring Option – Consider for your Class

MiraCosta students have multiple online tutoring options available to them. A new one available in spring 2016 for MiraCosta students in distance education classes is NetTutor, which will be 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.

If you are interested in implementing NetTutor in any of your spring distance education classes, or would like to hear more about MiraCosta’s online tutoring options, please contact me.

3. Online Teaching Conference – Be a Presenter?

The Online Teaching Conference will again be in San Diego this June (6/16-17). My office will pay for conference attendance for all MiraCosta presenters. Submit your proposal by Friday, November 20, 2015!

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

Nov. Online Ed News You Can Use

Professional Learning Opportunities (got Flex?)

Spring Online Class Schedule

The MiraCosta online class schedule is a useful website where faculty provide students with important details to help them select and get started with online classes. Unfortunately, the database behind this site is undergoing maintenance, so at this time, it is not available for faculty to edit details about spring classes. As soon as it becomes available, I will notify all faculty teaching spring online and hybrid classes.

Course Management System Evaluation

MOE and the Online Education Plan task force have been discussing for over a year the importance of revisiting MiraCosta’s course management system selections. Engaging in this process periodically is important to raise awareness of the strategic value of the course management system in teaching and learning, as well as to assure that the approach MiraCosta takes with its CMS(s) is indeed the best fit for MiraCosta’s needs. Now that the Online Education Initiative has selected Canvas as the Common Course Management System (CCMS) for California Community Colleges, another option is available for MiraCosta to consider. Look for more information soon on the next steps in this process, which will be inclusive of all stakeholders.

Online Education Initiative Update

The OEI continues to develop resources and refine its timelines. As one of 24 pilot colleges, MiraCosta has two faculty currently offering OEI pilot classes which incorporate additional student readiness and tutoring resources, and, starting this spring, will be taught in Canvas. MiraCosta is part of the OEI Consortium which provides operational input on the functioning of the OEI Course Exchange, and according to current timelines, would begin participating in the Course Exchange in spring 2017. See the Online Education Initiative website and/or MOE’s OEI FAQ site to learn more. The OEI is making online tutoring available for free for all online classes at the 24 pilot colleges this spring; instructors teaching DE classes will hear more on this from me soon.

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

Oct. (already!) Online Ed News You Can Use

Opportunities to Earn Flex Credit

  • Oct. 8, 5:30-6:50 pm, Karen Korstad will run an online workshop on the Blackboard Discussion Board. Sign up via MyFlex.
  • Oct. 9, 8:30 am – 3:30 pm, San Diego CC District is hosting a Distance Learning Summit. See event page and program. The morning features a variety of instructor-led sessions; the afternoon includes a presentation of Canvas and a comparison of Blackboard and Canvas. Breakfast and lunch are included. If you would like to attend all or part of the day, please email me your interest ASAP as SDCCD wants attendee names in advance.
  • Two four-week (Oct. 19-Nov. 13) @One online classes (Designing Effective Online Assessments and Creating Accessible Online Documents) are being run regionally through Grossmont-Cuyamaca and they have invited our participation (at no cost). Please email me ASAP if you are interested.

Student Success Resources to Share with All Students

  • How to Get the Most Out of Studying video series – 6 videos, each about 7 minutes long
  • MiraCosta’s Library iQ Information Literacy tutorial
  • OEI’s interactive tutorials on student success – 11 interactive modules on a variety of topics, some specific to online learning and some more general. Each is under 15 minutes

And as midterms approach, please share MiraCosta’s free online tutoringonline writing support, and 24×7 Ask-A-Librarian (under Ask Us) services.

Blackboard notes

  • If you use percentage Weighted Total or Calculated Total in the Blackboard grade center, you may have noticed a lot (5) of decimal places being displayed. Rest assured that your students still see just 2 decimal places. Blackboard will fix this for the instructor view in an upcoming release.
  • Next summer, Blackboard is retiring its Voice Authoring tools, many of which have become unusable. In its place we will be looking at VoiceThread as a replacement – this is a much more modern tool for creating multimedia-rich online discussions, including easy student inclusion of their own video or audio. More info coming soon.
  • If you are experiencing difficulties using Google Chrome with Blackboard, you’re not alone. Most of Blackboard still works fine with Chrome, but if you’re having problems, try another browser.

Two Final Fall Student Orientation to Online Learning Sessions

… on Oct. 19 and 20. See TASC’s site for details.

Did you know you can review previous editions of Online Ed. News You Can Use?

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

Sept. Online Ed News You Can Use

Hope your semester is off to great start.

MOE Initiatives for 2015-16

At its first meeting, MiraCosta Online Educators (MOE) decided that it would lead two major efforts this year. Look for more information very soon on how to get involved in:

  • re-evaluation of MiraCosta’s course management system, and
  • creation of online class quality guidelines.

Student Orientation to Online Learning

Over 230 students have attended one of these one-hour sessions this fall, bringing the total to over 850 since we started in spring 2014. If you are incentivizing student participation and did not receive the email I sent on Friday, contact me and I’ll share the attendance list with you. Two more orientations remain this week, and two will be held when 8-week classes begin in October – see TASC’s site for details.

Support Services for ALL Students – Online

I find during the student orientation sessions that most students are not aware of (but get very excited about) MiraCosta’s free online tutoringonline writing support, and 24×7 Ask-A-Librarian (under Ask Us) services available to all students. Please direct your students to these great resources!

Professional Learning this Fall

You can get Flex credit for exploring technologies for teaching, reviewing online workshops, and participating in online professional development. Some examples:

  • Participate in a live webinar – from Turnitin (Sept 10); from WCET on accessibility in online teaching on Sept 20, 24, and 29.
  • View archived workshops from MiraCosta online ed; CCC Confer; @One; and the Program for Online Teaching.
  • Be a pilot of Zaption, a tool which 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.
  • Sign up for an @One fall class. Several starting on 10/19 remain open.

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

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