Nov. Online Ed News You Can Use

Professional Learning Opportunities (got Flex?)

  • 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. Submit your proposal by this Friday!
  • @One just announced 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.
  • November is Digital Writing Month – learn more if you might be interested in “a 30-day adventure through the world of digital narrative and art.”
  • Check out an archived Online Ed webinar, including one from October led by Karen Korstad on the Blackboard discussion board. @One also has free 1- to 1.5-hour webinar archives worth reviewing.
  • Listen to a podcast on improving higher education teaching!

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 tutoring, online 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