Online Ed News You Can Use as you prep for fall 2019!

Hope you had a great summer and are excited for a new semester! Please see below for important online ed-related updates and information for all MiraCosta faculty.

Online Ed Flex Workshop Highlights

Check out the full Flex schedule for details, but here is a brief on the online ed-related offerings:

  • Friday (tomorrow!): Canvas open lab in the morning; Canvas Gradebook and Canvas Basics workshops in the afternoon. All of these can be attended in person or online.
  • Monday: Get a “sneak peek” at the MiraCosta Distance Education Handbook/course I developed on sabbatical this spring, 4-5 pm online.
  • Tuesday: Online workshops in the late afternoon and evening include an overview of the use of Studio (aka ARC – a video tool in Canvas), by MiraCosta faculty member Eric Robertson, followed by training on Studio from its creators. At 7 pm an expert from the CCC Accessibility Center will present on Canvas accessibility.
  • Wednesday: Exclusively for CE faculty, an afternoon/evening sequence of in-person workshops including dinner. This will introduce CE faculty to an instructional design expert available to work with them this year, as well as provide hands-on training in Canvas, and an opportunity to discuss equity-minded online teaching and learning with MiraCosta colleagues. Seating limited, advance sign-up required.
  • Thursday: A sequence of equity-minded online workshops (addressing equity-minded online teaching, gender inclusivity, and advanced Canvas accessibility) in the late afternoon/evening complements that day’s Cultural Competency Conference.
  • Friday (the 16th): After the All College Day lunch, come tour the C3 Teaching & Learning Center and see all the great resources available 24×7.
  • Also, remember that you can view lots of archives of past online ed workshops and Canvas resources – time spent on these is Flex-eligible too!

Canvas Updates & Reminders

  • Our Start of Semester Canvas Checklist has great tips and links to tutorials as you set up your classes in Canvas.
  • The “new” Canvas gradebook is now the only Canvas gradebook. If you haven’t previously used this (it was optional last year), check out Canvas’s complete set of (new) Gradebook guides.
  • Canvas Studio is the new name for ARC, a video management system integrated in Canvas which was new to us last spring. This brings new possibilities for faculty and students to create video and engage in video-based activities. See our Studio intro to learn more.

New Student Support Hub in Canvas: Easy Access to Online Support Resources for ALL Students

Have you noticed the Student Support item on the Canvas global navigation menu? This links to our new Student Support Hub, which gives students quick access from Canvas to online tutoring, counseling, writing support, library resources, and technology assistance. These services are open to all MiraCosta students in any class! Please make sure your students are aware of this and encourage them to use these resources.

Preferred Names & Pronouns for Students in SURF & Canvas

  • Please make sure that students know that if they prefer to be known by a different name from their legal/formal name, they may indicate their preferred name via SURF – instructions are here. Preferred name is used in Canvas, on class rosters and student ID cards, and to borrow items from the college library. Students may also stop by Admissions and Records to submit a paper Preferred Name Change form.
  • Canvas also now includes NameCoach, a tool that allows students to voice-record their own names and indicate their pronouns, making it easier to establish respectful relationships in classroom communities, whether the class meets online or in person. Encourage your students to record their names and specify their pronouns – share this MiraCosta NameCoach tutorial with them (and make sure you do it, too!).

Designating Zero- and Low-Textbook-Cost Classes

If you are teaching a ZTC or LTC (<$40) class this fall, please ensure it is designated as such in SURF – see directions to do so. You can view more details about ZTC and LTC designations, as approved by the Academic Senate.

For faculty teaching at least one online/hybrid class this fall:

Fall Student Orientations to Online Learning

I will offer many online learning orientation sessions this fall. Please share the schedule with your online/hybrid students and encourage their attendance. Read more, including how to get a report from SURF on which of your students attend. Over 3000 students have participated since the SOOL began in 2014. Research shows that from 2014 to 2018, 72.8% of those who attended the SOOL in the same or a previous term successfully completed DE courses vs. a 65.9% DE success rate for students who had not attended a SOOL.

Student-Student Interaction: A New Distance Education Requirement

Please review the MiraCosta online class quality guidelines. 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.

One element of the guidelines – encouraging interaction among students – is newly required (as of spring 2019) by California Title 5. “Regular effective contact among students” has not yet been incorporated into our AP 4105 or other DE documentation, but it is now required in every distance education class in California Community Colleges. If you have questions about this please get in touch with me!

Online Class Schedule – Please Update!

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 to help students prepare for success. See detailed instructions if needed. Please note: if you have done this in the past by copying text from Word or other sources, you may have introduced HTML that causes your course description to be inaccessible. Please type directly or copy in plain text only by copying from NotePad on a PC or TextEdit on a Mac.

NetTutor Online Tutoring

In addition to eTutoring, an online tutoring option for MiraCosta distance education classes is NetTutor. Unlike eTutoring, NetTutor provides extensive coverage up to 24×7 of just about any academic subject, and is available via a link embedded within Canvas. 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. Learn more about enabling NetTutor in a online/hybrid class.

CVC-OEI Course Academy

If you teach a fully online C-ID approved course, you are eligible to receive support from the Online Education Initiative in preparation for possibly offering the class on the Course Exchange. Learn more about the Course Design Academy and/or sign up for an upcoming informational meeting.

Can-Innovate – Submit a Proposal?

Can-Innovate is a one-day online conference focused on Canvas use in the California Community Colleges. Mark your calendar for Friday, October 25. If you’d like to share something cool you’re doing with Canvas, please submit a presentation proposal by August 20!

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