What’s an Unconference? Conferences are about presentations but an Unconference is about conversation…conversations around topics you choose. So, we won’t create the schedule – you will! Tell us what you want to talk about and we’ll find someone to facilitate that conversation OR better yet – tell us what topic you are willing to facilitate a conversation around. We are all busy getting ready for this upcoming year and all faced with many of the same challenges…we have much we can share and discuss so let’s get together and talk! What do you want to talk about? Tell us! Then join the conversation on Wednesday August 14, 2019 in the CTL.
MCC Faculty will be interested in knowing that there are some significant features in Canvas LMS as they prepare for Fall 2019 semester courses. Here is a brief rundown for each new feature:
Course Card Images
For several years Canvas has allowed course instructors and designers to add an image to their course card so it shows up in the Canvas dashboard, but forever has been in a state not allowed for use at MCCCD. If you don’t have time to design a course card image yourself, the feature integrates an image search. This allows you to spruce up your course design in less than 5 minutes.
New Grade Book
Canvas has had a new grade book design in the works for several semesters as an institutional opt-in feature for several years. Their new Grade Book is finally ready for prime time use in preparation for a final switch over in January 2020 as the ONLY way to keep an online grade book in Canvas. We are encouraging faculty to begin using the new grade book as soon as possible. In order to use it you need to go to your course settings and opt-in via the Features tab. Check the CTL Calendar for in-person workshops/tutorials on how to use the new grade book, or contact a CTL Staff Member for an in-person consultation.
New Quizzes Feature
Canvas has had a new quizzing engine in the works for several semesters as an institutional opt-in feature for several years. The new quiz tool features many improvements to building and delivering quizzes in Canvas over the quiz feature that MCC faculty have been used to from the time Canvas was adopted in Fall 2012. Instructure has not determined 100% when this new quizzing engine will become the default, but is allowing instructors to opt-in if there’s a feature that makes it compelling to try out in your course offering.
What you should know before you use New Quizzes:
It is recommended that you work closely with a CTL staff member to determine if using new Canvas quiz tool is right for you. It is not up to feature parity with the existing quiz tool, and there are a number of known issues.
If you are interested in trying to use the tool, please contact a member of the CTL staff first.
This feature option has at its heart the idea of adaptive learning. Mastery Paths lets you design course content that will direct students to content that can serve as a remedial or for review before progressing to other content. In other words, students have to master a certain aspect of course content in order to have access to other course content. In order to use it you need to go to your course settings and opt-in via the Features tab.
Release Schedule Change
Did you know that Canvas updates on a regular schedule? If you do or do not, you should take note that the release schedule has been updated to become more predicable. New features are released on the 3rd Saturday of each month with smaller changes like bug fixes are relegated to updates called Deploys. Check out this Instructure blog post for details.
Turnitin is MCCCDs official Plagiarism review platform. In the past, Canvas has been able to integrate with Turnitin in a variety of ways, with the latest being called the Plagiarism Framework option. At some point in time MCCCD will switch off the existing integration, but for now we are beginning to migrate our existing faculty users to this new framework. Some of the highlights of this new integration option are as follows:
We recognize that most of the time a workshop is never the right time, exactly the right content, or pace you need/want to work at. As such we have created online courses to offer you just in time, whenever you want PD around topics such as: Quality Matters, Canvas Basics, OER, and more. Simply pick your course and get started! We facilitate the courses and will give you feedback. Also, we realize you may not like learning online so we encourage you to schedule one on one sessions with any one of us to help you on an individual basis. Want to learn about Flipped? Schedule a 1 hour session and we can give you the information we would cover in a workshop but catered to what you know and what you specifically you want to accomplish. Also, we encourage you to continue conversations you may have started during the Unconference by starting an Ideation Circle, we’ll support your continued conversations!
A small group of faculty or staff from any area of the college who come together for at least a semester to discuss a teaching and learning topic that they can delve deeply into during group discussions. Ideation Circles can be around a book, a problem, a project, or simply a topic of interest that will generate conversation, reflection, and build community.
Faculty Cultural Introspection Ideation Circle
Cultural Introspection is a self-examination of the cultural, familial, and community influences on personal values. (Chávez & Longerbeam, 2016)
MCC faculty (residential, adjunct, OYO/OSO) are invited to engage with cultural introspection for teaching across cultures to understand the role of our personal cultural influences in our pedagogical choices, interactions with students, and judgements about values, priorities, and student behaviors.
An Unconference is the “anti conference” – its about conversation NOT about presentation. We each have wisdom in our field based on experience and what better way to learn from each other by engaging in conversation about the many topics us that impact our work as educators. Join the conversation!
Module DuplicationPreviously, course content items could only be duplicated individually. With the recent Modules update, instructors can duplicate entire modules. If your module has a quiz in it the module cannot be duplicated. How Do I Duplicate a Module?
Section Specific AnnouncementsInstructors can now create section-specific announcements in their courses. When creating an announcement, instructors can select to send the announcement to all sections, one section, or multiple sections. How Do I Create a Section-Specific Announcement?
Inactive Role – (This behavior will begin Aug 25th) Statement from DO ITS: “Title IV Reporting Improvements (Last Day of Attendance) – ITS and the Office of the General Counsel’s Compliance division, with input from faculty and staff from around the district, developed an application that will assist faculty in reporting more accurate Last Day of Attendance(LDA) dates to the student information system (SIS). This allows for accurate reporting of Title IV funding to the federal government and reduces financial audits at the college and district levels. The system will query Maricopa’s online learning management studio presenting appropriate options to faculty and will launch the beginning of August – prior to the start of the fall semester.” To support last day of attendance and other operational issues regarding student activity not being available when a student has a withdrawn status in SIS, they have been getting deleted on the Canvas side.The DO ITS team in charge of SIS->Canvas interface has decided to make use of the inactive status in Canvas with the SIS interface so that students who are withdrawn will not have access to their Canvas course but their data will still remain in the course.Faculty will likely notice this in two areas of the course:
The people tab. All students who have ever enrolled in the course will always display here so this will make the list longer than it has in the past. This first semester is an introduction to this method and you may receive calls for support about the inactive tag showing up in the people tab or instructors wanting information about dropped students.
Here’s another institution’s description of the purpose and effect:
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Badgr is the official Canvas badging solution supported by Instructure. Look for special communication about using Badges in your Canvas courses.
Classroom discussions can be exciting, invigorating, and provide students with opportunities to connect, not only to your content, but to each other and you as the professor. Sometimes though, topics can be divisive or challenging to address. Maintaining and encouraging civil discourse can be challenging. Recently, The Chronicle of Higher Education approached this very topic with an article on a classroom strategy called “Reflective Structured Dialogue.” With this approach conversations begin first with a story rather than an opinion. There is a story behind why we have our opinions that we do, this approach has us share that story rather than the opinion itself. A story about how or why they have the opinion helps frame our opinions and starts the conversation on a more personal and respectful level. Read the full article here at The Chronicle.