Online Learning, Las Positas College. April 2023, volume 3, number 3
Vicky Austin

Thank You, Vicky Austin!

The Distance Education program at LPC congratulates CIS instructor Vicky Austin on her upcoming retirement! Vicky's contribution to DE here and at the district level cannot be overstated as she has performed the following roles over the past 20 years: teaching, planning, advising, leading, negotiating, writing contract language...and just being an overall nice person.😀

Vicky, who began working at LPC in 2000, taught her first online course in 2003 and joined the DE Committee in January 2006 for its first official meeting as a standalone committee. She joined the FA as an adjunct faculty rep in 2013, where she has been responsible for writing language governing DE in the faculty contract. Vicky was also a member of the task force that chose Canvas, has been the college's Second OEI Consortium Lead, the Peer Online Course Review (POCR) Lead, and has led several Flex Day workshops on DE.

She won a Chancellor's Award for 2018-19, won an Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award in 2020, and was named Faculty Association of the California Community Colleges Faculty of the Year in 2021.

When asked about her fondest memory at LPC, Vicky said, "Always the students. So many varied students from whom I have learned so much. The technology changes over time, but there are always great students. Also in my POCR work, I am always impressed with the energy and creativity of my colleagues. I wish I had time to take all their classes."

Good luck in retirement, Vicky!


               Turnitin's New AI Detector                 Artificial intelligence

If you haven't had the opportunity to use Turnitin's new artificial intelligence (AI) detector within Canvas, the Teaching and Learning Center invites you to two new workshops that introduce this tool. The workshops will take place April 19 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. and April 27 from 3-4 p.m. Both will be held in Room 2410 while also being delivered over Zoom. Sign up for one of the workshops.

Turnitin toolbarDuring the workshops, we'll demonstrate the AI detection abilities and discuss the results. Setting up an assignment to detect AI is no different than setting up an assignment with Turnitin enabled. Some other key points about the new tool:

  • Currently, Turnitin detects content from the GPT-3 and GPT-3.5 language models, which includes ChatGPT, but it is working on the ability to detect other AI language models.
  • Turnitin claims to be 98% confident that what it detects (by highlighted text in the report) has been generated by AI. If it's not 98% confident, the text passages won't be highlighted.
  • Only student submissions after April 4 are automatically checked for AI. If you suspect a submission prior to April 4 was AI-generated, the student's work has to be resubmitted.
  • Only papers written in English can be detected for AI by Turnitin.
  • Only papers written in long-form can be detected by AI. This includes essays with actual sentences, not writing such as bullet points or numbered lists. It also won't detect poetry, scripts, or code.
  • Students will not be able to see the AI writing detection indicator that shows you the percentage that might have been AI generated, nor can they see the report.
  • Turnitin currently does not do a very good job detecting AI-generated content that has been paraphrased by the student or a web-based tool. However, its enhanced tool, to be released in 2024, is expected to be much better. In order to use it, the district will have to upgrade its Turnitin package.
If you want to see Turnitin's AI detection process in action, view this video.

Summer HyFlex Training for Faculty

                             HyFlex logo

For those of you interested in teaching HyFlex classes but haven’t been trained yet, the Teaching and Learning Center will offer a series of workshops in March. Beginning Wednesday, June 28, and continuing for the three subsequent Wednesdays, faculty will be trained in how to design, develop, and deliver HyFlex classes to LPC students.

If you aren’t familiar with HyFlex, here’s the official LPC definition adopted by the DE Committee: A HyFlex (Hybrid Flexible) course allows students the choice of attending class on campus or online. Online modalities may include synchronous online, and/or asynchronous online instruction.

Each of the 4 sessions will be one hour long and will begin at either 10 a.m., 2 p.m., or 2:30 p.m. The exact time will depend on the availability of the majority of participants. If you cannot make it at the chosen time, you can participate asynchronously. The training will be delivered live in the TLC, live synchronously via Zoom, and asynchronously in Canvas.

Faculty will be paid for 15 hours at the F rate. Aside from participating in the live session or watching the recording of the live session, you will be expected to complete other activities for one hour per week. Read more about HyFlex training.

If you want to participate, complete this short form by May 12.


Canvas Ideas Open for Voting

                                                Canvas logo
Canvas has a new process for implementing feature ideas from its users, and it's called Ideas and Themes. Instead of just accepting, prioritizing, then implementing the thousands of ideas from everyone, it created a process that still allows ideas to be pitched, but they are now organized into into themes based on trends. Canvas opens its themes for voting twice a year.

If you want to vote on a theme, you can do so now through April 28. A couple of example themes currently open for voting are Additional functionality enhancements for Studio and Improved rubric creation and usability. Here's how to vote:

If you are already a Canvas Community member:

  1. Go to Instructure Community.
  2. Click Sign In.
  3. It might automatically sign you in. If it doesn't, see below.
  4. Once logged in, click on "open for voting" in the green banner.
  5. Read through the ideas, and vote (the vote button is on the left).

        If you do not get automatically logged in with the steps above:

  1. A window might open for you to "Choose Canvas Account". Choose, and click Go.
  2. Once logged in, click on "open for voting" in the green banner.
  3. Read through the ideas, and vote (the vote button is on the left).

If you are new to the Canvas Community:

  1. Go to Instructure Community.
  2. Click Sign In.
  3. Click Log in with CANVAS.
  4. Click the Log In button under Already have a Canvas Account?
  5. Under If Your School Uses Canvas, type Las Positas. Pause for a couple of seconds, then click Las Positas College when it appears.
  6. Log into Canvas as you normally do.
  7. Click on "open for voting" in the green banner.
  8. Read through the ideas, and vote (the vote button is on the left) for the ones you like.

After the voting period ends, Canvas selects its prioritized themes. According to Canvas, the selection of these prioritized themes "is based on Community votes during the voting window, alignment to other development priorities, delivery schedule, and team capacity." It selects themes "that have the highest value among our users."

Learn more about Ideas and Themes, including how to submit new ideas.


Wanda's Accessibility Bandwagon
Get Courses Checked for Accessibility

Now that ADA compliance in Canvas is in the faculty contract, we invite you again to jump on Wanda’s Accessibility Bandwagon and get your courses checked for web accessibility. The checks are completely optional and are open to any instructor who uses Canvas for teaching.

So far, 10 instructors have had their courses checked by Wanda. If you want more information, and/or you are ready to jump on the Bandwagon, go to our Accessibility Checks page.

Bobby August video

(Re)Introducing...Bobby August

If you had the misfortune of not attending the HyFlex @ LPC session on Flex Day, you missed the introduction of critically acclaimed actor—and longtime Math instructor—Bobby August. So by popular demand, we present it here. Check out the video above.

Artificial Intelligence graphic above courtesy of .
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