OEI Releases OER-Enabled Canvas Course Shells

OEI Releases OER-Enabled Canvas Course Shells

California Community Colleges Online Education InitiativeThe California Community Colleges (CCC) Online Education Initiative (OEI) is proud to announce the creation of 30 sample course shells with Open Educational Resources (OER) embedded directly into the OER-enabled Canvas course shells.

This grassroots project involved collaboration between instructional designers, librarians, faculty and OpenStax, a nonprofit educational technology initiative based at Rice University, Houston.

Newly released federal data shows that the number of college students enrolled in at least one online course continues to rise at U.S. institutions. Unfortunately, the Fixing the Broken Textbook Market Survey (2014) shows that 65 percent of students surveyed chose not to buy a textbook for their class due to high costs, and another 48 percent take fewer classes or choose a different class based on the textbook cost.

With this in mind, the OEI workgroup decided it was important to embed OER resources in each course shell.

“Adopting OER is a social justice issue,” said Dr. Barbara Illowsky, Chief Academic Officer for the OEI. “Students need access to their course materials on the first day of the class in order to be successful, not when their next paycheck or financial aid arrives.”

Designed by the OEI’s instructional designers, the course shells include a wealth of knowledge and innovative resources that can help faculty as they prepare to teach online. There are instructions for faculty on making their courses welcoming to students, creating captioned videos, and providing links to campus student services. There are instructions for students on how to navigate Canvas and how to be successful in the course.

“These shells will make using an open text even more convenient for faculty and students, thanks to the work of OpenStax adopters,” said Daniel Williamson, Managing Director of OpenStax. “We’re thrilled to see our books take on a life of their own. This kind of adaptation and enhancement is exactly what makes open educational resources so valuable. We’re looking forward to seeing how instructors take these course shells and adapt them to create materials that are perfect for their students.”

The 30 sample course shells are housed in Canvas Commons, and can be found using the following search terms: CCC, OEI, OpenStax, and OER. There is one blank so faculty can embed their own OER content. Each shell is WCAG 2.0 AA compliant and has a Creative Commons Attribution license with attribution to be given to the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, funder of the OEI.

Andrea Hanstein is Director of Communications & Strategic Partnerships for
the California Community Colleges Online Education Initiative


OEI Course Design Academy

First, I want to thank all of you for your support of faculty participation in course review and the changes we’ve made over the last few years in response to faculty and reviewer feedback.

The feedback we recently received on the Course Design Academy concept was generally positive, but we did hear concerns from you and your faculty about the impact on faculty workload if course work and additional professional development activities were added to the process. In fact, what we have been told consistently is that the course review process itself is already a rigorous professional development experience that significantly impacts quality in the reviewed courses and other courses taught by the faculty completing it.

In response to your concerns, we are keeping the review process the same as it was last year, but with the important name change to Course Design Academy.

Why OEI Course Design Academy?

Peer Online Course Review (POCR) started in 2014.

Since then, we have added several elements: dedicated instructional design support, hands-on accessibility help, and the opportunity for faculty to connect with other online faculty to discuss best practices in online teaching.  

By renaming our process Course Design Academy, we better communicate all of the elements involved in aligning courses with the rubric. Through badges and certificates, we can also recognize the rigorous and rewarding professional development faculty complete as they work with other faculty, instructional designers, and accessibility specialists to enhance and strengthen their courses. 

What is OEI Course Design Academy?

As a participant in the Course Design Academy, faculty receive:

  • Confidential feedback and course design recommendations from fellow online faculty through peer online course review.
  • Support from a Canvas Course Design Specialist (CCDS) to assist with applying feedback and getting the most from the tools and features in Canvas.
  • Hands-on assistance, as needed, from Accessibility Specialists to make courses fully 508 compliant!
  • Badges awarded as they align their courses with each section of the OEI Course Design Rubric: Content Presentation, Interaction, Assessment, and Accessibility.

Upon completion, their work will be recognized with an Aligned Course Badge and a Course Design Academy certificate that show the course:

  • Is “exchange ready” and eligible to be offered through the Online Course Exchange.
  • Has met the CCC’s highest level of design standards of quality and accessibility to support online student success!

We have updated our @ONE web pages to reflect this update and clarify the features and benefits for participants. We invite you and your faculty to register for one of our upcoming information meetings:

  • Friday, February 9, 2018 from 3:30-4:30 pm
  • Thursday, February 20, 2018 from 9:00-10:00 am( )
  • Tuesday, March 6, 2018 from 3:00-4:00 pm

And if you have faculty ready to participate in Course Design Academy, you can refer them to our updated step-by-step guide and course submission form.

If you have questions, please let us know and thank you again for all you do to support us in our work with your faculty!

Autumn Bell

Chief Professional Development Officer

California Community Colleges’
Online Education Initiative (OEI)

Hosted by the Foothill-DeAnza District  

Phone: (650) 949-7801


Schedule a meeting with me: http://doodle.com/autumnbell 

OEI http://cccOnlineEd.org

@ONE http://onlinenetworkofeducators.org

Canvas Training Open District Wide

Faculty interested in Canvas training. By popular demand, Harbor College Distance Education will host an Online teaching with Canvas certification free to the first 10 Los Angeles College District employees. Introduction to Canvas (H.CANVAS_INTRO.8) Online Training Introduction to Teaching with Canvas Starts Tuesday, January 2nd 2018, ending Friday, January 29th, 2018. This is an @one certified Canvas course.  Both facilitators are certified by @one as trainers.  This course is 100% online.  There are no physical meetings.  Open to all District employees, Email reidmr@lahc.edu with your interest and your SIS user ID before December 29th, 2017.  After you respond, the first 10 will receive registration access and self-enrollment instructions. Michael Reid Distance Education Coordinator Los Angeles Harbor College(310) 233-4068


To support California Community Colleges colleges with on-campus flex events scheduled for Friday, January 12, 2018, @ONE is hosting several online professional development sessions. CCC faculty and staff who register and attend these free events will receive a certificate of completion. Local campuses may choose to honor these certificates for flex credit. If you are a faculty or staff who would like to participate in Untethered Flex Day, please check with your campus flex coordinator to determine if you are eligible to earn flex credit.

How to participate:

  1. Choose a topic listed below.
  2. Select the session you would like to attend.
  3. Click the session button and register by January 11th at 11pm.
  4. Check your email for the link to the Canvas Course for the session. The webinar link will be provided within the course and via email (if your @ONE Canvas notifications are enabled for email).

Need help registering? Click below to view a brief tutorial.

10-10-10: Communication That Mattes with Lené Whitley-Putz

First impressions really do count, and the first ten minutes a student is in your online course can make or break their experience. Designing your course with the needs of diverse students in mind allows you to hit just the right note for that crucial first “introduction” and build intuitive elements that support each student’s success.

You’ll discover the power of three important “tens” in your students’ interaction in the course–the first 10 minutes, the first 10 hours, and the first 10 days. You’ll leave with strategies to authentically welcome students, design impactful home pages and syllabi, and create compelling activities that help your students form a meaningful learning community.

Humanizing Your Online Class with Adobe Spark Video with Michelle Pacansky-Brock

Are you looking for the secret sauce to build community and foster meaningful student-student interactions? Well, the secret is YOU! Research shows that online students are more invested in a class when they have an instructor who cares about their learning success. But conveying your human presence, empathy, and awareness in online requires intention and a toolkit of tools and practices.

In this webinar, you will be introduced to the principles of humanizing and learn how to use Adobe Video Spark, a free tool, to bring your warm, human presence into your online class.


Please direct them to Stacey Carrasco at scarrasco@ccconlineed.org

New Free Courses From @ONE

Registration for the following classes closes soon.

WLAC faculty can contact me for a coupon code to use at checkout. Free!


Carpe Diem.

Enroll by Wednesday, 10/11 @ 11 PM for Fall courses.

Assessing Digital Learning

Online assessment does not have to be limited to multiple choice quizzes. In this 4-week course, explore how to create engaging and robust assessments in Canvas that inspire your students and allow you to gauge student understanding. You’ll create an assessment plan that includes provocative discussions, formative assessments with meaningful feedback for you and your students, rubrics to help your grading, and summative assessments that capture higher-order thinking, and you’ll build assessments in a Canvas Sandbox, because we know that practicing in Canvas is the best way to learn.
10/16 – 11/10
Register Now for Assessing Digital Learning

Creating Accessible Course Content

Accessibility does not have to be frustrating. This 4-week course will walk you through the technical aspects of creating fully accessible courses in Canvas. You’ll work in a Canvas Sandbox to learn how to best use the Canvas Rich Content editor to build fully accessible content, and you’ll learn techniques for retro-fitting existing content and testing the accessibility of resources you find online. The best part? You get to take the fully accessible content you create, and your Sandbox, with you when you’re done!
10/16 – 11/10
Register Now for Creating Accessible Course Content

Introduction to Online Teaching and Learning

If you’ve been wondering how to begin your online course, this is the course for you. This 4-week exploration of online teaching and learning will help you begin your plan for developing your online course, introduce you to the major regulations you’ll need to know when designing your course, and get you started on your online syllabus and welcome letter.
10/16 – 11/10
Register Now for Introduction to Online Teaching and Learning

Register Now!

Sorting Course Cards In Canvas!

This new feature will let you drag and drop your course cards in Canvas to re-order them. Finally!

Some installation required.

Special thanks to James Jones who wrote the code for this feature.

How to Video:

Written instructions

The quick installation instructions are:

  1. Install a browser add-on: Greasemonkey for Firefox or Tampermonkey for Chrome/Safari.
  2. Install the Dashboard Card Sorter script

Have fun dragging and dropping! Woot woot!

%d bloggers like this: