CTL Blog

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Be Right Back

The CTL will be closed

Tuesday July 26th at 12:00 noon

For department planning.

Thank you for your patience as we strive to plan how we can best support you this upcoming year!

The CTL Team
Canvas Commons Header Image

Announcing Canvas Commons

On June 30, Maricopa launches a new teaching and learning tool within Canvas called Commons. A team faculty, library, eLearning and Center for Teaching and Learning staff from across the District collaborated to bring this new learning objects component to Canvas.

What is Commons?

Commons is an addition to Maricopa’s current Canvas license that allows the sharing, discovering, and reusing of learning activities and objects in a seamless and easy-to-use environment. Using Commons, faculty (and users with teacher and designer access to Canvas courses) will be able to search for relevant materials from personal, institutional or public learning object repositories. This means they can design courses and activities (modules, assignments and quizzes) without creating materials from scratch or pulling them from external sources.

Commons will also offer a platform to share resources and content expertise within Maricopa and a wider educational community, a tremendous asset for sharing template courses, assignments, and more.

As an added student benefit, Commons will deepen Maricopa’s commitment to the Open Educational Resources (OER) Maricopa Millions project by providing a platform where Maricopa Millions OER resources can be shared and showcased.

Learn more about Commons (Overview Video).

Will this change Canvas?

The Commons feature is very unobtrusive and will not change how faculty design or teach courses in Canvas. For users who have teacher or designer-level access to Canvas, a new global navigation menu will appear that says “Commons.” Students will not see the Commons option.

Where can I learn more?

There are great resources to get you ready for this exciting tool.

Commons Community
Commons Guides
Subscribe to the Commons Newsletter
Enroll in the Welcome to Commons Course

Will training be offered?

MCC will offer training on how to use Commons, as well as best practices for sharing and using Commons materials (copyright and content licensing). Please look for additional campus announcements from the MCC Center for Teaching and Learning and via the MCC Intranet for more information about training opportunities.

If you have any questions, contact the MCC Center for Teaching and Learning: ctl@mesacc.edu or 480-461-7331

Canvas and Turnitin.com logo

Changes to Turnitin​® Integration Coming May 18

As you may be aware, there have been integration issues between Canvas and Turnitin® since mid-October, 2015. Neither Instructure nor Turnitin® have been able to fully resolve these issues due to the use of an older, soon-to-be deprecated, integration. To improve and stabilize this service, we are removing the old integration effective May 18.  The new Turnitin® LTI integration gives Canvas users full access to all Turnitin® functionality (OriginalityCheck™, GradeMark and PeerMark) and ensures we will be able to utilize new features and fixes as they are released for the product.

What does this mean to you?  You will need to download any originality reports you wish to keep before May 18, as you will lose access to them once the old integration is removed. You will need to re-configure assignments for Summer and Fall 2016 courses to use the new integration anytime before or after May 18. Follow this guide for step-by-step instructions.

If you have any questions contact the CTL via email: ctl@mesacc.edu or phone: 480-461-7331

Canvas New UI Announcement Banner

Canvas New User Interface is Coming in May

A New Face for the Same Canvas

On May 18, MCCCD is planning to move to the new Canvas User Interface (UI). The new UI has been in international Canvas environments since Summer of 2015 and now will become standard for all instances of Canvas.

This updated interface (look-and-feel) for Canvas includes:

  • an enhanced user experience for the Dashboard and Global Navigation menu, and
  • a collapsed Course Navigation that allow for a more content-focused and responsive layout.

What does this change mean for me and for students?

Canvas will look different, but it will work the same. For example, menus like the Global Navigation will move to the left-side of the screen, but the feature options available in the menu will not change.

New Canvas UI Quick Reference (Print Version).
New Canvas UI Dashboard & Global Menu (Interactive Reference)
New Canvas UI Course Menu (Interactive Reference)

Preview the Changes

Faculty and staff can preview the changes in the MCCCD Canvas Test environment at https://maricopa.test.instructure.com. We encourage you to view your courses and become familiar with the new UI.

Please note that this is a testing environment and changes made will not be reflected in the live production site.

What resources are available to assist me and students with the new User Interface?

Faculty Resources

Student Resources

Do I need to change my links to Canvas Guides?

All the Canvas Guides have already been changed to reflect the new interface. Be sure you provide links to the new Canvas User Guides.

Get a Sneak Peek in this Video Overview

Canvas New UI Overview Video


Maricopa Millions logo

OER Development Grants, Phase 6

OER (Open Educational Resources) hold great promise for reducing costs and increasing access to required course materials. Community colleges around the country (Washington, California, Virginia) have joined in with national efforts to increase the production and use of OER materials. Washington’s OER project saved students over $1.25 million in just the 2011-12 academic year, and over $5.5 million since 2011.

The main goal of the Maricopa Millions Open Education Resources (OER) Project is to reduce educational costs for students. Spending less money on textbooks and materials will foster greater access to materials for students, which may enable them to stay on track with completing their courses.

The Maricopa Millions OER Project includes developing a strategic, sustainable OER infrastructure that would include: awareness, professional development, OER development and technical support, marketing and technical structure. In order for OER to be successful at MCCCD, we have established an OER strategic planning and implementation team to establish and oversee specific OER outcomes over the next 5 years.

The driving objective for the project is to save MCCCD students $5 Million Dollars over the next five years through the use of OER materials. And we’ve already reached our goal in 2 1/2 years, but we’re not stopping there.

This Maricopa Millions OER project, through an internal grant process, supports the adoption, adaptation, and development of complete OER course materials for high enrollment courses in the MCCCD.  The final product will be OER course materials that can be easily adopted and modified by other faculty (including adjuncts) teaching that course. Phase 1-3 targeted high enrollment courses. In Phase 4-5 we welcomed all courses to be submitted for the grant.

In Phase 6 we continue to welcome all courses to be submitted for the grant. However, most math courses and the following courses (ENG091, ENG101, ENG102, RDG091, CHM130LL, GBS151, PSY101, PSY230, BIO156, CHM130, CHM150/151/152, HES100, and SWU292) are not eligible, as they have already been funded and/or developed.
A statement of interest is requested by 5pm on Wednesday, February 17, 2016. If submitted, this information will be used to introduce faculty who may have interests in creating the same course in an effort to encourage collaboration. The statement of interest is not required but strongly encouraged.  

Proposals are due by 5pm on Wednesday, March 9, 2016. Group proposals will be accepted and are encouraged.

Grant proposals are now being accepted for OER Development Grants. For more information regarding the OER Development Grant program, please visit our website .

Spring Training Banner

MCC Spring Training Workshops

Register TODAY! MCC’s CTL will offer workshops as part of the MCCCD Spring Trainings Series. Collect tickets, trade cards and take souvenirs for teaching and learning back to your classroom. Workshop details are available on the CTL calendar. The CTL is featuring the OER Ideation Circle during the spring semester. Participate on the main campus and MCC-RDM CTL as scheduled on Mondays. Afternoon sessions available on Tuesdays. Ideation Circles provide space to collectively explore educational topics.

CTL Postcard Spr16 Workshops

MCLI Sum16 Project Applications DUE

The deadline for submitting MCLI Summer Project applications is next week, Thursday February 11th by noon.

Applications must be emailed to facultyprofessionalgrowth@domail.maricopa.edu

Three documents that will help you apply for a Summer Project: the summer project application, the application guide and the rubric used to score applications.

The maximum dollar amount for 2016 Summer Projects is $2,500.00. Please note Summer Projects can begin May 14, 2016 and must be completed by June 30, 2016.


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OER Ideation Circle

The CTL will be featuring an OER Ideation Circle during the Spring semester. Ideation Circles require 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. Annapurna Ganesh and other Education Studies faculty have formed an ideation circle on the topic of Open Educational Resources (OERs).

You are invited to explore and learn about OERs. The group intends to meet regularly (twice a month) in the CTL to exchange and share ideas. The same ideation circle will be offered at two different times Mon 10:15 – 11 and Tues 4:30 – 5:15, you are welcome to choose either time to participate.

See the CTL calendar for the dates of the OER Featured Ideation Circle. The first session will be offered on February 8 or 9. Bring your questions, resources and ideas as we discover OERs together. We will be meeting in the CTL lobby at the Southern & Dobson campus. MCC-RDM faculty will be meeting in the CTL spot located in the PV instructional support room (adjunct office area).


Canvas and Turnitin.com logo

Turnitin Originality Checking and Canvas Integration

Faculty who use Canvas have had the option of running their students online composition assignments against Turnitin.com right within the Canvas assignment since we first adopted Canvas in 2012.

Beginning Spring 2016, Turnitin.com is changing the way that Learning Management Systems such as Canvas integrate with their services. This will require a few simple steps to re-configure any existing assignments faculty wish to re-use from a previous semester.

Please click this link for instructions to the new way of  configuring NEW assignments.

For help with configuring existing assignments click here.

There will be a workshop presented in the CTL workshop room (AS175) on Thursday Jan 14 at 11:00am with finer details/training on how to work with this new integration of Turnitin for Canvas.

If you are a faculty member needing help/assistance with these techology tools, please contact the Center for Teaching and Learning at 480-461-7331 or email: ctl@mesacc.edu

Turnitin Revision Assistant Demonstration


Revision Assistant Demonstration

Maricopa is investigating the opportunity to become an early adopter of a new tool called Revision Assistant to help students in the writing process. The primary audience is writing faculty, especially developmental and freshman composition courses. We are excited about this opportunity as a District and want to help you learn more about this leading edge tool.

On Monday, November 23, 2015, Turnitin visited GateWay Community College to deliver live demonstration Revision Assistant.

This tool is a proprietary product in early adopter phase and subsequently available to limited audiences. Turnitin permitted us to record the session to share with faculty who were unable to attend the live demo, but it is important that the demonstration video not be shared with anyone outside of MCCCD at any time.

  1. Revision Assistant Demonstration. Learn more about the tool and how it works by watching the demonstration video.

  2. Got Questions? If you have any questions about this tool or program, please submit it to the Revision Assistant Questions form.

  3. Participate in the Early Adopter Program. Please complete the Revision Assistant Opt-In form no later than end of day Wednesday, 12/9/15, if you are interested in participating in the program.

Once we determine if we have enough interest in this program, we will follow up with planning and implementation details. Thank you for your interest.

Project Team

Melissa VerSchage

(602) 286-8932


Jeff Anderson

(480) 461-7709


Karen Russo

(602) 286-8925