Required Course Review Myth Clarification: Before I start the main part of my post for this month, I want to clarify a misconception that has come to my attention. Any California community college can choose to adopt Canvas as their new course management system. Courses do not have to go through course review in order to migrate to Canvas. The use of the review process is purely a local college decision.
We hope that your college will consider reviewing courses and aligning them to the OEI Course Design Rubric, but there is no requirement to do so from the Online Education Initiative. If a college is putting courses in the OEI Course Exchange, however, then we do review those courses.
Colleges are also not required to participate in the Course Exchange if they adopt Canvas—again, it’s a local college decision. For more information about the exchange, see my earlier blog posts.
The Online Education Initiative Core Team
Have you seen us? We’ve been visiting colleges all over the state. I’ll bet you have met us! We are educators just like you and we truly care about the current and future students of California.
In years past, I was a CIS/Multimedia faculty member, Dean of Distance Education (DE) and co-Director of @ONE from the Mt. San Jacinto Community College District (CCD) and (long ago) Yuba College. Jory Hadsell, our Chief Academic Affairs Officer, is a former community college teacher and DE program director from the Los Rios CCD. Bonnie Peters, Chief Student Services Officer, hails from San Diego CCD where, as a counselor, she designed and directed an online counseling program. Michelle Pilati, Interim Chief Professional Development Officer, has been online-teaching faculty for many years, tenured at Rio Hondo and part-time at Mt. San Jacinto, Compton and Foothill colleges. Barbara Illowsky, Dean of Basic Skills & Open Educational Resources, is tenured faculty at De Anza College, and is one of the best online mathematics teachers around. Jayme Johnson, Director of Accessibility and User Experience, has been facilitating online accessibility for as long as I can remember. Joe Moreau, the OEI’s co-Executive Sponsor, has been art-faculty-turned-educational-technology-wizard, and has also been at three districts in the California Community Colleges (CCC) over his many years of service to students.
Many of us have been academic senate presidents and curriculum committee chairs, technology committee leaders, technicians and, most importantly, passionate educators in the CCC. This is our core team. We have taught psychology, art, multimedia production, business, mathematics, computer science and more over the years—all online. We are you.
Talk With Us
When you see us visiting at a college or at a conference, please introduce yourselves and let us know what resources we need to help you with your online teaching work. Our goal is to support the CCC in assisting students in their efforts to complete their educational goals. We are leading a huge student success initiative that is focused on making online learning effective and available across California. Talk with us!
I wanted to mention just a few of the upcoming activities of the initiative, and also let you know how things are generally going. I’ll start with some info about where you can find us in the next few months.
April 7-8, the OEI and the CCC Council for Staff and Organizational Development (4C/SD) will co-host a conference dedicated to faculty and staff who are responsible for providing professional development at their institutions. The conference will be held at the Doubletree Hotel in Claremont, Calif.
The OEI is participating in this year’s 4CSD annual conference, in part, to encourage DE coordinators in the CCC to join in. It often falls to the DE coordinators to develop and implement professional development activities for online educators and the sessions at this year’s conferences can provide ideas, strategies and content for that work. Our partners from @ONE will have a strong presence at the conference. I hope to see many of you there!
Registration is limited and can be accomplished at this link.
Time To Mega-Collaborate!
Later in April, from the 20th to the 22nd, we will be at the Aligning Partnerships for Student Success Conference hosted by the partnership of the Academic Senate for the California Community Colleges (ASCCC), the CCC Chief Instructional Officers (CCCCIO), the California Community College Association of Occupational Educators (CCCAOE) and the Chief Student Services Officers (CCCCSSAA).
As I have written here many times, the Online Education Initiative is about California’s community colleges putting their energy and knowledge together to benefit the students of our state. This conference is dedicated to that end. The recent developments of a variety of initiatives in the state have resulted in a natural synergy across our institutions, made possible by our ability to better communicate and to stay connected to develop educational strategies that benefit students. So it seems natural that the leadership groups in the state would come together for this event.
I am so looking forward to the time for us to be together in one place where we can share our effective practices with each other. It’s been said that a rising tide lifts all boats, and it seems that we are at that point in our history. Be there! You can register at any of the host-groups’ websites. I’ll let you choose your affinity.
I can’t mention conferences without promoting my favorite of all time, the Online Teaching Conference (OTC). This year it will again be at the San Diego Convention Center June 15-17. This is one of the only conferences I am aware of that is devoted to online teaching and learning. It is hosted by the CCC Chancellor’s Office technology projects and is definitely amazing! To register, please visit OnlineTeachingConference.org.
Meet Canvas At InstructureCon
Last but not least is InstructureCon 2016, July 19-21. We are grateful to Instructure for its support of our colleges through the rapid adoption processes our colleges have been participating in. (More info about that a little later in this post.) InstructureCon is the Canvas event hosted by Instructure every year. We are really happy that the OTC and InstructureCon are not happening at the same time, like they were last year! We will be there and hope those of you who are now using Canvas will be too! The Canvas folks will also be with us at the OTC. See the InstructureCon site for more information.
Coming To Visit You!
We are also visiting colleges often. We will be at Fullerton College on March 29, and at Santa Rosa Junior College on May 14. We have been to more than 50 colleges in the past year and will continue to set those visits as you request them! Additionally, we will be participating in the ASCCC regional online education meetings, April 8-9. For more OEI event news, please visit our site atCCCOnlineEd.org.
What’s Going On Within OEI?
There have been some recent additions to our staff. Because we are now deep into implementation of the resources for online learning, we needed to add project management support. Logan Murray and Jessica Hurtado have been hired to do a variety of activities having to do with resource implementation that range from providing the consortium with general support to working on the OEI website and social media presence! (Check out the CCC Online Education Initiative on Facebook!)
Additionally, we have a new associate in our Foothill-De Anza office, Martha Rubin. We are pretty confident that Martha will be the glue that keeps the OEI remote team together and will be available to answer your queries, too! You can contact her at [email protected]. We are very happy to welcome these three to the initiative!
“Wow!” doesn’t quite capture the expression that represents the rapid adoption of Canvas as the systemwide resourced CMS. As of this writing, 64 colleges have completed the paperwork required to adopt Canvas and are in various stages of implementation. Another dozen or so colleges are in the process of confirming their campus decisions or are in the consideration phase. We will be posting a list on our site in the next week or so.
This is an amazing show of solidarity across our colleges as a group working to offer effective online learning opportunities to our students. The rapid adoption has been handled really well by Canvas implementation staff. I have also noticed that, as we had hoped, the colleges that are adopting have been able to follow their own timelines, based on their ability to shift their CMS.
I was at a college last week to present an OEI overview in conjunction with a Canvas demo presentation. I have to say that I was impressed by the demonstration that our Canvas partners gave, including the clear, considerate and knowledgeable answers they provided to the faculty and staff participating in the event. If your college is considering adoption, requesting a Canvas demo is a must. We also have information about the process of CMS change consideration at our website. To find it, click Canvas CCMS under the Technology Resources menu.
Canvas Migration & Faculty Support Resources Available
I want to mention that we have new resource additions to our website. There is a section for faculty and staff resources focused on learning Canvas and migrating to the Canvas CMS. You can also find out how to access the cross-system community!
There are several migration guides that will help both staff and faculty understand how to bring courses from a currently used CMS to Canvas as well as concise information about how to use specific tools within Canvas. Check out these new resources. For specific use of Canvas tools, visit the Migration Support Page, where you will find step-by-step instructions for how to start using a variety of Canvas functions, as well as the Migration Support Guides.
Well, I am off now to register for conferences! See you there.
Pat James is Executive Director of the California Community Colleges Online Education Initiative