With many California Community College campuses closed indefinitely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, system resources are helping faculty and staff continue their work during this unprecedented time. 

Resources such as guides and webinars related to instructional design, digital platforms for facilitating remote instruction and learning and digital solutions that make student, faculty and staff interactions across multiple departments possible are enabling the new virtual environment of teaching and learning.

At Diablo Valley College (DVC), the Instructional Technology and Distance Education (DE) teams quickly joined forces to develop an Instructional Continuity Plan for faculty and staff and a Student Guide for Transitioning to Remote Instruction. Both guides outline how key system tools, such as Zoom, Canvas, Cranium Cafe, NetTutor and key resources from the California Virtual Campus-Online Education Initiative (CVC-OEI) and the CCC Accessibility Center can be used by campus community members to continue providing high-quality online courses and support services for students. 

“When the move to online instruction was announced, the Diablo Valley College DE/Instructional Technology team of Anne Kingsley, Distance Education Coordinator, Kat King, Instructional Technologist, Jeanette Peavler, Canvas Administrator and Mario Tejada, Distance Education Committee Co-Chair, worked tirelessly to train as many DVC faculty as possible,” stated Rick Robison, Dean of Library, Educational Technology and Learning Support, Diablo Valley College. One faculty member aptly called them DVC’s ‘first responders.’ They also coordinated help from DVC faculty experienced in online education who stepped up to serve as peer mentors for their colleagues.”

Jacquelyn Rangel, a Cypress College Articulation Officer, also expressed appreciation for system tools helping faculty and staff communicate with students virtually, such as Cranium Cafe. 

“Cranium Cafe has allowed student services to continue without any delays,” stated Rangel. “My counselors and I were able to act fast and resume services the minute the shelter in place order went out. I know that students appreciate being able to connect with us off campus, and the Cranium Café platform still allows students to experience their normal counseling services because of features such as the lobby, chat and the whiteboard. We are very grateful to have Cranium, especially during COVID-19.”

Proctorio, a software platform for exam proctoring, has also been praised by various campus community members for its ease of use, including Jon Stocker, Faculty Canvas Coach at Merced College.

“Proctorio works on all devices, including Chromebooks, whereas a competing lockdown browser does not,” stated Stocker. “Students find Proctorio easy to get started with, as well as instructors in configuring the tool for the test environment they wish to use. Our instructors in high stakes disciplines such as Allied Health have found Proctorio to be a solution to ensuring the integrity of the exam process.”

Below is an overview of system resources actively supporting the work of faculty and staff:

Chancellor’s Office COVID-19 Updates

  • COVID-19 web page – Chancellor’s Office web page being updated daily as new information about COVID-19 becomes available
  • Daily COVID-19 email – daily COVID-19 special updates email, available by signing up through the Communications Division
  • Vision Resource Center – COVID-19 resources for students and additional information are also available under the “Connect” menu, “All Communities”, “CCC | COVID-19 Resources, Tools and Discussion”, and “Join Community”
  • Chancellor’s Office Weekly Webinars – weekly webinar every Wednesday from 9:00-10:00 a.m. providing system updates, guidance and student, faculty and staff supports during the pandemic 

Instructional Design Resources

  • Instructional Continuity Resources – compilation of information from colleges to assist with the continued transition to online instruction
  • CVC-OEI Adoptable Courses – courses providing information about humanizing online teaching and learning, course design, video captioning and more
  • Accessibility Resources – general guide for promoting accessibility practices in education materials; additional information is also available on the Canvas Accessibility Resources page on the Accessibility Center website
    • Through Blackboard Ally’s Canvas integration available to all colleges at no cost through September 2020, students can convert and download documents in alternative formats, including ePub, PDF, audio/MP3 files and HTML versions
    • GrackleDocs – supports creation of Google G Suite content that is legally accessible and in compliance with Sections 504 and 508, ADA and Title II for accessibility and available at no cost until June 30, 2020; contact Graham Barker for more information
    • Pre-approved vendors for video captioning and transcription are available on the College of the Canyons website; contact James Glapa-Grossklag for specific questions regarding the system’s captioning services
  • Webinars
    • Zoom Faculty Drop-in Hours – daily assistance with online course design provided by CVC-OEI instructional designers Mondays through Fridays
      • Mondays: 12-1 p.m. and 4-5 p.m.
      • Tuesdays: 9-10 a.m. 
      • Wednesdays: 12-1 p.m. and 4-5 p.m. 
      • Thursdays: 9-10 a.m. 
      • Fridays: 9-10 a.m., 12-1 p.m. and 4-5 p.m. 
    • CVC-OEI On-Demand Webinars – webinars providing an overview of how to incorporate tools such as Canvas, Zoom, Pisces and others into online instruction 
    • 3CSN Wayfinding Online Zoom Series – series of Zoom sessions to help faculty and staff navigate online environments by the California Community Colleges’ Success Network
  • Remote Work Security Practices – guide with specific practices to enhance cybersecurity when working off campus drawing on multiple resources from SANS, ISAC, CIS and the CCC Technology Center to identify and address the most common areas of weakness

Online Instruction Resources

  • Online Instruction and Services Resources – a hub of information for faculty and staff about online instruction and more provided by CVC-OEI, including instructions about how to access centrally-funded support services 
  • Canvas – the system’s Common Course Management System now features 24/7 support to all colleges at no additional cost 
  • Zoom – the Chancellor’s Office has acquired unlimited free Zoom Pro Licensing systemwide through June 30, 2020 for the online conferencing platform, affording faculty, staff, administrators and students the ability to continue teaching, learning and meeting virtually 
  • TechConnect Cloud – online repository for faculty to upload videos, files and class lectures to enrich student learning and access interactive video tools 
  • Pronto – online student communication platform that integrates with Canvas for expanded virtual engagement between students and instructors, provided at no cost to faculty through the remainder of this semester; contact Porter Rappleye for more information
  • Labster – gives biology, chemistry, physics and engineering faculty access to realistic lab experiences that let students perform experiments, simulations and practice their skills in a virtual environment; contact CVC-OEI for implementation
  • Webinars and Workshops
    • CVC-OEI Webinars – live and on-demand trainings for faculty and staff about online instruction and support services 
    • Summer Workshops – the CCC Accessibility Center and CCC Information Security Center will be offering these popular summer workshops via Zoom on June 15 and 16; register to attend by clicking on the Summer Workshops link 
    • Chancellor’s Office and Center for Urban Education – six-part webinar series providing faculty and administrators with strategies for exercising agency on behalf of the most vulnerable students

Online Student Support Services Resources

  • Online Student Support Hub – information about how faculty can create a hub for online student support within Canvas
  • Counseling and Student Helpdesk
    • Cranium Cafe – software providing advisors, counselors, tutors, professors, staff or classmates the ability to join face-to-face meetings; contact Mike Bills for more information
  • Tutoring and Writing Centers
    • LinkSystems (NetTutor) – online tutoring and whiteboard solution that integrates with Canvas to facilitate collaboration among staff, faculty and students and includes tutoring across disciplines, including on-demand multi-lingual 24/7 math tutoring; available to all colleges at no cost by contacting Chuck Myers 
    • Pisces – online platform providing a safe and accessible space for one-on-one or group tutoring sessions that includes online whiteboard functionality; contact CVC-OEI for implementation
  • Online Proctoring
    • Proctorio – online platform providing automated proctorless software and student verification services that integrates with Canvas and is available to all colleges at no cost; contact Josh Dyer for more information
  • Library Services
    • Library Services Platform – launched in January, the Library Services Platform (LSP) is a cloud-based unified resource management system providing the fullest range of information resources to support instruction across all disciplines, programs and modalities

Additional Resources

  • CCC Listservs – March recorded the widest use of the Listserv email distribution service ever, with 1.6 million distributions to individual recipients statewide across more than 500 lists; information about listserv hosting is available on the CCC Tech Center website
  • CCCApply – the online admissions suite offers prospective students the ability to complete the standard, noncredit, international or California College Promise Grant applications online; more information is available by contacting the CCC Tech Center’s College Relationship Managers
  • MyPath – providing colleges a way to keep students informed and on track while campuses are closed, MyPath includes an integrated, secure document gathering tool for enrollment and customizable Advisor Cards; more information is available by contacting the CCC Tech Center’s College Relationship Managers 

The Chancellor’s Office is continuing to expand system resources designed for online instruction and support services. 

“Our system is stepping up during this time of need to support our students, our families and our communities in really remarkable and innovative ways, and it speaks to how resilient our students and our staff are,” stated Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley during an April webinar with student media representatives.

On a daily basis, the Chancellor’s Office is updating its website with information about COVID-19, including public health information, emergency planning resources and communications to colleges. 

Additionally, CVC-OEI is continually adding resources for faculty, staff and students on its Online Instruction and Services Resources web page. Check back frequently for updates.

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