• Add a TA or other MCC Employee to Canvas
    Canvas Logo

    As an instructor you can add a TA or other MiraCosta College employee to your Canvas course.
    (You cannot add students to your course on

  • Try These 10 Things To Fix Your Computer Problem Before You Call Support

    Troubleshooting computer problems is part of modern life when you teach online. Before you make that support call, try your hand at fixing some of the most

  • Summer 2017 Online Ed News You Can Use
    Green Light Bulb

    Summer & Fall Classes – Blackboard & Canvas
    All summer and fall classes are available to faculty now in both Blackboard and Canvas. Remember,

  • Canvas and Blackboard: Important Updates
    Bb to Canvas

    Hello, MiraCosta faculty – happy summer!
    As you are hopefully well aware, MiraCosta is transitioning to Canvas. Blackboard and Moodle remain available through next

  • Canvas Start of the Semester Instructor Checklist
    Canvas Logo

    Create or Import your Content
    You have multiple ways to build your class
    • Copy content from a previous semester in Canvas:

    How do I copy

  • Export/Import Course Content within Blackboard
    Bb Mobile Learn

    This page details how to copy course content from Summer 2015 or later Blackboard courses to a new course on Blackboard.
    To copy courses within the Blackboard system, follow the directions below.

  • Canvas End of Semester / Term
    Canvas Logo

    The following will help instructors understand how the end of semester is handled in Canvas, and how to update related Canvas course settings if necessary.

  • Copying into Canvas from Blackboard or Canvas
    Canvas Logo

    MiraCosta College is transitioning from Blackboard to Canvas. Starting in summer 2018, Canvas will be the sole supported course management system for MiraCosta classes.

  • Canvas User Profile Names
    Canvas Logo

    The first and last name displayed in your Canvas profile is stored in the preferred name field within the Peoplesoft / SURF registration system.

  • Add a TA or other MCC Employee to Blackboard
    A+ Teacher's Aide

    As an instructor you can add a TA or other MiraCosta College Employee to your Blackboard course.
    DO NOT add students that will be

  • Mar-Apr 2017 Online Ed News You Can Use
    Green Circle

    Canvas Learning Opportunities
    As you’re hopefully aware, MiraCosta is transitioning to the Canvas course management system. Keep an eye on the TIC Canvas page

  • Feb-Mar 2017 Online Ed News You Can Use
    Green Light Bulb

    Canvas Transition and Upcoming Online Mini-Course
    As you likely know, MiraCosta has begun its transition to Canvas, which will be complete in summer 2018

  • Canvas Scheduler to Manage Appointments
    Canvas Logo

    The Canvas Calendar allows students to schedule appointments within defined time periods. Scenarios can range from individual students choosing a time to meet in your

  • Canvas Student View vs MCC’s Sample Student Account
    Canvas Logo

    This site explains the difference between the Canvas student view tool and MiraCosta College’s sample student account.
    Canvas Student View
    You can view a

  • Changing Your Sample Student Account Password
    Enter your sample student SURF ID

    The following steps will to assist you with changing your sample student account password.  Your password is reset two times a year at the same time

  • MiraCosta Canvas Updates for Canvas Instructors Spring 2017

    Hello! You are among over 130 faculty who have published courses in MiraCosta’s Canvas system. I hope the semester is starting well for you

  • How to Restrict Student to Student Email within Blackboard
    Bb Mobile Learn

    By default, all options within the Send Email tool are open to faculty and students enrolled in a Blackboard course.
    To restrict student to student

  • Dec. 2016 Online Ed News You Can Use
    Green Light Bulb

    Can you believe the semester is almost over?
    Spring Classes – Blackboard & Canvas
    All spring classes are available to faculty now in both Blackboard and Canvas.

  • December & Flex Week Canvas workshops
    Canvas Logo

    The Canvas faculty Transition Team is offering three more Canvas workshops before break. Sign up for these via MyFlex:
    Workshop: All Hands on

  • Canvas Workshops in December
    Canvas Logo

    The Canvas faculty Transition Team is offering several Canvas workshops in December. Sign up for these via MyFlex:
    Workshop: All Hands on Canvas

  • Embedding Google Docs in Canvas
    Canvas Logo

    If you are embedding a Google doc for content purposes (ie you aren’t having students edit the document), I recommend the trick of replacing

  • Canvas workshops this Friday 11/18/2016
    Canvas Logo

    Two Canvas workshops will be offered this Friday, November 18, 2016. Sign up for these via MyFlex:
    From Blackboard to Canvas: Preview and Q&A

  • Canvas now open to all MiraCosta faculty
    Canvas Logo

    All spring 2017 classes are available to faculty now in both Blackboard and Canvas. MiraCosta will support Blackboard, Moodle, and Canvas through spring of 2018,

  • Nov. 2016 Online Ed News You Can Use
    Green Light Bulb

    Spring Classes – Blackboard & Canvas
    All spring classes are available to faculty now in Blackboard, and will also be in Canvas within the next few

  • Oct 2016 Update: Export / Import for Blackboard Courses from Spring 2015 and earlier
    Bb Mobile Learn

    As of October 31, 2016, the Bb Archive server is no longer accessible to faculty. If you are looking for a Blackboard course from Spring

  • Filtering Canvas Grades to Only Show SURF Enrolled Students
    Canvas Logo

    By default the Grades tool will display all users in the roles Student, Sample Student, Tutor, Evaluator, and WC SI Leader in your Canvas course. This

  • Blackboard Quiz/Test Issue
    Bb Mobile Learn

    As midterms get started we’ve just discovered a new bug in Blackboard. When students are taking a quiz/test based in Blackboard:

    which includes at least

  • Filtering your Roster List by Role in Canvas People
    Canvas Logo

    By default the People tool will display all users enrolled in your Canvas course. You can filter the users by role to obtain the

  • Blackboard Discussion Board Issue & Fix
    Bb Mobile Learn

    The Blackboard system update on 9/25/16 (required for system security) introduced a bug within the discussion board tool.
    Discussion boards which are set to Unavailable

  • Sept/Oct 2016 Online Ed News You Can Use
    Green Light Bulb

    Happy fall!
    Canvas Transition Update
    MiraCosta’s two-year transition to Canvas is off to a good start with about 20 classes piloting it this fall.

  • Validate your course links in Canvas
    Canvas LMS Logo

    It is important to verify that all links are working throughout a course. The course link validator tool can help make this task easy for faculty

  • What are the different assignment submission types in Canvas?
    Canvas LMS Logo

    As the instructor, you can decide what kinds of submissions are acceptable. You may allow students to:

    No Submission: Assignments can be created that have

  • Back-to-School Online Ed News You Can Use
    Back to School

    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

  • Message to Summer and Fall DE Instructors
    Green Circle

    Hello – as an instructor of a summer and/or fall online/hybrid class at MiraCosta, the following information and action items are especially for you.

  • Bb Collaborate Ultra Experience in Blackboard Learn
    CCC Confer Logo

    Blackboard Collaborate is a real-time video conferencing tool that lets you add files, share applications, and use a virtual whiteboard to interact. Collaborate with

  • Accessible Narrated Streaming PowerPoint Presentations
    3C Media Solutions Logo

    Microsoft PowerPoint is a common teaching tool that many instructors use to present course materials. In order to use these presentations within an online

  • MiraCosta transitioning to Canvas
    Canvas Logo

    As you have likely heard, MiraCosta College will be transitioning to the Canvas course management system over the next two years. This decision

  • Rearrange the my Courses Module Display
    Blackboard Logo

    You can rearrange the my Courses module by Term to group all courses by term first and then by course  Or, you can rearrange the courses in

  • Getting Started with Blackboard
    Blackboard Logo

    Here are a few websites to help you get started teaching with Blackboard at MiraCosta College.

    How to Log On
    Blackboard is located at: https://blackboard.miracosta.edu

  • April Online Ed News You Can Use
    Green Light Bulb

    Welcome back!
    Course Management System Evaluation – STILL TIME FOR YOU TO PROVIDE INPUT!
    Thanks to all who have responded to the CMS evaluation survey to

  • March Online Ed News You Can Use
    Green Circle

    Course Management System Evaluation Update
    The task force of faculty, staff, students, and administrators is working hard on this, and March will be a

  • New Year 2016 Online Ed News You Can Use
    Green Circle

    Spring Student Orientations to Online Learning
    I will offer ten online learning orientation sessions this spring, starting on Tuesday 1/27. Please share the schedule with your online/hybrid

  • Make your Blackboard Course Available or Unavailable
    Bb Mobile Learn

    A Blackboard course must be made available before students enrolled in the course will be able to view or access the course and its

  • Record from Webcam: End of Support for YouTube Webcam Recording
    YouTube logo

    Video Everywhere in Blackboard
    Bulletin/Advisory Information:
    Google has announced that the webcam capture feature will not be available on YouTube after January 16, 2016. 

  • Assigning Extra Credit in the Blackboard Grade Center
    Bb Mobile Learn

    CMET Consulting has an excellent video on adding extra credit in the Blackboard Grade Center.

    Adding extra credit using unweighted total (i.e. straight points).

  • TechSmith Relay: Chrome Web Browser Warning
    Techsmith Relay Logo

    TechSmith Relay requires the Silverlight plugin within your browser for captioning and proper video encoding.   The Chrome web browser on both the MAC and

  • TechSmith Relay: YouTube Video Captioning Alert
    Techsmith Relay Logo

    It has come to our attention that videos that were captioned with TechSmith Relay and published through the profile ‘Caption and Publish to YouTube.com

  • Course Management System Semester-End Tasks
    Round icon graphic displaying computers, phones, and tablets

    Blackboard faculty:

    Review steps here including ensuring your grades total correctly, saving key information from your class, and copying courses into the spring.
    Be aware

  • Dec. Online Ed News You Can Use
    Green Circle

    Course Management System Evaluation this Spring
    This spring, MiraCosta College will be re-evaluating its course management system. We have been using Blackboard as our

  • Spring Online & Hybrid Class Instructor Information
    Back to School Apple

    Please review the following key information/requests for instructors of MiraCosta spring online and/or hybrid classes:
    1. Online Class Schedule – Please Update!
    It’s time to update the MiraCosta

  • Spring 2016 Blackboard Course Shells Available
    Bb Mobile Learn

    Spring 2016 course shells are available on Blackboard at MiraCosta College.

    Interested in reusing content from Fall or Summer 2015?  Follow these directions.
    Spring 2015 and

  • Nov. Online Ed News You Can Use
    Green Circle

    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

  • Oct. (already!) Online Ed News You Can Use
    Green Circle

    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.

  • Sept. Online Ed News You Can Use
    Green Circle

    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

  • Blackboard Updates
    Bb Mobile Learn

    By now you hopefully are aware of the many updates made to our Blackboard system at the beginning of summer. The overall

  • Back-to-School Online Ed News You Can Use
    Back to School

    Hope everyone had a great summer! Lots has happened in the Online Ed realm – please see below and click links to learn more.

  • Silverlight is required on the Mac for Techsmith Relay – Self Hosted
    Silverlight Logo

    The browser plugin Silverlight is required for Mac users of Techsmith Relay-Self Hosted. Without the Silverlight plugin you will be able to record however you will

  • Turnitin assignments information for Fall 15
    Turnitin.com Logo

    PLEASE NOTE: The Aug. 13 update mentioned in the message below has now been completed, and new Turnitin assignments may be created for fall

  • How to set Firefox on a PC to not open a zip file after downloading
    Firefox Logo

    On a Windows PC complete the following tasks within the Firefox web browser

    Click Open Menu button
    This button is located in the top right

  • Current State of Blackboard. Please Read
    Bb Mobile Learn

    MiraCosta College Faculty,
    As you hopefully are aware, at the beginning of June we completed a Blackboard upgrade. This email gives a quick overview of

  • Blackboard-generated email: What to expect

    Blackboard offers many ways that faculty and students can communicate via email to others enrolled in a Blackboard course. Blackboard can also automatically send

  • Chrome browser with Blackboard Collaborate Voice Board
    Chrome browser logo

    Faculty and students that are trying to access the Blackboard Collaborate Voice Board through the Chrome Browser will need to complete the following.
    As of Chrome Version 42, an additional configuration

  • Summer Online Ed News You Can Use
    Green Circle

    Happy Summer!
    Blackboard Update Complete
    The Blackboard system update means there are new features and functions to learn about. It also means your procedure

  • Blackboard’s New Release for Summer and Fall 2015
    Bb Mobile Learn

    MiraCosta College upgraded to the newest release of Blackboard for Summer and Fall 2015. https://blackboard.miracosta.edu. Looking for your Spring 15 or older classes to export content from?  Go to:

  • Test Availability Settings for Blackboard Tests Proctored at the Academic Proctoring Center

    Academic Proctoring Center (APC)
    If the  Academic Proctoring Center  is proctoring your Blackboard exam the following selections should be made for Test Availability within the Blackboard Test Options

  • Top Success Tips for Students Taking Blackboard Exams

    Following these suggestions will reduce the likelihood of having technical problems completing your exams, and reduce the need for your instructor to reset your

  • Setting up Notifications E mail, SMS Text Messages, or Text to Voice Messages in Blackboard

    This feature is currently not working for SMS text messages and voice messages.  Email is still working.  Bb is working on a fix for the

  • Archive your Course

    The Archive Course feature allows you to archive (save a backup) of your courses that includes student records  in .zip format.  The archive course zip

  • Review the Student Total Column and Export your Grade Center to Excel

    At the end of the semester it is important to ensure that your student grades are calculated correctly within the Blackboard Grade Center, and

  • End of Semester Blackboard Tasks for Faculty
    Bb Mobile Learn

    The following are important tasks for faculty to complete at the end of each semester in Blackboard.
    1.  Grade Center: Review the Student Total

  • May Online Ed News You Can Use
    Green Circle

    Blackboard Updates
    Your MiraCosta Blackboard dynamic duo – Karen Brown and Karen Korstad – has been working hard to update the hardware and software

  • April Online Ed News You Can Use
    Green Circle

    Blackboard Updates

    Look for your summer and fall course shells in early May. A significant software and hardware upgrade for our Blackboard system is underway.

  • Online Teaching Conference 2015 | Be an Early Bird!
    Online Class Teaching with Technology

    The Online Teaching Conference is in San Diego on June 18-19, with pre-conference workshops on June 17. As in recent years, I am able

  • CourseSites by Blackboard
    COURSEsites by Blackboard logo

    Host your Blackboard Courses Online Free with COURSEsites by Blackboard

    Course Sites Website
    Getting Started Building Your Course Online
    Learn More about COURSEsites by Blackboard

    With COURSEsites you can:

    Create up

  • March Online Ed News You Can Use
    Green Circle

    Happy Spring!
    Blackboard email Issues
    Last spring, AOL and Yahoo changed some of their email rules (aka “DMARC”) to try to cut down on

  • February Online Ed News You Can Use
    Green Circle

    Online Education Initiative (OEI) updates
    OEI has made its selection of a common course management system: Canvas. Read more about the selection, or put

  • Safari: How to set your browser to download the ZIP file and not unzip/extract it

    Faculty that are trying to download the ZIP file that was produced during a Blackboard course export, downloads as a file folder and not

  • January Online Ed News You Can Use
    Green Circle

    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

  • Start of the Semester Blackboard Tasks
    Blackboard Logo

    Welcome to the Spring 2015 semester at MiraCosta College.
    If you are teaching with Blackboard make your Course Available for student view prior to

  • Embed a YouTube Video within Blackboard with YouTube Embed Code

    Embed a YouTube Video within Blackboard with YouTube Embed Code
    You can embed videos directly in to Blackboard with Embed Code from YouTube.

    Go to

  • November Online Ed News You Can Use
    Green Circle

    Online Education Initiative update
    Last Friday, the MiraCosta Online Educators committee, in collaboration with the Academic Senate and Faculty Assembly, held a forum to

  • How to get longer uploads on YouTube
    YouTube logo

      YouTube is a free video sharing website perfect for instructional videos.  Wonder how to get uploads longer than 15 minutes on YouTube?

  • 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

  • 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 tutoring, online writing support,

  • Searching for Images in Google that are free to use

    Google has an extensive collection of images available. Many of them are free to use.

  • If you are using Jing, it is time to upgrade to Snagit.

    I had a faculty member this week who has been using the free screencasting tool Jing for some time and uploading the resulting videos

  • Showing a letter grade in the Blackboard Grade Center when a student’s overall score is more than 100%

    When students earn more than 100% in a course, due to extra credit, the Blackboard grade center will show a score rather than a letter

  • Item Analysis in Blackboard
    Blackboard Logo

    Item analysis provides statistics on overall test performance and individual test questions. This data helps you recognize questions that might be poor discriminators of

  • September Online Ed News You Can Use

    Hope your semester is starting well!
    Online Education Initiative (OEI) Update and Opportunities
    You probably heard that MiraCosta is one of 24 colleges selected

Add a TA or other MCC Employee to Canvas

As an instructor you can add a TA or other MiraCosta College employee to your Canvas course.

(You cannot add students to your course on Canvas. Students are automatically enrolled from SURF to your Canvas course several times a day.)

Add a TA or other MCC Employee to Canvas

  1. Enter your Canvas course
  2. Click People on the left course menu
  3. Click the +People button at far right
  4. Select Login ID 

    Add People

  5. Enter SURF ID of the user in the box.
    • You can enter one user at a time.  Example: jjulius
    • Or multiples with a comma and space between eachExample: jjulius, mparks
  6. Select the appropriate role for the user. ‍
    • Available role options are TA, Teacher, Grader, Designer, and Observer (see below for details on these options)
  7. Click the Next button
    • Some IDs may already be used in Canvas at other colleges. If you get a prompt about this, select the ID that is associated with MiraCosta College.
  8. Click the Add Users button

Add user from MiraCosta College

Course Roles Explained

Note: None of the following should be used for evaluators, tutors, or SI leaders. See the following section for information about adding those.

Teaching Assistant (TA) Role

  • Primary use: TAs assigned to a specific class to help the instructor.
  • Permissions: TAs have permissions equivalent to the Teacher role. They have all course-level permissions, including the ability to add, edit and delete all content in a course; grade students; edit course settings; and manually add individuals with active Canvas user accounts.
  • Limitations: None.


  • Please DO NOT use this role. Teachers are assigned automatically based on SURF.


  • Primary use: TAs or other staff who are grading, but should not be able to modify or significantly participate in the class.
  • Permissions: Graders can view submitted student work and enter grades and comments. They can also view files, announcements, assignments, gradebook, and quizzes.
  • Limitations: Graders cannot manage course content, manage messages, view discussions, view question banks, or view student pages.


  • Primary use: Department staff, content providers, and other instructional support staff.
  • Permissions: Create course content, discussions, announcements, assignments, quizzes, and other content features.
  • Limitations: Designers cannot add other individuals to a course and cannot access grades.


  • Primary use: Mentors, advisors, and others who need to monitor the course.
  • Permissions: Observers have access to view course content.
  • Limitations: Observers have no permissions to edit or participate in course activities.

Adding Student Permission Level Users

You cannot manually enroll users at the student permission level to your Canvas course.

If you have any of the following, contact the departments listed below directly to have the user enrolled within your course at the student permission level.

  • Faculty Evaluator: Contact Heidi Willis at (760) 795-6827 or hwillis@miracosta.edu in the Office of Instruction.
  • Tutor: Contact Janine Washabaugh at (760) 757-2121 ext. 7748 or jwashabaugh@miracosta.edu in the Tutoring & Academic Support Center (TASC) .
  • Writing Center SI Leader: Contact Jessica Perez-Corona at (760) 757-2121 ext. 6339 or jperezcorona@miracosta.edu in the Writing Center.
  • Community Education Student: Contact Karen Turpin at kturpin@miracosta.edu. Include the confirmation of student enrollment through community education, the SURF ID of the student, and your 4 digit class number.

Try These 10 Things To Fix Your Computer Problem Before You Call Support

Troubleshooting computer problems is part of modern life when you teach online. Before you make that support call, try your hand at fixing some of the most common problems yourself.

  1. Check your Course Management System (CMS) Status
    Is it a maintenance time? Or is your CMS currently experiencing an outage?

    1. Canvas
    2. Moodle
    3. Blackboard
  2. Clear Browser Cache (history, cookies, etc.)
    Clearing your browser cache often will resolve the problem by allowing your computer to download the latest version of the webpage and/or software.
  3. Try a Different Browser
    If you have cleared your browser cache and things are still not working as you expect try a different browser. Example: if you are using Chrome, try Firefox and visa versa. Ensure that your browsers are up to date. You can always download the latest version free online.

    1. Chrome
    2. Firefox
  4. Restart your Computer
    Many faculty and staff solve their problems with this simple step. Always a good option to try.
  5. Check your Internet Connection Speed
    A slow connection could be why your CMS system is running slow.  Share your result with your internet service provider as necessary to resolve.
  6. Enable Browser Cookies
    Cookies are small files which are stored on a user’s computer. They are designed to hold a modest amount of data specific to a particular client and website, and can be accessed either by the web server or the client computer. This allows the online server to deliver a page tailored to a particular user, or the page itself can contain some script which is aware of the data in the cookie and so is able to carry information from one visit to the website (or related site) to the next.
  7. Enable Java
    It strongly recommended to have the latest version to ensure proper functionality of our online systems.

    1. Review ‘What is Java and Why do I need it?
    2. Download Java
  8. Manage Pop-Up Blockers
    Pop-up windows, or pop-ups, are windows that appear automatically without your permission. They vary in size but usually don’t cover the whole screen. They are often required for certain online website applications to work properly.
  9. Make sure that your Operating System is fully updated. 
    Neglecting updates could deprive you of important bug and performance fixes.

    1. Apple Computer
    2. PC Computer 
  10. Check your Device Settings
    This is a great tool to identify what is on your computer, browser version, plugins, etc. This tool can help you update your computer yourself, and/or can be provided to tech support to assist you further with troubleshooting.

Summer 2017 Online Ed News You Can Use

Summer & Fall Classes – Blackboard & Canvas

All summer and fall classes are available to faculty now in both Blackboard and Canvas. Remember, MiraCosta will support Blackboard, Moodle, and Canvas through spring of 2018, with full conversion to Canvas by summer 2018. Please refer to information I recently sent out for more details on Canvas and Blackboard.

As you update syllabi and classes…

Please make your students aware of online tutoring, the online writing center, the 24×7 online ask-a-librarian service, and support workshops for online learning. These services are open to all MiraCosta students in any class! For online and hybrid classes, you may wish to review the online class quality guidelines approved by the Academic Senate last 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.

New Preferred Name Change form for students

A&R now has a very simple Preferred Name Change form up for students. Preferred name is the default name automatically used on class rosters and student ID cards, in online courses (Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle), and to borrow items from the college library. This form is linked in two places on the A&R site:

It can be faxed or emailed to A&R so students don’t even need to come to campus. This is especially important as we transition to Canvas since unlike Blackboard, students don’t have a way to alter their first name within Canvas. So, for students who prefer to be known by a different name from their legal/formal name on record, this is a great option.

Online/Hybrid Instructors: Please update Online Class Schedule

For all those teaching an online or hybrid course this summer or fall, please make sure your class description is up to date on the Online Class Schedule page. This is especially important over the next few semesters as students will be wondering which course management system to find each class in. You can provide that and other important information there to help students prepare for success in your class. Please contact me if you are uncertain how to update the information.

Summer Student Orientation to Online Learning sessions

I will offer two online learning orientation sessions for Blackboard and two for Canvas this summer. Please share the schedule with your online/hybrid students and encourage their attendance. You can use SURF to find out which of your students have attended. When you scroll to the bottom of the Class Roster page, and click the “Student Orientation to Online Learning Roster” link, a PDF should open in a new browser tab or window with a roster showing which students attended an orientation, and on what date.

Trial of a New Online Teaching Evaluation Tool this summer

This year, MOE investigated tools that may increase the typically very low response rates for student surveys of online instruction, and recommended that MiraCosta take a close look at CourseEval HQ. PG&E and FA approved the idea of running a trial of this in the summer term with the clear caveat that student responses would be shared only with the instructor and not used for any evaluative purposes; only response rate data will be shared more widely. If you are a full-time faculty member teaching an online or hybrid class in Canvas this summer and would like to be part of this initial trial of the tool, please contact me.

NetTutor Online Tutoring Service

An online tutoring option for MiraCosta distance education classes is NetTutor, which is available to MiraCosta as a CCC Online Education Initiative pilot college. NetTutor provides 24×7 coverage of just about any academic subject, and is available via a link embedded within your class course management system environment (Blackboard or 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. Contact me if you’re interested in NetTutor for your summer or fall class(es).

Summer Online Ed Professional Learning Opportunities

Happy summering,

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

Canvas and Blackboard: Important Updates

Hello, MiraCosta faculty – happy summer!

As you are hopefully well aware, MiraCosta is transitioning to Canvas. Blackboard and Moodle remain available through next spring, but by summer 2018 we will be fully onto Canvas. This spring, over 20% of our classes used Canvas and I have heard so much positive feedback from faculty and students. Read on for important information about both Canvas and Blackboard.

Canvas Info

If you are planning on working in Canvas this summer, be sure to bookmark MiraCosta’s primary Canvas support page:


The page includes information about upcoming Canvas classes and recordings of past classes, screencasts of MiraCosta faculty touring you through their classes, and much more. Full-time faculty can still sign up for the upcoming 4-week online summer Canvas training.

In addition, the following new TIC pages may be of interest:

All summer and fall MiraCosta classes are available to faculty in Canvas, so even if you’re not quite ready to teach with it, you can begin exploring it any time.

We are considering how long faculty would like to keep past classes in Canvas in their Dashboard vs. having the classes moved to the Past Courses area of Canvas. If you would like to learn more about this and weigh in, please take this quick survey.

Blackboard Info

All summer/fall classes continue to be available in Blackboard as well.

A major required update to our Blackboard system is occurring this Monday, June 5, and the Blackboard system will be unavailable throughout the day.

The system’s appearance and functions should remain largely consistent with your previous experience, but if you wish to learn more about the changes that are included in this update, please visit Blackboard’s release notes site and check out the notes for the Q4 2015, Q2 2016, Q4 2016, and Q2 2017 releases.

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

Canvas Start of the Semester Instructor Checklist

Create or Import your Content

You have multiple ways to build your class

• Copy content from a previous semester in Canvas:

• Create your content from scratch in Canvas:

• Import content from a Blackboard course:

Review Assignments, Quizzes, and Discussions

  • Verify activities to be used in the course are published.
  • Verify dates. Due dates are added to the calendar and the syllabus and serve as reminders to students. “Available from” and “Until” dates will unlock and lock the activity.
  • Verify instructions are accurate and well formatted.
  • Verify the submission type (assignments only).
  • Verify number of attempts is correct (quizzes only).
  • Verify assignment groups are set up correctly. See: How to use Assignment Index Page.
  • Verify assignments are weighted correctly, if using a weighted grading system. See: How to Weight Assignment Groups.
  • Verify discussions are ordered logically on Discussions list page.
  • Verify Quiz “Options” are correct. See: Canvas Quiz Options.

Review Course Details

Final Preparations


  • Canvas email (Inbox/Conversation) messages will not be sent out if the course is unpublished. Send Email from your SURF Roster instead prior to publishing the course.
  • Pay attention to the time stamp on anything you have placed a date on. 12:00 means the very first minute of the selected day. For end dates, it is often best to choose 11:59 PM to ensure you are setting it up on the correct date.
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