Online News for our Online Spring 2021!

Happy new year! I hope everyone had a good break, despite the weirdness of our world!

Flex workshops launch tomorrow: Friday, Jan. 15

Flex week starts tomorrow with lots of great online ed-related workshops, including some Canvas open lab hours for anyone seeking expert Canvas support. There’s also a workshop on an awesome new communication tool called Pronto, available college-wide this semester, and a workshop to make sure you’re ready for the new Zoom that arrived over winter break. Friday ends with a workshop featuring seven MiraCosta online faculty mentors sharing some of their top tips for online teaching. And there are many more super workshops coming next week!

Online Teaching Tool Updates

  • Check out Pronto, an incredible mobile-friendly and Canvas-integrated messaging platform that’s ready to use in every course now.
  • As you’re hopefully aware, Zoom was updated over break. Many of the changes are seamless but review our updated faculty Zoom support site for details. With the new Zoom comes a new Canvas integration that’s a huge improvement on what we had previously.
  • Accessibility and Universal Design are important elements of equity and inclusion. We have a new, more powerful tool built into Canvas called Pope Tech that helps faculty detect and correct accessibility issues. (This replaces UDOIT, if you had used that.) Another tool, Ally, is here for spring. Ally automatically provides files you share through Canvas in multiple options for students. For instance, PDFs can be listened to (great for those who would prefer to listen). PPTs can be accessed as PDFs (great for those without PPT). Word documents can be viewed as HTML (great for mobile devices).
  • The big change you’ll notice in Canvas is an update to the Rich Content Editor. If that makes you nervous, be sure to attend Karen Turpin’s 10 am Flex workshop tomorrow!
  • Finally, Proctorio is no longer available at MiraCosta, as had been communicated in late fall.

Student Orientation to Online Learning Workshops

In collaboration with the library, I’ll be again offering over two dozen Student Orientation to Online Learning workshops this spring – see all dates and times on the TASC site and in Canvas announcements. These workshops help to familiarize students with the resources MiraCosta provides online to support them, as well as to adopt habits and attitudes of successful online students. Encourage your students to attend and, if you like, find out which of your students participated in order to incentivize their attendance.

Student Support Resources to Share with your Students

Campus may be closed, but our amazing array of student support services and resources are just one or two clicks away. Point your students to the Student Support Hub in Canvas. Share the link and point them to the Student Support button on the left in Canvas for quick access to online support from the library, STEM & MLC, online tutoring, writing center, counseling, career center, open computer lab staff, student help desk, health services, and more! The new Help Hut on the MiraCosta website is also a quick way for students to connect with all kinds of support services, and the tutoring hub gives access from the website to all the academic support resources found in the Student Support Hub within Canvas.

Reminder: Merging Canvas Course Sections

This was once again available to faculty starting this fall. See our guide to learn more about merged course sections in Canvas, and if you’d like to request this, see the guide to the SURF dashboard for merging course sections – be sure to do so ASAP!

Don’t forget to refer to our useful Canvas start-of-term checklist to keep you on track as you finalize your spring classes!

See you online!

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