Join CCC's DE Mentor Program

Calling all new and experienced online faculty! Since the Contra Costa College’s Distance Education (DE) Mentor Program was so phenomenal last fall, I am continuing it this semester, pairing trained mentors with fellow faculty members who are seeking development in their online teaching and design. The program’s DE Mentors have the expertise, experience, and resources to provide support and guidance in a variety of areas related to teaching online and Canvas course design.

DE Mentors will provide flexible, individualized mentoring on a wide range of topics related to distance education. With training and experience in online education, DE Mentors can help faculty new to online teaching, faculty taking 4CD's BEOI (Becoming an Effective Online Instructor) course, and faculty who have been teaching online for a while and are ready to learn a few new tricks. As a DE Mentee, you will earn flex credit for the hours working with your mentor.

This one-minute video provides a brief introduction to the DE Mentor Program:

How Can a DE Mentor Help Me?

Mentors can meet weekly with you, currently via Zoom videoconferencing, email, text messages, and phone calls. Here are a few ways mentors can provide support:

  • Help with Canvas course design
  • Online facilitation strategies and tools
  • Advice for faculty preparing to teach a fully online course
  • Support for faculty taking BEOI, such as discussing the development of the first two modules
  • Guidance regarding regular effective contact requirements and online interaction options
  • Introduction to new tools and strategies to address common challenges in online instruction
  • Help to create videos and custom banners, and integrating them into Canvas
  • Tips for making course materials and activities accessible and equitable

We are here to help, so if you have a need that is not on this shortlist, just ask!

Sign Me Up!

MENTEES: If you are interested in being a mentee, please fill out the DE Mentee Application by Friday, February 5, 2021. Your acceptance into the program as a mentee is contingent upon the number of mentors available.

MENTORS: If you are interested in being a mentor, please fill out the DE Mentor Application by Friday, February 5, 2021. Hourly compensation is available for mentors at your OAS rate.

Ready to "Play" POCR?

While the DE Mentor Program is geared toward faculty who are beginning to teach online, the POCR (Peer Online Course Review) Program is geared toward faculty who are experienced in teaching fully online for a while and are willing to invest the hours of intensive revision of their course to align with the CVC-OEI Course Design Rubric's 44 criteria. Below is the call for POCR applicants from Michael Kilivris, CCC's POCR Lead.

Dear Faculty,

It's a new semester and there's another round of POCR to play! Peer online course review, that is. CCC's POCR program is designed to help CCC faculty develop high-quality online courses that are effective, equitable, and accessible, and thus better promote online student success. Given this important work, faculty will receive $2000 for participating in the POCR program this semester. Please read on for more information, including about how to apply!

CCC's POCR Program

The POCR program at CCC is designed to help faculty improve the quality of their online courses by aligning them to the CVC-OEI Course Design Rubric, a set of standards developed by California Community Colleges for content presentation, interaction, assessment, learner support, and accessibility. Faculty participants ("mentees") will work on-to-one with trained CCC faculty mentors to align their course to each standard of the rubric, meeting several times over the course of the semester. The larger goals of the program include:

  • Helping CCC faculty develop effective, equitable, and accessible online courses
  • Increasing success rates and closing equity gaps among CCC’s online students
  • Building a community of practice around high-quality online teaching at CCC

Program Details

Depending on your experience and comfort level with online teaching, aligning your course to the CVC-OEI Course Design Rubric can take time. In general, it will take anywhere from a few to several hours per week to get your course to where it needs to be. Please also note that the process as a whole, from mentorship to official CVC-OEI approval, can take up to a year to complete. Of course, you will have plenty of support from your mentor as well as your fellow mentees, the POCR Lead, Accessibility Specialist, and DE Coordinator, along the way. Please expect to:

  • Meet approximately 4 times with your mentor
  • Attend 4 monthly cohort meetings with all mentees and mentors, along with the POCR Lead, Accessibility Specialist, and DE Coordinator

For more information, including testimonials from former participants, here is a recording of the Flex workshop on the POCR program from this semester. I recommend fast-forwarding to part where former mentees share their experiences!

How to Apply

All CCC faculty, including part-timers, whose courses meet the requirements below are welcome and encouraged to apply. Faculty of color are especially encouraged to apply.

  • The course you would like to align is a fully online course
  • You have taught this course fully online for at least 1 full term
  • Your course is part of an ADT (Associates Degree for Transfer), CTE (Career Technical Education) program, or General Education Transfer Pattern (ex: CSU or IGETC)

To apply, just complete the POCR Mentee Application by next Friday, February 5th. Of course, if you have any questions or concerns or would like more information, feel free to reach out to Mike at mkilivris@contracosta.edu

DE Drop-In: Virtual Help Desk on Fridays, 12-1pm

Starting on Fri. Feb. 5th, CCC's Instructional Designers, Lauren Nahas and Monica Landeros, are ready to answer your questions about online teaching, Canvas, Zoom, instructional technologies, and all things DE in an informal one-on-one or small group Zoom session every Friday 12-1pm during the Spring 2021 semester. No appointment needed. Just drop in!

All faculty, staff, and managers are invited. If you can't make that time, you are always welcome to schedule an appointment with Monica (mlanderos@contracosta.edu) or Lauren (lnahas@contracosta.edu).

Coming this Spring: A New DE PD Format

Our Instructional Designers, Lauren Nahas and Monica Landers, and I are excited to introduce a new PD format this spring that combines both asynchronous and synchronous participation! Look out for a series of PD in online teaching, distance education, Canvas, and instructional technologies coming your way in this new format, releasing on "Tech Tuesdays" and then following up with short Zoom sessions at the end of the week to ask questions, see examples, and showcase faculty work. We will also offer multi-day DE PD Challenges for you to join. We know you're busy, so we wanted to create a more flexible structure for your ongoing professional development in online teaching and design.

Register Now for the 4CD Open Ed Symposium: Creating ZTC and Open Equitable Resources on Feb. 19, 2021, 9am-12pm

Why are open resources critical to equity and student success? How do I implement OER resources in my classes? How do I make my classes zero-textbook cost (ZTC)? Join us for this exciting 4CD event on Friday, February 19, 2021, 9 am to 12 pm. Flex credit is available, and part time faculty will be compensated for 3 hours at their OAS rate. Register now on GROW@4CD.


Zoom meeting link

9:00 – 9:05 am Welcome & Icebreaker

9:05 –9:25 am OER Student Impacts - James Glapa-Grossklag

9:25 – 9:45 am OER for Antiracism Initiative - Una Daly

9:45 –10:30 am How Textbook Costs Affect Students - Student Panel

10:30 – 10:35 am Break

10:35 – 10:45 am OER Student Success Research from LMC - Scott Hubbard

10:45 – 11:05 am Success Stories with OER/ZTC - 4CD Faculty Panel:

  • CCC - Nooshi Borhan, ESL
  • DVC - Andrea Sorce, Economics
  • LMC - Paul West, Chemistry

11:05 – 11:55 am Hackathon: Implementing OER in Breakouts by Disciplines and Interests

11:55 am – 12:00 pm Conclusion

The Comet Support Hub is Live in Canvas!

The COMET SUPPORT HUB went live in Canvas last Friday, Jan. 22, so please be sure to direct your students to the Hub, which can be viewed in the Canvas Global Navigation Menu from any course. Feel free to download my screenshot image below to use in your courses, which contains a red arrow directing students to it. (Right click the image and then select Save.) You could also download it from my Canvas template page.

Recordings of the DE Spring Summit

If you missed a session or would like to review one, all of the recordings from the DE Spring Summit 2021 are available now. Go to the bottom of my homepage in my Online Teaching Essentials for the direct link. Sessions include Zoom engagement, beautifying your Canvas course, Flipgrid, Pronto, POCR, and more.

Pronto: Hide Past Courses & the Course Management Tool

Hide Past Courses in Pronto

If desired, you can clean up your Pronto "drawer" by hiding past and unused Canvas courses. It's as going to the course in Pronto, click the 3 dots on the right, and select "Hide." This can also be done on the app by holding down the course and selecting "Hide."

Pronto Course Management Tool

You have the ability to enable and disable Pronto in courses, sections, and groups within Canvas altogether or individually, even only for a period of time. There is a "Sync Now" option that can be used to immediately synchronize the changes between Pronto and Canvas. Access your Pronto Course Management web portal located at this URL: 4cd.canvas.pronto.io

Here is a resource on the Pronto Course Management Tool.

4CD's BEOI Course Offerings

One more section of 4CD's Becoming an Effective Online Instructor (BEOI) course will be offered this spring and one section this summer. Faculty are still eligible for the $700 stipend (Article 27 of the contract) for successful completion. Salary advancement and 10 hours of flex credit are also available. Registration is on GROW@4CD, and below is the direct link.

🎁 Goodies 🎁

Short Link: bit.ly/ccc-ote

To ensure that my Online Teaching Essentials remains on your Canvas Dashboard, click the self-enroll link below.

Created By
Maritez Apigo


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