Online Learning, Las Positas College. March 2020, volume 2, number 4

LPC Selected for CVC-OEI Video

                    Mary Lauffer being interviewed.

A video production team from the company Interact Communications descended upon the Teaching and Learning Center on March 4 to shoot a video about LPC's CTE Online Pathways grant. The grant, awarded by the California Virtual Campus-Online Education Initiative, is funding the college's creation of a completely online Certificate of Achievement in Supervisory Management with each course aligned to the CVC-OEI's Course Design Rubric.

Those who were interviewed included Business instructor Mary Lauffer (pictured above), Business instructor Drew Patterson, Counselor Christina Lee, Instructional Technology Coordinator Scott Vigallon, and Instructional Technology Specialist Wanda Butterly. Business students were also interviewed in the Tutorial Center.

Interact Communications, which is contracted with the state chancellor's office, is scheduled to release the video in mid- to late-April. It will be available on the CVC-OEI web site, on the CVC-OEI YouTube channel, and at selected educational conferences. 

Kudos go to adjunct CIS instructor Victoria Austin for coordinating the video shoot. Career Technical Education Project Manager Vicki Shipman has spearheaded the grant.

    Spring 2020 OCDP Participants

From upper left: Kisha QuesadaTurner, Susan Cumbo, Niloufar Hadei, Laura Reno, Lisa Duran, Ana Del Aguila
Faculty participants in the Online Course Development Program this semester are (pictured above, from top left): Kisha Quesada Turner (English), Susan Cumbo (Kinesiology), Niloufar Hadei (Chemistry), Laura Reno (Early Care and Education), Lisa Duran (English), and Ana Del Aguila (Early Care and Education).

The purpose of the OCDP is to train faculty to design, develop, and teach instructionally sound online courses based on the quality standards of the CVC-OEI Course Design Rubric. An email soliciting participants for the Fall 2020 version of the OCDP will be sent in April. Weekly workshops cover all facets of online learning, including making content accessible to students with disabilities.

Faculty can also choose to participate in the OCDP online in a self-paced manner. View more information about the OCDP.

        Students Want All Programs Online

                          Woman happy after earning her degree online                                            

If you didn't already know, LPC currently offers 6 online degrees and certificates that students can complete without coming to campus. Come Fall 2020, that number will be expanding to 18. With last semester's Curriculum push, the college added 12 more programs, giving students more options on how to attain their educational goals.

But if you ask students, they seemingly want the option of completing even more programs online. Each year, Distance Education students are asked to fill out the DE Student Satisfaction survey, and each year, they indicate which programs they want offered online. The results are always the same: they want a very wide variety of programs online. View answers for Question #10 in the survey

Of course, there are logistical and/or feasibility reasons why some programs aren't fully online, but there are also other, more appropriate, programs that are only a course or two away from being fully online. If programs in your discipline fall into the latter category, consider getting those courses approved for DE and developed into online courses.

  Accessibility logo         

Accessible Word, PPT Changes

For those of you who have resisted, or even ignored, converting Word and PowerPoint files into accessible PDFs prior to uploading to Canvas--you know who you are!--you have won the battle but not the war. You can now upload Word and PowerPoint files directly into Canvas, but you have to make them accessible first.

The change about accessible PDFs comes directly from the CVC-OEI, and the course reviewers there say that there's an even better way to ensure the accessibility of Word and PowerPoint files: put the content from those files into Canvas Pages, and use the Canvas Rich Content Editor to format the pages to ensure accessibility. For PowerPoint presentations, you can even create narrated videos out of them using free products like Screencast-O-Matic

According to the CVC-OEI, there are instances when you actually need to convert files into accessible PDFs:

  • When part of the learning objective is based on how a document is formatted. For example, create an accessible PDF when needing to keep content from a scientific paper in its original format.
  • When you require students to fill out a fillable form.

If you need one-on-one help with web accessibility, you can make an appointment with LPC's Instructional Technology Specialist Wanda Butterly, aka The Wizard of Accessibility. Known for her Magic Wand(a), she can help you ensure that all of your Canvas materials are accessible to all of your students.

                                                                        Wanda Butterly, the Wizard of Accessibility

Canvas logoNew Rich Content Editor in Canvas

New Rich Content Editor

If you are interested in testing the new Rich Content Editor in Canvas, you should enable it in your sandbox course by going to Settings – Feature Options and toggling the switch for RCE Enhancements. Canvas is supposed to make it the default beginning June 20; therefore, it will become our default in time for summer courses. If the June 20 date changes, we might postpone making it the default.

The new RCE will have the same tools and functionality as the current RCE, but the icons and interface have changed. One notable change is that when you add content like an image, you have to click on it to bring up an Options button. Those options allow you other functionality.
Register for a TLC workshop on the new RCE that is scheduled for March 31 from 12:30-1:30 p.m.
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