Back-to-School Online Ed News You Can Use

Welcome back! Please review the important information below about online learning resources for you and your students.

Common Blackboard Tasks – Reminder

See our reminder videos and guides on copying course content from previous semesters and making your Blackboard course available.

Online Academic Support Resources for ALL Students

As you finalize your syllabi and course resources, please make your students aware of online tutoringonline writing center, and the 24×7 online ask-a-librarian service. These services are open to all MiraCosta students in any class! Also, the OEI has made its set of student online learning readiness modules open and available to anyone – feel free to link to any that you like.

Fall Student Orientations to Online Learning

I will offer ten online learning orientation sessions this fall. Please share the schedule with your online/hybrid students and encourage their attendance. You may pull a report from the SURF Class Roster to see which of your students have attended an orientation session if you wish to require this or offer extra credit, as many instructors do.

Online/Hybrid Instructors: Please Update Online Class Schedule

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 there to help students prepare for success. See detailed instructions if needed.

Canvas Transition

Following the decision made in the spring, the two-year transition to Canvas is beginning this fall with a small group of pilot instructors, including a Transition Team of five faculty who will be providing leadership and support for faculty making the transition over the coming year. Please see the TIC page on Canvas for lots of great resources if you wish to begin exploring Canvas now. The Transition Team will work with me to offer many learning opportunities on Canvas this fall – more information coming soon!

Distance Education Requirements and Guidelines

Please review the online class quality guidelines approved by the Academic Senate in the spring. 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. You may review a 1-page handout and a 50-minute archive of a workshop I conducted earlier this week on this document.

Captioning Support

Robert Erichsen of DSPS is coordinating the submission of media for captioning through a special grant-funded program. This is open to all instructors using online multimedia and it’s extremely important that we ensure such material is captioned. Please contact him to learn more: rerichsen@miracosta.edu

Best wishes for a great semester!

Jim Julius, Ed.D.
Faculty Director, Online Education
Vice President, Academic Senate

January Online Ed News You Can Use

Happy new year!

Online Education Flex Workshops 

You may now enroll in Flex week workshops. Karen and I are offering several workshops, including two that will be conducted online. View a list of our workshops and then sign up for all that are of interest!

Starting the semester with Blackboard (& our new TIC website!)

Check out Karen’s page with links to tips on typical start-of-semester Blackboard tasks (making a course available, doing a course copy, using your sample student). And notice that page lives on a completely redesigned TIC website!

Online Student Support Resources

As you finalize your syllabi and class resources, please make your students aware of online tutoring, the online writing center, and the 24×7 online ask-a-librarian service (under “ASK US” at upper right). These services are open to all MiraCosta students! Have you watched the 2-minute video on what an online writing center appointment is all about?

Online/Hybrid Instructors: Please Update Online Class Schedule

For all those teaching an online or hybrid class this spring, 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 there to help students prepare for success.

Online/Hybrid Instructors: Online Learning Orientations for Students

Over 250 students attended the first online learning orientations conducted at MiraCosta in 2014. Even more sessions, including more held live online, will be available this spring. Online and hybrid instructors, please share the schedule with your students and encourage their attendance. I will report back the students who complete the sessions if you wish to incentivize attendance. I will also list the students who already completed the orientation. Also, note that I am offering a Flex workshop (Monday, 2:30 pm, OC 4607) that is all about our online learning orientation.

Professional Learning Resources – All Flex Eligible

Best wishes for a great beginning to the new year.

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

November Online Ed News You Can Use

Online Education Initiative update

Last Friday, the MiraCosta Online Educators committee, in collaboration with the Academic Senate and Faculty Assembly, held a forum to address questions and provide more details about the OEI. Ric Matthews and Bonnie Peters from the OEI were on the panel along with Mike Fino, Jonathan Cole, Curry Mitchell (English faculty member who is participating in the OEI pilot), and me. Please see the OEI FAQ developed by MOE. (which is posted on MOE’s new website, also worth a look)

Remind Students – Great Online Support Resources

As the end of the semester approaches with term papers, final projects, and finals, please remind your students to take advantage of online tutoring, our online writing center, and the 24×7 ask-a-librarian service (under Ask Us at top right).

Please Update Spring Online Class Schedule

The spring class schedule is available, which means it’s time for online and hybrid class instructors to make sure their class info is updated on the Online Class Schedule site. (Thanks to those who already have!) Students use this supplemental schedule to learn more about the details of online classes. A more detailed email will go out to all spring online instructors next week.

Professional Learning Opportunities – Get Flex Credit

  • National Distance Learning Week is Nov 10-14! The US Distance Learning Association is running free webinars all week. Additionally, the Online Learning Consortium has a free Google Hangout at noon on 11/10: Distance Learning Best Practices for Community Colleges, and the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources has a free webinar at 10 am on 11/12 called Opening up Pedagogy in Communications and History Class.
  •  MiraCosta is now a member of the Instructional Technology Council, a national professional organization focusing on distance education in community colleges. See their most recent newsletter and explore their website. Many resources are publicly available but some require a member account – just let me know if you are interested in ITC credentials.

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

Bonus Fall Online Education News You Can Use

Online Education Initiative (OEI) Forum next Friday, 10/31

The MiraCosta Online Educators committee has organized an OEI forum next Friday, 1:30-2:30 pm, in the Little Theater (OC 3601). The event takes place following a Faculty Assembly meeting for full-time faculty. Food will be available starting at 1:15 outside the Little Theater and may be taken inside during the forum. As you likely are aware, MiraCosta is one of 24 CCCs selected as a pilot school in the Online Education Initiative. This forum will give an opportunity for open discussion about the OEI’s goals and timelines, MiraCosta’s participation, faculty interest and concerns, etc.

Bb Grader app for iPad now available

Blackboard has released a free iPad app for instructors that makes grading assignments via an iPad simple and powerful, and our Blackboard system is now configured properly to enable its use. You can use a stylus to annotate papers as well as giving audio or video feedback. This video demonstrates the capabilities. If you’d like to try it out but don’t have an iPad, remember that the TIC has some iPads available for 2-week checkout. Contact Karen Korstad to learn more.

Student Orientations to Online Learning complete for fall           

Last week the final two fall Student Orientation to Online Learning sessions were offered. 156 students attended this semester, bringing the total attendance since spring to 260 students. If you are incentivizing student attendance, please contact me for a list.

Professional Learning Opportunities – Get Flex Credit

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

October Online Ed News You Can Use

Are we really halfway to winter break already?!?

Student Support, Online – especially for midterms!

Please remind your students about MiraCosta’s free online tutoringonline writing support, and 24×7 Ask-A-Librarian (under Ask Us) services available to all students.

Final Fall Student Orientations to Online Learning

10/14, 1-2 pm in OC 1201, and 10/16, 5:30-6:30 pm online. See TASC’s site for details and links to sign up for and attend the online session.

Blackboard Issues

Two concerns have come up more frequently this fall with Blackboard. One: anyone with an AOL or Yahoo email address sending out email to class members via Blackboard (or Moodle) will find that many will not receive that email due to changes that AOL and Yahoo made last spring to reduce spam. Two: cutting-and-pasting into the text editor in Blackboard yields inconsistent results. This is a complex issue involving browser security settings as well as Blackboard-specific bugs, and the details vary greatly depending on context. Contact me if you’d like more information about either of these.

Online Education Initiative (OEI) Update

The statewide Online Education Initiative continues. As one of 24 pilot colleges, a handful of MiraCosta departments/faculty are considering applying to offer classes through the pilot this spring, incorporating new student readiness resources the OEI is developing. Other key initiatives of the OEI at present are the selection of an online tutoring service and a common course management system. The MiraCosta Online Educators committee is hoping to host a faculty forum on the OEI in the next several weeks – look for more information soon.

Professional Learning Opportunities – Get Flex Credit

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

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