Flex Workshops (Aug. 2020)

Flex Workshops – August 2020

Topic: PopeTech Accessibility Guide Training

Presenter: John Cavano
View Presentation

Topic: Customer Service in an Online Environment 

Presenter: Chris Frymire
View Presentation

Topic: Increasing Student Success in Online Teaching (PPT)

Presenter: Pamela Pan, Ph. D.

Topic: Lights, Camera, Action!

Presenters: Lynn Hawley, Deanna de Azevedo, and Jennifer Barrows

Topic: Open Educational Resources

Presenter: Daniel Ng

Topic: Part I – Demystifying Open Educational Resources (OER)
How OER reduces equity gaps, and how ZTC supports Guided Pathway

Presenter: James Glapa-Grossklag
Download Slides

Topic: Part II – Demystifying Open Educational Resources (OER)
Examples of OER implementation (adopt, adapt, author) and Finding and Selecting OER. 

Presenter: James Glapa-Grossklag
Download Slides

Topic: Working with Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students

Presenter: Gwen Maciel
View Presentation

Topic: Student Conduct 

Presenter: Chris Frymire
View Presentatio

Topic: Edpuzzle

Presenter: Justin Graham
View Presentation

Topic: Revitalizing Instructional Program Review

Presenter: Dr. Ginger Holden
View Presentation

Topic: Technology Updates

Presenters: Chelsy Pham & Kai Wong
View Presentation

Equity-at-a-Glance: Introduction to the Faculty Success & Retention Dashboard

Presenter: Janine Riopel


Certificate of Equity Informational Session

Presenter: Janine Riopel


Statewide Training & Resources

  • Check out the below links for statewide training opportunities in formal training sessions as well as access to LinkedIn Learning/Lynda.com through the CCCCO Vision Resource Center; Zoom webinars on Canvas; Using Zoom, Accessibility, Equity, Labster… and more!

Free daily training in ConferZoom

CCCCO Vision Resource Center (including LinkedIn Learning/Lynda.com)

CVC-OEI Training Calendar

@One Courses – Canvas, Pedagogy, Accessibility and more!

3CSN’s Equity 101 7-week Online Training 

3CSN’s Wayfinding Online Webinar Series: Navigating the Virtual Landscape

ASCCC Professional Development College (Available courses in Curriculum, Governance and Orienting New Faculty and Teaching)

NEW Resource for Canvas Faculty!

Where was that Tech Tip on accessibility again…?  Is this the current version of the Distance Ed Plan?  You asked, we answered!  Distance Education resources have been given a new home at pdcdeltacollege.com/de – Bookmark this page on your web browser or navigate to it by going to:

http://www.deltacollege.edu >> Academics >> Online & Regional Education >> Online Programs (pull-down menu on the right side) >> Faculty Resources

From here, you can access current DE Policies and Documents, Accessibility Resources, OER info, help pages, and the full archive of Tech Tips!

Check it out and let us know what you think!

Your Tech Tip Team,

-Lynn Hawley and Jenn Azzaro

NEW Gradebook in Canvas!

Instructure, the company that makes Canvas, has introduced a redesigned Gradebook with many new features!

The new Gradebook can be enabled (optionally) by going into each course site’s Settings >> Feature Options >> and toggling the “New Gradebook” switch to ON.

Feel free to enable the new gradebook in one or all of your classes and give it a try. It is user-friendly, but if you find the change too disruptive, you can REVERT BACK to the old gradebook, provided that you do NOT enable two new features (see next section for details!) 

Please note that this gradebook is new to all of us, so we can’t offer expert advice on functionality at this time.

Proceed with Caution! Reverting to the “Old” Gradebook

The new gradebook allows you to manually adjust a submission status to none, late, missing, or excused, and to enable late or missing policies in the Settings menu. These features are NOT compatible with the “old” Gradebook, so enabling their functionality will PREVENT you from reverting back to it.

Changes in the New Gradebook

Almost all of the features available in the old Canvas Gradebook are available in the new Gradebook, but some have been moved to new locations within the Gradebook interface. For detailed information on the new user interface and all of the features, see the links below:

New Gradebook User Guide

New Gradebook Resources

New Gradebook Video Tutorial

New Features

The new Canvas Gradebook includes many features designed to improve the grading experience, especially in classes with large numbers of students and/or assignments. In the new Gradebook, you can:

    • Sort assignment columns by their order in modules.
    • Filter assignments by assignment group, section, module, and/or student group. Note: Filters remain in effect until you reset them (for example, by selecting All Assignment Groups).
    • Set custom colors for specific submission and grading statuses, including: late, missing, resubmitted, dropped (via assignment group rules), and excused.
    • Sort the data in any Gradebook column by missing or late status.
    • Toggle between entering and viewing grades as points or as percentage values.
    • View or hide unpublished assignments.
    • Automatically apply grading rules to late and missing submissions.
    • Manually adjust submission status to none, late, missing, or excused.
    • Override the calculated final grade.
    • Set a grade posting policy for the entire gradebook and individual assignments

Your Tech Tip Tuesday Featured Guest,

Vivie Sinou, Dean of Regional & Distance Ed

Creating “Clickable” Images

Bitmoji of Professor Hawley saying hi

Why have a clickable image in your course? 

Creating an image of yourself using the Bitmoji app on your phone is a fun way to humanize your course and let students know you are approachable 

By making the image clickable, it links students to the areas where you can see their questions more quickly and therefore, respond to them faster. 

Whatever image you use (it doesn’t have to be a bitmoji!), be sure that you use it consistently so that students recognize that it’s a navigation shortcut they can use. 

One area where you can use a clickable image is to direct students to a Q and A Forum where they can ask questions. Using an image like a question mark or a button that takes students directly to the Q and A Forum increases the likelihood that they will use that area for questions and makes it easier for instructors to find and respond to student inqueries in a timely manner. 

To ensure accessibility, when giving the image an alternative description use a naming convention like “Question Mark Image Active Link to Q and A Forum.” 

How to Make a Clickable Image in Your Course 

  • Create and publish your Student Q and A Forum first. You need a location to send students to before creating the clickable image. 
  • Choose your image, upload it to your Canvas “Files” area and give it an “Alternative text description.” This description will come up when students roll over the image with a mouse and can also be read by screen-reading software. 
  • When you are creating a new assignment or starting a new module and you want to direct students to the Q and A Forum if they have questions, upload the image into the directions area of the new assignment while you are in Edit mode. 
  • Click on the image to “highlight” it (it will change to have a blue box overlay) then click on “Links” from the menu on the right-hand side of the screen. Click on “Discussions” in the drop-down menu. Scroll down until you find the “Q and A” Forum you already created. Click on that! 
Bitmoji of Professor Hawley surrounded by question marks

The blue box overlaying the image will turn yellow then back to blue. That’s the way you will know you have created an active link. Now when a student sees that image, they will know it will take them to the Q and A Forum.  

This tip maps to the following areas of the OEI Course Design Rubric:

A4: Course Navigation. Navigation and content flow are easily determined by the user. 

A7: Effective Use of Course Management (CMS) Tools. CMS tools are used to reduce the labor-intensity of learning and streamline access to materials and activities for students. 

A8: Effective Use of Multimedia. A variety of media, such as text, audio, video, images and/or graphics are used throughout. 

B2: Regular Effective Contact. The course design includes regular instructor-initiated contact with students using CMS communication tools. 

B3: Student-Initiated Contact. Students are encouraged to initiate contact with the instructor through easily accessed contact information that includes expected response times. 

Your Tech Tip Team,

-Lynn Hawley and Jenn Azzaro

Documenting Pre-Course Contact in Your Online Class

The first step in Regular Effective Contact, according to the OEI Course Design Rubric, is Pre-Course Contact.  For those of you with late-starting classes, this tip is for you!

B1: Pre-Course Contact.  

Aligned: Instructor initiates contact prior to or at the beginning of course. 

Exemplary: Instructor provides multiple resources to help students successfully start the course. 

This should be an easy part of the rubric to fulfill as the majority of instructors are already sending out “welcome letters” or pre-course emails to their students, letting them know important information about the upcoming class. 

But how do reviewers and accreditation teams see this contact? 

An easy way to document this is by copying your pre-course contact message into  your Canvas course shell.  This allows students to refer back to it as needed and shows reviewers that you are completing this important first step of Regular Effective Contact. 

You can post your pre-course welcome message to:

    • An Announcement at the start of your course.
    • A Page to be included in your introductory (“getting started”) module.
    • A .pdf file stored in the Files tool with a hyperlink to it on the Homepage or introductory module.

Just be sure to make the document easy to locate for both students and reviewers! 

Tips to make your pre-course contact Exemplary!

    • Include a link to Canvas, login instructions, and help desk info.
    • Include links to important student services, such as Counseling, DSPS, Library and Tutoring Services, Delta’s Health & Wellness page, and the Food Pantry.
    • The best way to contact you if they can’t log into Canvas.
    • A link to the Bookstore with info about required materials and first steps.

You may already include all this info in your Syllabus, but it helps to put it in a welcome email, too, if students are having trouble logging into Canvas on the first day.

Your Tech Tip Team,

-Lynn Hawley and Jenn Azzaro

Creating an Easy, Custom Homepage for your Canvas Course

Homepages can make or break student retention and success. If students can’t figure out how to navigate at the “front door” of your course, then it’s unlikely that they will stick around for long. 

This Tech Tip is about creating an easy, custom homepage for your course using templates that have already been created and made available in Canvas Commons. 

Check out this 4 min video that takes you through the process!

Interested?  Follow the steps below to set up one of these homepages in your class today!

Step One: 

Go to your Canvas Course “Home” in a class that you will be working on and click Import from Commons on the righthand side of the screen (highlighted in red, below): 

Image of Course Home with "Import from Commons" highlighted

Step Two: 

Once in Canvas Commons, type “CSUCI HOME” in the search field and click the magnifying glass icon: 

Canvas Commons with CSUCI HOME typed into Search field

Step Three: 

There should be several choices on the screen; four of them are customizable home pages. You can open each one to see which would work for your course. Choose one by clicking on the blue Import/Download button on the righthand side of the screen: 

Highlighted Import/Download button

Step Four: 

When you click on Import/Download, a list of your Canvas courses will pop open from the right-hand side of the screen. Click on the course(s) that you want to import this homepage to and you will get a message that says, “this may take a few moments”. 


Step Five 

You can now return to your class, click on PAGES in the left-hand navigation menu and you should see the hompage you imported: 

Pages area of Canvas shell with newly imported customizable homepage highlighted

Click on the homepage link inside Pages and you can now start to customize it. Please see the video for ideas on how to create a homepage that fits your course’s needs. 

There are a number of these homepage options in Canvas Commons – this is just one example.  Have fun! 

Your Tech Tip Team,

-Lynn Hawley and Jenn Azzaro

Regular Effective Contact in Your Syllabus

Today’s tech tip is about having a plan for Regular Effective Contact in your online and hybrid courses and making it visible

One suggestion is to add a “Regular Effective Contact” section to your Syllabus that outlines your plan for communicating with your students online.  This is also a great place to list your expected response times on questions and grading, and to quantify any contact that happens outside of Canvas, such as in-person office hours.

Here is just one of many possible examples:

What You Can Expect From Me:  

  • Weekly Announcements with a checklist of what we’re working on, answers to FAQs, other pertinent info.
  • Weekly input in class discussions; capstone post summarizing and bridging ideas.
  • Brief videos of me introducing each unit.
  • The following response times for questions and grades:
    • Email and Canvas Conversations – within 48 hours
    • Class Discussion board questions – within 48 hours
    • Grades for Quizzes – upon submission
    • Grades for Final Exam – within 1 week of submission
    • Grades for Discussions and Homework – within 2 weeks of due date
    • Grades for Research Project – within 4 weeks of due date
  • You can also find me in my office on campus, Holt 121, M-W-F 3:00-4:00 PM.  

As always, let us know if you have any questions!

-Jenn Azzaro

New DE Sections in the New Curriqunet!

Recently, Delta College updated its curriculum system to a new version of CurricUNET, now called Curriqunet. As part of the update, Sharon Daegling and I worked on a new, more robust curriculum process for the online method of instruction. The purpose of this update was to fulfill accreditation and Title V requirements that a separate curriculum review take place for courses offered in the online format. It is also an opportunity for faculty to review how their fully online and hybrid courses fulfill OEI rubric standards.

If you are updating courses and choose “online” as one of the methods of instruction, you will now see four new areas that need responses. These areas align with the OEI rubric – Interaction, Assessment, Content Presentation, and Accessibility. There is an additional area that will look familiar – Contact Types and Frequency – where you will choose the methods you typically use to contact students and how often they are used.

This Guide to DE Sections in Curriqunet is designed to help faculty with questions and sample language for each new section. Please contact me if you have any questions about this updated curriculum area. I want to thank Sharon Daegling for all of the work she’s done for this update to our curriculum system. She is currently offering training workshops on the new Curriqunet and they are well worth attending.

-Lynn Hawley

Adding Readers and Tutors in Canvas!

Faculty may now add Readers and Tutors to their Canvas courses!

The Office of Regional and Distance Education has established two new roles in Canvas, based on District job descriptions –   

Reader (Delta): Assists a faculty member to grade class assignments.

Tutor (Delta): Use this role if you are adding a Tutor or Academic Coach.

When adding individuals to Canvas, we strongly encourage you to use the role that matches the job that person was hired into, as the role permissions were made to align with college-approved job functions.


    • Please do not add individuals as Teachers or any other role as doing so may violate FERPA and/or District policy.
    • Individuals must have a current Delta ID Number and Delta College Email Address to be added in Canvas.

To add a Reader or Tutor/Academic Coach to your class:

    1. Go into the course’s People area and click the +People button.
    2. Click Email Address and type their full Delta College email address into the textbox (required).
    3. From the “Role” pull-down menu, Select either Reader (Delta) or Tutor (Delta), click Next, and confirm the addition.

-Jenn Azzaro

How to View Written Student Responses to Anonymous Canvas Surveys

The OEI Rubric for online courses highly recommends that faculty give students an opportunity to give anonymous feedback about the course. It’s part of the regular effective contact that is required in online courses.

I set up a short anonymous survey about four weeks into a course to see how students are faring in the early stages of a class and then I do another one at the end of the course to get feedback from students about their overall experience with the class. I ask a combination of multiple choice and open-ended written response questions. It is easy enough to get the results from the multiple-choice but if a survey is anonymous, the written responses do not show up in Speedgrader. Instead you get this message:

This student has submitted an assignment

This student’s responses are hidden because this assignment is anonymous

Here are two files that can help with this issue –

How to set up anonymous survey and give extra credit

How to get written responses to surveys

Thanks to Jackie Schwegel for the the tech tip idea! If you have any questions about Canvas, let me or Jenn Azzaro know!

Lynn Hawley

Delta DIGITAL – Vol. 5

Greetings!  After a brief hiatus, we are excited to announce the return of Delta Digital, a monthly e-newsletter highlighting Online Learning, Professional Development, and Technology Innovation.

Title 5 Updates to Distance Education

Last summer this newsletter brought word of several pending updates to Title 5 affecting Distance Education.  As of March 17, 2019, these changes are now in effect:


Amended to add time and/or distance to the definition. Removes ambiguity to say that instruction provided through DE is subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

For those who want to know more about the regulations mentioned in 55200 and how to ensure equitable access, @One offers a free, online, self-paced class on Accessibility in Canvas. In addition, the CCC Accessibility Center provides free, online, self-paced micro-courses on video captioning as well as creating accessible Word Docs, PowerPoints, and PDFs – enroll and start anytime!


Language change only from “traditional classroom courses” to “in-person classes.”


Amended to specify that Regular Effective Contact must occur between students in addition to between instructor and students. 

This is big!  Regular, effective, student-to-student contact is now required by Title 5, in addition to regular effective instructor-to-student contact.  The Delta College Professional Development Center (PDC) has actively been training on this change and encourages all faculty teaching online and hybrid courses to attend one of these upcoming sessions!  Email prodevcenter@deltacollege.edu to reserve your seat!  All workshops are held in the PDC – Holt 121.

  • Friday, Apr 5: 2:30 – 3:30
  • Monday, Apr 15: 12:30 – 1:30
  • Tuesday, Apr 30: 3:30 – 4:30

Amended to require an addendum that addresses how course outcomes, regular effective contact, and accessibility will be achieved in a DE format.

We might look to the Course Design Rubric from CVC-OEI for guidance in these areas. Element A3 (Alignment of Objectives) and all of Section C (Assessment) address course design that supports achievement of outcomes. We are already using Section B (Interaction) to achieve Regular Effective Contact – both Instructor-to-Student and Student-to-Student. Section D (Accessibility) could help bring awareness to important accessibility elements at both the course and institutional levels.


Added language stating that “instructors of distance education shall be prepared to teach in a distance education delivery method consistent with local district policies and negotiated agreements.”

Delta College’s Administrative Procedure 4110 on Distance Education requires that Distance Education faculty must complete training in the college’s Learning Management System (LMS) and also requires “Regular effective substantive contact…defined as professor-initiated interaction and responsive interaction by the professor to students.”

Open Educational Resources (OERs)

Two of us from the Distance & Regional Ed team attended the OER Summit at Diablo Valley College last month, and what we learned about the impact of textbook costs on enrollment was sobering –

A Spring 2018 survey of 1,122 students at Los Medanos College showed:

52.5% of students avoided carrying a full load because of the cost of books

59.6% of students could not afford all their books within the first 3 weeks of class

Source: LMC Open Education Resource

In a Spring 2016 survey of students at College of the Canyons:

70% of students said the cost of textbooks influenced their enrollment

57% did not buy the required textbook

87% were concerned about their grades

Source: OER Student Survey Spring 2016  Report #303, College of the Canyons

A 2014 survey of 2,039 students at 156 campuses across 33 states revealed:

1/2 took fewer or different classes

2/3 chose not to buy textbook

9.5/10 were concerned about grades

Source: Fixing the Broken Textbook Market

 “I couldn’t go last semester because … I couldn’t find any money to borrow. I missed an entire semester.”

“I took a lot of time off school JUST BECAUSE I couldn’t afford the textbooks, even after I became a student purchasing the textbook was THE HARDEST PART.”

–Reedley College Students

For many disciplines, there is a better way. OERs are freely available learning materials that can be copied, edited, and shared to better serve all students by allowing immediate access, customized to a specific class, at no cost.  Some colleges are even implementing Zero Textbook Cost (ZTC) degree and certificate programs that rely solely on these alternative instructional materials.

Don’t know where to start?  We can help you understand, locate, and use OERs!

Patrick McClanahan, Computer Science Faculty, is our college’s OER Liaison and can answer questions at patrick.mcclanahan@deltacollege.edu

Mary Weppler, Public Services Librarian and Art History Faculty, can help you find OERs.  Contact her at mary.weppler@deltacollege.edu and checkout her LibGuide on OERs

We also recommend visiting the Community College Consortium for Open Educational Resources

Stay tuned for more info on this important topic – much more.

Outlook and Canvas: Replying to Student Messages

One of the benefits of Canvas “Conversations” (the private message inbox) is that messages your students send you go straight to your Delta College email – and you can reply directly from your Delta College email.  No need to log into Canvas just to reply to messages!  However, if you’ve recently moved from Zimbra to Outlook you may have noticed that replying to Canvas students directly from your Delta email account no longer works.  Here’s why –

Your Canvas profile contains your old email address, firstinitiallastname@deltacollege.edu.  You can still receive with that address even though you now have a new one; both are valid.  However, when you reply to a student message, you’re replying with your new email address, firstname.lastname@deltacollege.edu. Canvas doesn’t recognize that address, so it’s responding with an error.  You can fix this by adding your new address, firstname.lastname@deltacollege.edu, to your Canvas profile and confirming it.

Here’s a page with instructions on how to Add an Additional Email Address as a Contact Method in Canvas.

Once you’ve done this, you should be able to respond to those messages again directly from Outlook!

Canvas Commons  >>  Find.  Import.  Share.

Commons is a repository that allows faculty to find, import, and share resources. Upload and share your content or search for and import content shared by others!

This feature is now available in Canvas from your global navigation bar –

When searching in Commons, be sure to click the Filter button to narrow down your search – for example, you may want to search for Undergraduate materials only.

For more info, visit these pages from the Canvas Community –

Online Teaching Conference | June 17-19, Hilton Anaheim

It’s time once again for the Online Teaching Conference (OTC).  This gathering of faculty, staff, and administrators has been leading the way in developing innovative online learning for 19 years!  As someone who’s attended for the last decade, I can tell you this event does not disappoint!  If you’ve never been before, I hope to see you there in June!  It’s always an exciting opportunity to connect with colleagues from other colleges, share knowledge, and develop professionally.

If you need to request funding approval, the OTC has provided this printable OTC ’19 Attendance Justification Letter

On the fence about going?  See what you missed last year in the OTC ’18 Archives.

Digital Learning Day Archives

Digital Learning Day was filled with inspiration!  We saw –

  • heartfelt reflections from a student about a video creation assignment
  • a call to action for information literacy
  • advice for online instructors from students
  • discussions about the value of students interacting with a global audience
  • a visualization of the international audience on a Google Map!

Check out the archives and resources to support your teaching and learning innovations.  From the archive page, click the More Info buttons to navigate to each session recording.

Source: CVC-OEI

Training Update!  Where we’ve been, and where we’re going…

The Professional Development Center (PDC) has been hard at work providing the most current, innovative training to help with your online and hybrid teaching – but we haven’t done it alone.  This semester we’ve offered the following online pedagogy workshops with help from John Cavano, Aaron Garner, Deanna de Azevedo, Emily Brienza-Larsen, Lynn Hawley, Jim Marteney, and Kerry Steers!  Many, many thanks for making this program possible!

  • Creating Accessible Documents
  • Canvas Faculty Show & Tell
  • Canvas Rubrics & Outcomes
  • Regular Effective Contact
  • Intro to Canvas
  • Digital Learning Day
  • ConferZoom

Coming up, we have seats available in:

Regular Effective Contact in Online Courses

  • Friday, Apr 5: 2:30 – 3:30
  • Monday, Apr 15: 12:30 – 1:30
  • Tuesday, Apr 30: 3:30 – 4:30

Email prodevcenter@deltacollege.edu to reserve your seat.

Canvas Drop-in Help

  • Monday, Apr 8: 2:00-4:00

No reservation needed – just drop into the PDC, Holt 121!

Summer will bring free online courses in Online Teaching Pedagogy and Intro to Canvas, as well as a full-day, face-to-face, Online Teaching Pedagogy Bootcamp!

Please watch your email for upcoming dates and registration info!

Tech Tip Rebuttal – When a Canvas “Blunder” Might be Better

Last week, I sent the following message about new mini-videos that @One has created. I picked one video segment to demonstrate the kinds of topics that are covered:

For example, did you know there’s a “wrong” way to add content onto a Canvas page? This little mistake is often the cause of broken links when you import your content into the next semester’s course shell. Come learn the best method for adding images, files and links in Canvas. (And the secret of what to do if your images suddenly aren’t displaying correctly.) The video below covers 3 minutes on what to do to avoid these common errors in Canvas.

In response, Deanna Azevedo sent the Tech Tip Team their first ever rebuttal! Deanna is a power user of Canvas, an Art History professor, and a regular contributor to the Distance Education Committee. While the above-linked video shows one way to load images in Canvas that many instructors use, her concern is that if you teach an online course that is image-rich, that this particular way of loading images may not be the best approach. 

Take a look at Deanna’s take on how to manage images in your course.

If you have any questions or want to share a tip that you have found useful in Canvas, please let us know. There will be no Tech Tip next week (happy Spring Break) but we will be back on April 2. Thank you, Deanna, for putting together our first Tech Tip Rebuttal!  

Lynn Hawley

Byte-sized Canvas Video Series

@One has created a series of short video segments about a variety of topics about Canvas usage and online course design. If you haven’t seen these yet, I recommend spending some flex time looking over their selection in the Byte-sized Canvas video series archive.

For example, did you know there’s a “wrong” way to add content onto a Canvas page? This little mistake is often the cause of broken links when you import your content into the next semester’s course shell. Come learn the best method for adding images, files and links in Canvas. (And the secret of what to do if your images suddenly aren’t displaying correctly.) The video below covers 3 minutes on what to do to avoid these common errors in Canvas:


If you would like some hands-on help with creating rubrics for your online and in-class assignments and linking outcomes to them, come to the PDC on Thursday, March 14 at 12:30 for a workshop! Jenn Azzaro and I will be going over the many facets of rubrics and outcomes – this will help you with student learning assessment data collection and speed up your online grading.

-Lynn Hawley

Using your Canvas Homepage to Build Connections

Today’s tech tip is about how to use the Home Page of your Canvas courses as a way to connect students to the subject you teach and to the college they attend. We teach a diverse student population and they often don’t see themselves represented in the textbooks we use for our courses. If the visual examples used in course materials tend to exclude certain groups, students notice and that may lead them to decide not to pursue certain courses or occupations because they don’t see themselves doing those jobs.

To help students connect to our subjects, we need to evaluate the materials we use and identify gaps in representation. One way we can address those gaps is through using our Home Pages in our courses as a way of showing students a wide variety of people in our fields that will allow students to see themselves in those occupations. This helps to make our classes relevant to our students.

Home Pages are also a way to connect students to Delta College, informing them of events and services that are available and letting them know that they are part of the campus culture. It is part of regular effective contact and students greatly appreciate the effort!

Read more about making connections with your students using your Canvas homepage in this document, and check out the Women’s History Month Events Calendar, below, in case you’d like to use that for your Home Page in March! 

-Lynn Hawley


Canvas Faculty Show & Tell – TOMORROW!

Standing. Room. Only. 

Three words that describe last year’s Canvas Faculty Show & Tell!

This favorite event is happening tomorrow!  Come join a panel of our very own faculty experts for a 4-part round of mini-presentations featuring innovative teaching ideas in Canvas! 

Wednesday, Feb 27: 12:30 – 2:00 (90 min)

Target Audience: Canvas-trained Faculty

Email prodevcenter@deltacollege.edu to reserve your seat!


Jazzing up your Homepage (Aaron Garner, Music Faculty): Learn to use simple but effective elements to boost course navigation from your Canvas homepage.

Follow the LIST for Canvas Accessibility (John Cavano, Assistive Technology Faculty): Create Pages, Assignments, and other materials in Canvas efficiently and accessibly using an easy to remember LIST. 

NICE: Navigating In Canvas Effectively (Deanna de Azevedo, Art Faculty): Discover how Canvas navigation and Modules can be used to guide students through the online classroom along a single, effective path. 

Friendly Feedback (Emily Brienza-Larsen, English Faculty): Learn how to effectively and efficiently give feedback on student assignments.

Don’t get stuck standing – reserve your seat today!

-Jenn Azzaro

Gettin’ Snazzy with Dashboard Images

You may remember our earlier tips on organizing your Canvas Dashboard with course colors, nicknames, and drag & drop arranging.  We are pleased to add one more way to make courses stand out on your Dashboard – Images!

To add an image to a Canvas course card, go into the course Settings and choose an image from either your computer or Flickr.  For detailed instructions, visit this page:

How do I add an image to a course card in the Dashboard?

Here’s what faculty have to say about this feature –

  • It “Humanizes” the course a bit by adding a personal
    touch. It begins to give a “feeling” for the course that you wouldn’t
    get in just a color tile. –JMarteney
  • If I am teaching multiple online courses, I can quickly go from
    one class to the other by using the graphics instead of reading the title or
    looking at the color of the class. –JMarteney
  • Images give me a way to quickly differentiate between my three
    sections of the same class. –IC

Sounds great – but do students see the images too?

Yes!  Colors are specific to each individual user but the course image you set displays for both the teacher and students.  Check out the example below – Teacher View is on the left; Student View is on the right.

Enjoy jazzing up your Dashboard and if you have any questions, let us know! 

-Jenn Azzaro

Regular Effective Contact (Checklist)

Our Distance Education office recently received a request for an easy to use “checklist” with examples of Regular Effective Contact (REC) to use in online and hybrid courses as you work toward meeting the requirements of Title 5, the ACCJC, and our own local policy. 

The end result is a Regular Effective Contact Checklist, based on the 6 standards for Interaction from the statewide Online Education Initiative’s Course Design Rubric:

  1. Regular Effective Contact (Instructor-to-Student) 
  2. Pre-Course Contact
  3. Student-Initiated Contact with Instructor
  4. Regular Effective Contact (Student-to-Student)
  5. Participation Levels
  6. Student-Initiated Contact with Other Students

This custom guide will help you create visible, contextual connections with your students across the most commonly used tools in Canvas – Syllabus, Announcements, Discussions, SpeedGrader, Modules, and Home.

Come learn more about Regular Effective Contact at one of the workshops, below! All sessions will be held in the Professional Development Center, Holt 121, and more training will be scheduled on-going.

Email prodevcenter@deltacollege.edu to reserve your seat!

  • Wednesday, Feb 27: 3:00 – 4:00
  • Friday, Mar 1: 11:30 – 12:30
  • Monday, Mar 11: 3:30 – 4:30
  • Thursday, Mar 14: 3:00 – 4:00
  • Tuesday, Mar 19: 2:30 – 3:30
  • Friday, Apr 5: 2:30 – 3:30
  • Monday, Apr 15: 12:30 – 1:30
  • Tuesday, Apr 30: 3:30 – 4:30

Finally, you can always reach out to your Distance Learning Team for further guidance and support in this area –

  • Jenn Azzaro, Professional Development & Distance Ed Coordinator
  • Lynn Hawley, Online Faculty and DE Committee Chair
  • Vivie Sinou, Dean of Regional & Distance Education

We’re here to help!

-Jenn Azzaro

Participating in Discussions Regularly

Discussions are an effective way of achieving both professor-initiated communication with students and student-to-student communication. Please review my Tips for Participating in Discussions Regularly

If you have questions about discussions or other functions within Canvas, please let me and Jenn know. Also, the Distance Education Committee meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at 2:30 in the large Professional Development training room. Our next meeting is tomorrow – all are welcome to attend.

-Lynn Hawley

Outcomes Part 2: Generating Reports on Outcomes Linked to Assignments

This week’s tip is about creating reports on how students are doing on outcomes in your Canvas courses. Last week, I sent out a Tech Tip about how to create outcomes and link them to assignments.

Please review this document on Generating Outcomes Reports for more detail.

If there are any particular functions in Canvas that you would like us to cover in a Tech Tip, please let us know! 

Lynn Hawley

Outcomes Part 1: Creating Outcomes and Linking them to Assignments in Canvas

One of the features that makes Canvas useful is that you can link outcomes to courses and collect data about student performance on those outcomes. This is particularly useful when it is time to update your Student Learning Outcome assessment data in Curricunet.

Please review this document on Creating Outcomes and Linking them to Assignments in Canvas for more detail.

Next week, I will cover Part II on how to collect data on the outcomes you’ve linked to assignments.

-Lynn Hawley

Spring Cleaning: Organizing your Canvas Course Cards

Our first Tech Tip of the semester is all about getting organized – specifically, the course cards on your Canvas Dashboard. 

Missing a course?  Unwanted cards showing from previous semesters?  Remember, the first and best place to go for a complete list of all your course shells is Courses >> All Courses


From the list of shells under All Courses, the ones with colored stars will display as cards on your Dashboard.  The ones with white stars will be hidden from your Dashboard.  Read more and see sample pictures here:

How do I customize my Courses list as an instructor?

…but that’s not all!

The short guide linked below is full of tips that will show you:

How do I view my favorite courses in the Card View Dashboard as an instructor?

Wishing you a wonderful (and organized) Spring term!

-Jenn Azzaro

Canvas + LibGuides Integration, now available!

Greetings!  Two weeks ago we sent a Tech Tip featuring LibGuides.

Today, we are pleased to share that LibGuides integration with Canvas is complete!  Now you can easily add a link to Library resources within your Canvas course!

From your course navigation menu, go to Settings >> Navigation and then click & drag Library Resources from the lower menu to the upper one.  Scroll down and click Save.  You should now see a link in your left-hand navigation menu called Library Resources, as shown below:


If there is no LibGuide available for your course, the default guide pictured above provides access to the Library’s catalogs.  You may also link to the Default LibGuide.  

Need a LibGuide for your course(s)?  Contact Mary Weppler at mweppler@deltacollege.edu – and see this doucument: How to Request a LibGuide.

More information about LibGuides is available on the Library Webpage.  

Many thanks to Mary Weppler, Public Services Librarian, for helping to make this integration possible!

-Jenn Azzaro


This week’s tech tip highlights LibGuides and is brought to you by Mary Weppler, Public Services Librarian. 

LibGuides is a platform that invites collaboration between librarians and instructors to meet the research needs of their students.  The SJDC Library uses LibGuides to showcase library resources and services available to faculty and students to enhance their research and study. These guides comprise a content management and information sharing system designed specifically for libraries. The platform allows for intuitive navigation and instruction on core resources in a particular subject, course, and/or assignment.

Please see this document for more information about LibGuides.

-and- watch for a future announcement on the integration between Canvas and LibGuides – coming soon! 

-Jenn Azzaro

Creating Rubrics and Attaching them to Assignments, Quizzes, and Discussions

We’ve been asked recently about how to add a rubric to an assignment in Canvas. It is easier to create rubrics in Canvas than in Turnitin, for which we are very grateful. Canvas will also keep a rubrics library for you so you can find rubrics from your current and previous Canvas courses. Canvas will even let you edit rubrics once assignments have been submitted and graded.

While they are easy to use for faculty, rubrics are also a part of regular effective contact with students. It’s another form of communication to let them know what your expectations are for a particular assignment. By attaching rubrics to assignments, instructors are helping students to identify what aspects of their work need what kind of attention.

Below are links to step-by-step instructions, with screen shots, of how to create rubrics and attach them to various types of assignments.

How do I add a rubric to an assignment?

How do I add a rubric to a quiz?

How do I add a rubric to a graded discussion?

-Lynn Hawley and Jenn Azzaro

Canvas Link Validator

This week’s Tech Tip is on the Canvas Link Validator.  This handy little tool checks all the links in your course and displays a list of any that aren’t working.  Not only that, but it tells you why your links aren’t valid.  Perhaps an external site is no longer available, or you’ve deleted a file you were linking to in a previous semester… whatever the case, this tool allows you to find and fix your broken links in no time flat!

Check it out today by
going into your course Settings, clicking Validate Links in
, then Start ValidationDon’t be alarmed if it
takes a couple minutes to finish checking…

For more detail and sample images, see the Canvas Link Validator Guide.

-Jenn Azzaro

Making Comments and Annotations on Assignments in the Canvas DocViewer

This week’s Tech Tip is on the Canvas DocViewer, a tool that allows you to make annotations and markups on assignment submissions. The DocViewer automatically appears for the teacher in SpeedGrader when a student has uploaded their assignment as a word processing document, pdf, Excel or PowerPoint file. Here are resources offering a basic overview of this tool-

DocViewer Overview Video

How do I add annotated comments in student submissions using DocViewer in SpeedGrader?

The root of this Tech Tip is really how students view the annotations you have made on their papers – which requires some pretty subtle navigation!  Please see this 1-page guide showing students how to view your annotations on their graded papers.

Hoping you’ll find this helpful! 

-Jenn Azzaro

That Pesky Little Dash in the Gradebook

This tip is brought to you by Helen Graves, @One’s Course Design Specialist and the talent behind the Byte-sized Canvas video series. Over the past year, I’ve been asked a lot about the dash in the gradebook – what does it mean? Is it like zero? The video below answers these questions and more in only 3 minutes – check it out!


-Jenn Azzaro

Creating Surveys in Canvas (and giving Extra Credit for them!)

The Online Education Initiative (OEI) Rubric suggests giving students an opportunity to give course feedback in an anonymous format. This gives you the opportunity to ask students questions that align with the rubric and helps you to address any issues that students might be having in the course.

The OEI recommends giving a survey early in the course and then a final survey. It is about this time in the semester, once students have settled in a bit, that I open up a
short anonymous survey. I ask them to respond to statements like the ones below:

  • The Course is easy to navigate and well organized.
  • The module study guides are helpful.
  • The directions for the class assignments are clear.

At the end of the semester, I post a final anonymous survey that asks the students for more open-ended feedback (what would you improve in the course, what did you like
about the course, etc.). I also ask directed questions about the usefulness of the feedback in helping them improve on their performance in the course and how
promptly the professor responded when contacted.

For both surveys, I offer a few extra credit points. This doesn’t affect their overall grade much but it does greatly increase participation in the surveys.

Here is a step-by-step guide on setting up an anonymous survey and one of the ways you can offer extra credit in Canvas.

How to Create Surveys and Give Extra Credit

-Lynn Hawley

Hidden Menu in the Gradebook

This is the first in a series of informational posts about different aspects of Canvas. Many of you visited the Professional Development Center during the variable flex days for help putting together your Canvas courses, and this series is a continuation of that discussion. Jenn Azzaro and I will post regularly on features in Canvas throughout the year. Please see our first tip, below, about a drop down menu that is not readily apparent in the Gradebook but has some really useful features!

Hidden Drop Down Menu in the Gradebook

Your Tech Tip Team,

-Lynn Hawley and Jenn Azzaro