Online Learning, Las Positas College. December 2022, volume 3, number 2
Merry Christmas from the TLC staff.

Minimum Standards for DE Instruction

LPC's Distance Education program, along with our DE students, received an early Christmas present...found not under the tree but in the new faculty contract. Now, what says Christmas more than a set of minimum standards designed to improve the quality of online courses?

Article 19E details these standards, highlighted by the standards for course organization and navigation for asynchronous classes: quality

  1. Course includes a distinct starting point and instructions on how to begin course.
  2. Instructor contact information is easily located along with response times for email, grade turnaround, and other contact information.
  3. Navigation and content flow are easily determined by students in the class.
  4. Content is organized logically, and follows a consistent layout and structure.
  5. Content is segmented into distinct units or modules, as appropriate.
  6. Course navigation menu is intuitive and only includes items students will use.
  7. Clear due dates for submitting work are posted along with late work policy.
  8. Opportunities for regular and substantive interaction from student to student and instructor to student(s) are provided.
  9. Course design includes instructions for learners to work with content in meaningful ways (e.g. guiding students to take notes during a video, explaining what to look for in an article, etc.).
The contract also includes specific guidelines for synchronous online courses, the library and counseling. View the contract.

Online Learning Do's and Don'ts

Every now and then, we can all use a little reminder of what we should be doing and what we shouldn't be doing. The world of online learning is no different. Therefore, for your reading pleasure, we recommend a handful of do's and don'ts.


  • Do get your course aligned to the OEI Course Design Rubric. Not only will this ensure that your course is designated as "quality", it will also rise above other courses when students search for online courses in the CVC Course Finder. Contact Vicky Austin to get started with the process. 
  • Do use Pronto to communicate with your students. Pronto contains several features that allow you and your students to interact, including text, images, emojis, animations, and video. You can even post documents for review, and you can have Pronto automatically translate messages into other languages. Learn more about Pronto.

  • Don't change your course modality during the semester. If your course is listed in the class schedule as online synchronous, for example, you cannot change it to asynchronous. Same thing for in-person classes switched to online synchronous. Read more about this issue
  • Don't think that nobody will find out that the content in your Canvas course is inaccessible to students with disabilities. Someone eventually will...and there could be a price to pay. This happened at the Los Angeles Community College District and recently at UC Berkeley. See Berkeley's consequences immediately below.
Accessibility symbol                   
Magic Wanda

Consequences of ADA non-compliance

On November 21, the Justice Department announced that it filed a proposed consent decree in federal court to resolve allegations that UC Berkeley violated Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) because much of its free online content is inaccessible to individuals with hearing, vision, and manual disabilities. The proposed consent decree was filed together with a complaint setting forth the allegations of discrimination.

Much of UC Berkeley's online content is not accessible to people with disabilities because it lacks captions and transcripts for individuals who are deaf and alternative text describing visual images for individuals who are blind. It is also formatted in a way that does not allow individuals with disabilities to access the content using screen readers or other assistive technology.

Under the three-and-a-half-year long consent decree, UC Berkeley will make all future and the vast majority of its existing online content accessible to people with disabilities. It will also revise its policies, train relevant personnel, designate a web accessibility coordinator, conduct accessibility testing of its online content and hire an independent auditor to evaluate the accessibility of its content.

If you need help with web accessibility, you can attend any of the Teaching and Learning Center's workshops conducted by Wanda Butterly, aka the Wizard of Accessibility. You can also contact her directly by email or phone (424-1655). Here are a couple of other resources you can use, too:

Going the distance with video. Webinar series spring 2023
Make Your Online Videos Pop

The California Virtual Campus is offering a series of webinars this spring titled Going the Distance with Video that will help you create instructional videos that will enhance your teaching. Here are the sessions that are planned:

  • Grab Students’ Attention with Social Videos
  • Digital Storytelling to Center Student Voices
  • Leveraging Video for Instruction and Assessment in Math
  • Brand Identity: How to be the Brand Students Remember
  • Spark Curiosity and Build Learner Autonomy with Interactive Video
  • Finding Balance in the Force: A Jedi’s Guide to Humanizing Academia for Padawans (A Jedi Student)
Register for any or all of the webinars.
Basic Video Editing in Studio

Editing Video in Canvas Studio

Did you know that Canvas Studio has a new way of making it easy for you to edit your videos? Trimming the beginnings and ends of your videos are simple, and so is cutting out unwanted content in the middle. Check out the video above.

Some images in this newsletter were adapted from freepikcompany.
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