Delta DIGITAL – Vol. 5

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 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

Mary Weppler, Public Services Librarian and Art History Faculty, can help you find OERs.  Contact her at 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,  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, Canvas doesn’t recognize that address, so it’s responding with an error.  You can fix this by adding your new address,, 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 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!