MiraCosta Online Ed Pre-Fall Email #2

Hi! This is the second in a series of emails about all things online leading up to MiraCosta’s fall 2020 semester. Check out email #1 if you missed it.

Tuesday news: 

  • Quick reminders about online teaching tools available at MiraCosta
  • Broken Links: Now, more than ever
  • CE Faculty can call on a superhero for support

MiraCosta’s Online Teaching Tools

Click the link immediately after each bullet for a detailed MiraCosta-specific overview of each item below. This is not intended as a comprehensive review of all technologies for online teaching supported by the college, but rather a quick look at the essentials. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions about these or other resources.

  • Canvas – of course is the #1 tool for most faculty. We’ll have a Canvas Basics workshop this Friday as well as four hours of open online Canvas support by expert staff and faculty (details coming tomorrow). Even for experienced Canvas users, our Canvas Start of the Semester Instructor Checklist is a super useful set of reminders as you set up your fall classes. (Unfortunately, as detailed below, some of the links on our Canvas support pages to Canvas guides may be broken. Check out the new home of Canvas’s official Instructor Guides – also an enormously helpful resource.)
  • Zoom (specifically, ConferZoom) – Suddenly, we’re all Zoom users, and many of our classes are now incorporating Zoom. Make sure you are using the professional-level Zoom account available through CCC’s ConferZoom! We’ll have a Zoom Basics flex workshop on Monday (details coming tomorrow).
  • Canvas Studio – This great tool enables faculty and students to create videos while inside Canvas. Faculty can create interactive discussion or quiz activities based on video.
  • PlayPosit – MiraCosta has been piloting this video interaction tool for several years; it’s now available to all faculty. Studio is a great place to start, but if you’re looking for more question types to add to your videos than Studio offers, PlayPosit is a good option. We’ll have a PlayPosit flex workshop this Friday (details coming tomorrow).
  • Turnitin – Many faculty use Turnitin to help students learn to properly cite sources and avoid plagiarism, as well as to assist with grading and peer review processes for written work.
  • Academic Integrity and Canvas Exams and Proctorio – Proctorio remains available at MiraCosta through December 2020, funded by the CCC system. If you are conducting high-stakes objective assessment online, check out these resource articles.
  • Creating Accessible Course Content – by regulation (and in terms of good practice) all online course materials should be compliant with accessibility laws. Our guide has tips for how to do this!
  • Productivity Software, Hardware, and other resources for working from home – this AIS website includes a number of links to helpful resources for being fully equipped when teaching from your home.

I Don’t Like That You’re Broken …

Broken links are a fact of life on the web, and developers of online courses need to be vigilant. Canvas has a helpful tool for checking all links in your course at one fell swoop … the Canvas Link Validator. This may be especially important for you to consider due to two recent developments:

  1. In case you hadn’t noticed, MiraCosta’s shiny new website debuted this summer. Links to MiraCosta website resources you may have included in a Canvas course likely aren’t working now! The A-Z index on the new site may be a helpful way of re-finding the correct links. There will be a Search function on the new site, but it depends on giving Google the time it needs to index the full site. If you get frustrated trying to find the right links, Kristen Huyck, MiraCosta’s stellar public information officer, has told me she would be happy to help any faculty members – please reach out to her: khuyck@miracosta.edu .
  2. Canvas last week updated the websites where their awesome instructor and student guides live. They’ve promised that links to the old guides will redirect to the new guides, but so far it doesn’t seem to be happening consistently. You might give this a few more days, but if you embed student Canvas guides in your courses to help students out (a great practice!) you’ll want to double-check this at some point before the semester starts.

Instructional Design Support for CE Faculty
If you teach a Career Education class, we have a grant-funded Instructional Design expert available to support you in your course design efforts. Her name is Liesl Madrona and the faculty that worked with her last year found her extremely helpful. If you’d like to hear more about this opportunity, please reply to me.

Until tomorrow …

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