Categories for News


Fall 2019 Unconference

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.

Mesa Syllabus Generator

Mesa Syllabus Generator is LIVE!

Are You Ready To Spice Up Your Syllabus?

The Mesa Syllabus Generator is ready to help you create a clean, consistent, and attractive syllabus.
The Mesa Syllabus Generator features:

  • Your specific course information that you provide through a Google Form.
  • All required and recommended syllabus sections from both the District and MCC.
  • Accessible content for students with disabilities.
  • Clean and consistent layout.
  • Complete control over the content after it has been compiled into your syllabus.
  • All delivered to you in a convenient Google Document.

Get started today!

Instructional Strategies Microcredential badges

Its not all about workshops…

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!

CTL Unconference

The Unconference Agenda

Question Everything Unconference

Time AS192 AS193 AS194
9:00 A.M. Canvas Q&A
Jeff Anderson
Debbie Holexa
Reading Strategies for All Disciplines
Anna McWhirter
9:30 A.M. Grants
Ken Maruyama
Making 4Cs Assessment Relevant for Student Learning
Lindsey Pederson
Critical Thinking Through Problem Solving in Your Classroom
Madeleine Chowdhury
10:00 A.M. Generating Discussion in Canvas
Stephanie Williams
Experiential Learning/Internships for ABUS Students
Keith Takata
Activity Based Learning
Susan Nicolson
10:30 A.M. New Media Lab
Eddie Webb
What can MCC do to Help Close the Achievement Gap?
White & Jesse
Libraries are Awesome!
McGuire & King
11:00 A.M. Sharing Strategies for Student Success
Jennifer Strickland
How Does Google Drive Actually Work?
James Bowles
11:30 A.M. Integrating 4C’s in Your Course
Pederson, Barrera, & Garvy
Sharing Culturally Responsive Practice
Beth Alsen
Civic Engagement Through Service Learning
Duane Oakes


Time AS192 AS193 AS194
12:30 P.M. Deciding When to use Excel or Google Sheets
James Bowles
Motivating/Mobilizing Students to Vote
Janell Alewyn
Running an Effective Meeting: Don’t Waste Time
Brian Dille
1:00 P.M. Curriculum Process @MCC
Shannon Ridgeway
Student Enrollment Process: Rosters, 45th Day, and Advising
Rhoads, Banner, & Thor
FPG: Faculty Professional Growth: Salary advancement, travel, and sabbaticals
Erin Rawson
1:30 P.M. Canvas Q&A
Jeff Anderson
Andrew Kasian
Financial Aid: Timelines, Processes, and Scholarships
Pat Peppin
2:00 P.M. Mid-Semester Student Formative Feedback
Janice Dawson
Social Change: Moving Beyond Competition and Conflict
Paul Harasha
Inserting Research Experiences into Courses Far from the “Cutting Edge”
Mark Neeley




Canvas LMS

What’s New in Canvas for Fall 2018

Greetings MCC Faculty and Staff

Welcome to a new semester. If you’ve been away from Canvas we’ve got a summarized list of what may be new to you when you return to getting your course content put together:

  • 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:


  1. The Canvas grade book, but only if they show the option to display inactive students

  2. 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:

    See to see the offical MCCCD statement about this change.

  • Stacking Replies in DocviewerWhen users view comments for a DocViewer-supported document, comments with replies are stacked together. The number of replies is indicated for the comment thread. Users can click the first comment to expand and view all additional comments.

    image of Canvas student docviewer replies that are stacked on top of each other

    Stacked replies is now in DocViewer


  • Badgr is the official Canvas badging solution supported by Instructure. Look for special communication about using Badges in your Canvas courses.
silhouette of an argument

Discussions on Divisive Topics

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.

If you want to learn more about Reflective Structured Dialogue watch this webinar offered by American Library Associations.

Design Safari

Design Principles

Upgrade your OER, documents, slide decks, and other content from good to great by identifying effective layouts, accessible content, and implementing proven design techniques.

When: Thursday, 11/30 OR Friday, 12/1​
Times: 4:30-5:30pm OR 1:00pm-2:00pm
Location: CTL AS-175

Sign up through Maricopa Learn keyword Design Principles.

Films on Demand Discounted Dreams

Discounted Dreams

High Hopes and Harsh Realities of America’s Community Colleges

It’s the 10th anniversary of the PBS documentary on Community Colleges in the US; “Discounted Dreams: High Hopes and Harsh Realities of America’s Community Colleges.” Join us to watch it (55 minutes) then let’s discuss what is our reality now? As we reach a tipping point district wide; a time for transformation, what will MCC value? How do we see learning in the 21st Century? What do we want to transform ourselves into? Join us for snacks, a movie, and dynamic conversation about the heart of what we do in the lives of our students.

Wed, November 29, 1:30pm – 3:00pm
AS160 – CTL Lobby
Cranium Cafe, because human connection matters.

Cranium Cafe for Virtual Office Hours

November 30 & December 1


Join the CTL Staff to Learn More

Dates: Thursday, 11/30 OR Friday, 12/1​
Times: 3:30-4:30pm OR 11:00am-12:00pm
Location: CTL AS-175
Workshop Description: Cranium Cafe integrates with Canvas and enables students to virtually connect with you and receive the support they need in the same way they would during your face-to-face office hours. You’ll be able to provide homework help, screen-share, complete test reviews, provide tutoring, and other just-in-time support.



Fall leaves on trees.

Fall is upon us

Inspire Learning with the CTLOk, truthfully, as a native New Englander, I always struggle with Fall semester beginning when it is over 100 degrees every day but alas, here we are, pouring the chlorine into the pool to keep it from greening over in our absence and moving the sun block back into the cabinet while pulling out our academic bags that have been collecting dust in our offices since May.

While many of us have been here throughout the summer, the pace is most definitely slower. For those of you who unplugged – kudos – and welcome back. Next week we will find the college transform as our students return- bringing with them a new energy, new aspirations for the semester, and new hopes for their future. While you are busy prepping for your new sections for the semester, redesigning your Canvas classrooms, rethinking some of your activities, redrafting your syllabi, and reassessing your grading, allow us to help should you run into any road blocks- be it technical or mental.

We look forward to working with you this academic year as you teach and inspire so many students and welcome the opportunity to hear about your new ideas for your teaching. We have many opportunities this semester to engage in some learning opportunities around college initiatives such as zero cost textbooks, HSI in the classroom, flipped learning, hybrid, online, new technologies, assessment both formative and summative, and so much more. We look forward to working with you to help your students learn and engage in your course content for greater student success. Here are a few opportunities for this week alone…although also a note, we have two Saturdays this semester we are offering pd experiences in case you find the weeks too busy to spend some time here.  CTL calendar of events

Wednesday August 16

  • 9:00 Canvas: What’s New Since May
  • 10:00 Exploring the Canvas Community
  • 1:00 Google in Canvas
  • 2:00 Canvas: Rubrics & Outcomes
  • 3:00 Canvas: Syllabus & Assignments

Thursday August 17

  • 9:00-11:00 Assessment for Learning
  • 12:30-2:30 Course Alignment: From Learning Outcomes to Assessment

Friday August 18