Friday, September 29, 2006

Dr. Bedard-Voorhees

I am very pleased to announce that our Associate Academic Dean, Alice Bedard-Voorhees, successfully defended her disertation yesterday afternoon! We can all now refer to her as Dr. Alice Bedard-Voorhees.

Her topic was "Prepardness, Performance, and Persistence in Online College Algebra Courses".

Congratualtions Alice!


New Blog for Students

I have gotten a lot of positive feedback regarding this blog for you folks, so based on that we decided to begin a blog for students also. You can see that blog at Feel free to email me with items you think belong on that blog (


Latency Issues

CE Issue:

We have had some network latency issues the past 4 nights beginning at 10:50 and lasting for around 2 hours. Some students and faculty will have had no trouble accessing their courses, but some will have had difficulties. Response time may have also been slow.

CCCS-IT staff are working on this problem and expect to have it resolves soon.

The Vista server lives back east instead of here with us at Lowry, so is not affected by our local network issues. :^)


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

2006 Gold Medal Faculty

Every year each program chair nominates a small number of the instructors with whom they work for the Gold Medal Faculty award. Gold Medal Faculty must have achieved matrix 2 status for the previous year and must be a stand-out intructor beyond that.

Biographies and piuctures were posted in the eating area for the conference. We also expect to have them up on the CCCOnine website shortly.

This year's awardees are:

Accounting: Betty McKie

Languages and Literature: Richard Thomas, Jennifer Ray, Sean Law, Ed Raetz

Arts and Humanities: Chris Levesque, Janke Camp, Cherry Ellis, Donna Wickham

Social and Behavioral Sciences: Derek Lopez and Kathy Rousset

Mathematics: (The Digital Content Team) Cheryll Wingard, Louis Sass, Dean Barchers, Erica Johnson, Heidi Barrett, Jon Sherrill, James Gray

Business: Sharon Taylor, Wendy Lewis

Criminal Justice: Diane VanOs

Computer Technology: Phyllis Dobson, Kevin Stever

Sciences: Dan Branan, Trina Riegael, Jessy Devasia, Jess Huguley, Dave Trott

Early Childhood/Education: Jan Ferrari

Nursing: Stephanie Beplay, Kathy Kohler

Congratulations Everyone!


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Students and Section Switching

We've had a sudden rash of students who want to switch sections. Reasons have ranged from "My best friend is in so and so's section and I want to be with her" to "My instructor hates me". I have to tell you, my answer to those students is almost always no. There are several reasons for my position.

The first is pedagogical - at this time in the term you've already done a lot of community building work with your students, so subtracting one from one section and adding one to another section can create problems for the classes, particularly if the new section uses any group work. Students with friends in a different section can also have all the benefits of discussing the course material with those friends, but with different assignments for grading purposes.

Then there is the practical side - students who switch sections either lose the work they have completed in the first section or require extra work on the part of both instructors to pass those grades over along with the student. It also creates work for John, Roxanne, and David, none of whom need more to do.

And lastly, the financial side - COF has made it difficult and frequently impossible for us to move students around after census day without causing the student to lose their COF funds for the section they moved from. (COF is the $80 or so the student receives from the state of Colorado to supplement standard tuition. It replaces the old FTE reimbursement system. Students have a limited number of COF dollars attached to their names.)

So...... unless the faculty and the student are at odds in such a way that causes me to believe that the learning environment for the student has been irretrievably ruined I tend to say no to section switching requests.


Monday, September 25, 2006

Faculty Conference Wrap-Up

We had a fabulous faculty conference this year! There were just over 140 attendees. Alice had organized several really good workshops, the program chairs held discipline meetings at lunch, then we wrapped up with round table discussions and a last set of workshops. It sounded like everyone was happy to get a chance to meet with thier peers in a face-to-face setting.

I will have link to presentation handouts available later this week.

On a completely different note: Fall 1 bonus contracts (for those of you with more than 20 students in your section) will begin seeing the extra amount from payroll on the October 27th check. Fall 2 payroll will also begin on October 27th.

Happy Autumn!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Rainy Morning

Hi Everyone-

Alice Bedard-Voorhees, our Associate Academic Dean, says we have over 130 participants registered for the faculty conference tomorrow. I am really looking forward to seeing everyone! We have many wonderful workshops planned plus the chance to have lunch with your colleagues. If you are still wondering how to get there, you will find maps on ACC's website at

Stephen Downes' OLDaily had a link to a directory of open access journals today that you may find useful. It's available at There seems to be more than one online journal for almost every discipline now, probably including yours.


Vista Gradebook Note: If you use partial points in your grading be aware that Vista will round those to the nearest whole number for display purposes unless you set the gradebook to show decimals. So a 3.5 will look like a 4 to your students unless you set the column to show the places after the decimal. This can cause your students to believe they have earned a higher grade than you think they have earned. We have a couple of cases where rounding did change the final grade, so be careful you are clear with your students.


See you tomorrow,

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

F2F Conf: Check-In and Breakfast

Are you getting ready? Registration check-in and breakfast take place at the lower level of ACC's main building. The room is M1900,Main Dining.

Packet pick-up begins at 8 am and a continental breakfast, juice and coffee will be available. You can also have a digital picture taken at that time :). The opening session begins in the same room at 9 am.

Building Map (And there will be one in your packet):
Building Map

Looking forward to a great day.

If you haven't see the schedule, the post appears below, as does the parking info. (No Passes Required -- Use regular faculty and student lots.)



VistaVistion Conference Parking

We look forward to seeing you at the Arapahoe (host) campus on Friday.

No parking passes are necessary. You can park in any of the public lots like A,B,C on this map:




Monday, September 18, 2006

Course dupe information David sent to your chair

Hi Everyone-

Below is the text of the email David Chatham, Dean of Academic Technology, sent to your chairs regarding the course duping process for fall 2. Note th number of times he tries to make sure faculty have been contacted before we dupe to make sure we get the correct section. :^)

Hi there,

I hope you survived the beginning of Fall. Fall 2 is around the corner, so I wanted to provide you with a little more direction on the dupe process that can begin on Friday. When you go to create a dupe request, you will immediately face the decision of whether to request a Vista dupe or a CE dupe, just like you did for Fall 1.

[I suggest you pre-organize what is on Vista and what is on CE before you get to this stage. Of course, discussing this with your faculty first is also helpful. Sometimes changes have to be made, but I noticed this time as in times past that things that have to be changed after they are duped are more likely to be really screwed up. The process maps the courses and instructors to the students that get loaded, and our problem areas this semester were those few courses that for whatever reason, had to be re-done. Like I said, sometimes when an instructor quits in the eleventh hour there isn't anything you can do.]

On the CE side, it is the same process. Select the courses, sections, instructor, assign and submit to the WebCT administrator. Use the comment field to communicate to me something special or the dupe source, if not seen in the selection boxes.

On the Vista side, you will not be able to select the dupe source, but I intend for you to tell me in the new comment box, what to use. All courses in Vista for Fall 2 already have one running in Fall 1. I need the Course - Section - Instructor to find the right one. All that information is readily seen on your Chair login for Vista: adXX07F.

Designers will see your requests and if they have questions about it, they will let me know or perhaps contact you. If you have faculty that will be doing multiple sections but not necessarily in order, your request might represent this type of pattern for a Vista request:

BIO201C21 Aarthi Ramesh - [Comment: dupe from BIO201C12 07F]
BIO201 C22 Jessy Devasia - [Comment: dupe from BIO201C11 07F]
BIO201 C23 Jessy Devasia - [dupe from C22 when it is ready]
BIO201 C24 Aarthi Ramesh - [dupe from C21 when it is ready]

So, if we allow the instructor some time to setup his course, then once you have confirmed the section is ready, I can dupe the others and save faculty that setup time.

Also, your request maybe for the template. If the faculty are using a common template and there are no significant changes from the current Fall 1 section, you can request the common template for that courses. Be sure to discuss with faculty first.




Pay Dates

Hi Everyone-

The first pay date for the fall term was Friday, 9/15. Paydates will be every other week thereafter. Remember that bonus contracts for faculty with classes with more than 20 students are calculated based on enrollment on census day (last Thursday).

Email Randy Macy ( with questions.



Here are some numbers from Randy Macy, Faculty Coordinator:

I thought you might find some of the following statistics interesting:
Spring 2006 we offered 362 sections session one with a total of 7184 students - average of 20 per section.
Fall 2007 we offered 333 sections (down almost 10%) session one with a total of 6017 students - average of 18 per section.
Spring 2006 we had 169 (47%) of the sections paying bonus contracts at an average of $371.33 per contract.
Fall 2007 we have 100 (30% - down 17%) of the sections paying bonus contracts at an average of $247.50 per contract (down $123.83).
We have four classes whose enrollment dropped by half fall semester compared to Summer and Spring Semesters:
GER 112 - 5
HIS 102 - 9
MUS 100 - 8
SPA 212 - 7


Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Deadline to Drop is Midnight Tonight

Students have until midnight tonight to drop their course and receive a tuition refund.


Vista Faculty - Dropped Discussion Posts

Hi Everyone-

Several of you have mentioned a problem with dropped or missing discussion posts. Frequently the best way to find these is to set your pagination so you see more thna 10 posts at a time. For directions on how to do this see

If that doesn't solve your problem please contact your Vista Volunteer.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Reminder to Drop email sent to students

The following final reminder about the last day to drop with a refund was sent to all session 1 students today.



This note is a final reminder that tomorrow, Wednesday, September 13, 2006, is the last day to drop your CCCOnline delivered Fall session 1 course(s) with a refund.

If you do not plan to drop your course(s) or have already dropped your course(s) please disregard this reminder.

Session 1 courses are those courses with a section ID starting C1 or C3 (example, ENG 121 C11 or PSY 101C31)

**Contacting your instructor(s) will NOT result in your being dropped or withdrawn from your course(s)**

To "DROP" your course(s):

go to or your home college web site
click on the “Self-Service Banner” link for your home college
Select “Login” and enter your Student ID and 6-digit student PIN
click “Enter”
Select the “Student Menu” and then the “Registration Menu”
select “Add or Drop Courses” and follow the steps to get to your “Current Schedule” of courses
on your “Current Schedule”, use the Drop Down box under “Action” and select “Drop Web”
Click “Submit Changes” at the bottom of the page
check your “Current Schedule” to make sure the course(s) has been dropped

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us or your home college.

Thank you for your time and we hope you continue to have a great and successful semester!

Student Services

Rosters in Banner (or not)

Hi Everyone-

We have received requests for rosters from several of you. Unofrtunately the best we can do at this time are the rosters that are currently loaded into your CE and Vista gradebooks. The CE version is best since that version includes the student email addresses. (Vista faculty should have access to a CE shell with the email addresses. You also should have received an email from David Chatham with your student's email addresses.)

I know some of you also want student phone numbers. Your best option is to ask students to send you those directly.

In the old student information system CCCOnline had it's own area; that is not true of Banner. In Banner we are spread out over all of the colleges. That means to get a roster you would have to log in and out of each section at each college. This semester you can't even do that as we didn't have the code written to officially assign you to your section at each college.

Going forward we are noting these problems and discussing how to best correct them. Meanwhile, everyone has less information than we are used to having. Sorry -- we will get better with time. We did have a meeting with the new CIO for the system. He is aware of our needs and is working on solutions with us.

Thanks for your patience!


Thursday, September 07, 2006

VistaVision Conference Descriptions and Registration

VistaVision and Beyond CCCOnline 2006 Conference
Friday September 22 Arapahoe Community College
To Register:

Opening Session:9 - 10:00
VistaVision and Beyond will open with a welcome and introduction of this year’s Gold Medal Faculty. Next, you’ll have the chance to hear from the CCCOnline Team, the people who assist with CCCOnline matters beyond your course content.
Panelists are John Schmahl, Director of Student Services, Roxanne Manske, Registrar, Judy Patrick, Advising, and Deb Michel, Student Support Desk, and Instructional Coordinator, Randy Macy.

Session I: 10:15 - 11:00

• Smarthinking Presents: Writing Services to CCCOnline. CCCOnline contracts with Smarthinking for tutoring services in a number of area. This session specifically provides information about writing services available to CCCOnline learners in your courses. Presenter: Jim Sigman

• Across the Board Faculty Panel: Come hear how Vista is serving tech-supported, hybrid, and fully online classes.
Presenters: Lee Christopher, Robbie McGurran, Mary Sloan, Dave Trott, Dr. Gloria Griswold, and Dr. Kathy Winograd.

• Video Voodoo: An Odyssey in the Production of AV Content. Technology has enabled even the neophyte an opportunity to produce educational content for students. In this presentation, we follow the odyssey of one such person through the world of videography. Questions to be explored will concern the learning experience for the educator, writing script and content, planning the “shoot”, talent release forms, video and editing equipment, software, editing talents required and production. A recent video project will be used to illustrate the points about what is required to successfully produce a teaching or training video.
Presenter: Marge Vorndam

• Sandbox Lab: Come play with various applications for your courses. (with guides Beth Kitts and Phyllis Dobson)

• Learning Connections in Vista: Making the Most of Your Vista Tools (Vista Lab). Find out about Vista features that support increased usability for you and learners in your courses.
Presenters: Cheryl Comstock, Mary Cash, and Aaron Leonard.

Session II: 11:15 – Noon

• Keeping Them Coming Back for More: Discussion as a Retention Practice. Learners may think that discussion is an activity they just have to do for the grade, but discussion plays a part in connecting the learner to community and content, from course beginning to end.
Presenter: Diana Hart

• Creating Learning Objects for Your Courses: What’ All the Buzz About? What prompts instructors to decide that digital interactivities would increase engagement and learning? Two faculty present what prompted them to create Learning Objects/interactivies for Courses. Flash Designer Beth Kitts talks about her part in melding the ideas with the technology.
Presenters: Cherry Ellis, Becky Mangin, and Beth Kitts (Lab Session)

• No More Textbooks? Visiting the Digital Content Courses. CCCOnline has three courses (History 101, MAT 121, and BUS 216) which contain all materials within their virtual walls. (Some can be printed). Come look at and hear about these innovations and what this means for learners.(Lab Session)
Presenters: Rhonda Epper and Karen Kaemmerling (Lab Session)

• Giving and Getting: Building, Sharing, and Using Content within the Higher Education Community. CCCOnline has a membership with a consortium that can provide content for use in our courses. Find out what the possibilities are for CCCOnline courses.
Presenter: Terri Rowenhorst, Monterey Institute for Technology and Education

• Showing the Way: How to use Vista “descriptions” to provide an instructional chain for assignments, discussion and more. Use Vista tools to create a path through the course content, so learners can more clearly understand what they are supposed to do, and more
easily focus on the learning activities.
Presenter: Kathy Miles

Discipline/Program Meetings:Noon - 2:00 (Rooms listed in Conference Schedule)
Labs are open from 12:30 – 2:00 for those not in scheduled program meetings.)

Round Tables Discussions: 2:15 – 3:00The Round Table discussions provide an opportunity to sample short topics with a facilitator and peers. Each session will last 20 minutes and then you’ll be able to move to another table and another topic. ((Main Dining Room, M 1900)

Topics include
• Meet the Vista Volunteers (Your change to get an autograph or even a photograph!)
• Course Mapping (Phyllis Dobson)
• Now about the QA….
• Where Does it Hurt? (Visit with Dr. V’s PA’s)
• Looking Into the Future: Vista’s Application Pack (LisaMarie Johnson)
• Bringing Guest Experts to Your Classes (Alice Bedard-Voorhees)

Session III: 3:15 - 4:00

• Connecting Discussions to the to the Grade book in Vista: A Love-Hate Story Vista now offers a way to link discussions to the grade book for more efficient grading of discussions. Experienced presenters explain how it’s done. (Vista Lab Location)
Presenters: Aarthi Ramish and Jose Garcia-Paine

• What in the Virtual World: Learning Experiences in Virtual Environments (Introducing Second-Life and Others) Virtual simulation environments offer new “classroom” settings and learning at a different level. See them and learn about which features and considerations are pertinent to educators. (Sandbox Lab Location)
Presenter: Rick Hadley

• Lively Math Discussions: A Brainstorming Session
Looking for livelier discussions in math courses? Come brainstorm topics and strategies with three experienced online math faculty!
Facilitators: Mary Sloan, Ann Piletic, Louis Sass

• Sandbox Lab: Last chance of the day to play in the sandbox

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Hi Everyone-

Today credit hours are up just over 11% over census day last year. Of course we aren't to census day yet, so we have some drops to go. I am still hoping for a flat fall 1 though. We are starting to see some growth in the fall 2 enrollment, so I hope you are saving some time and energy for those classes.

Most of the student access problems have been solved. We had a whopping 9 new support forms sent in on Monday; the majority of those were students with session 2 classes or classes with other colleges. Only 2 were still access issues. You should see all of your students this week. :^) If you haven't please email them at their external email address and remind them to come to class. (Vista faculty -- those email addresses reside in the manage students section of the CE shell mirroring your Vista shell.)

Judy Patrick has emailed all students again reminding them to login.

The Tech Team has figured out a work around for the access issues some Vista faculty were having, so I don't believe you will see that again.

We'd love to see all of you at this fall's faculty conference -- September 22nd at ACC. You can register now (link was a couple of posts ago). We're trying to get a headcount for food so we don't under-order. (We did that one year. 60 of you registered, but 80 came. Some of us didn't get to eat, that tends to make people crabby.) Dean Alice has a great list of workshops plus we have time scheduled for discipline meetings so you can talk with your fellow faculty.

Hope to see you there!


Monday, September 04, 2006

Vista Faculty Only - Access Denied

Hi Vista Faculty-

We are seeing some access denied to classes (not to Vista itself) for some faculty. This is strictly a faculty problem, no students, and so far is random enough that we haven't been able to pin down the cause. At this point we think it has to be in a program we are running that is supposed to be doing something else.

Right now everyone should have access to all of your classes, but I was the one returning access this evening, so I may have missed a few of you. Sorry! I expect some instructor access to go away again with the morning load process, so I will check everyone again tomorrow morning.

With any luck the Technology Team will locate and solve the problem before the afternoon load. :^)


Happy Labor Day

Hi Everyone-

Hope you aren't reading today's post until tomorrow. :^) We made it through Saturday and Sunday without any more wide-spread login problems, so the change to the Vista login page appears to have solved that.

Students services and academic technology personnel worked through the weekend to catch-up with last's week's deluge and only a very few new calls and support form requests have come in from students. We still have students who don't know what their S# and password is, but they are getting into class as soon as they hear back from student services. The more technical problems have pretty much gone away.

Vista Faculty:

It just dawned on me that we solved the external email address piece for faculty teaching in Vista a long time ago... we've been working madly on sending a list to you via email because we weren't able to list them in the Vista gradebook. They are listed in the CE gradebook though and all of the students are enrolled in a CE version of your class also. So you have access to all of the external email addresses there. yeesh. Took a long time for the penny to drop. We will continue to work on sending you a list of email addresses though. :^)

All Faculty:

Now about those external email addresses... technically students are required to give the colleges a correct email address when they register. Practically, registration was so very challenging this semester that many colleges did not insist. Thus, we are missing many external email addresses for students. The only way to solve this problem is to assign email address to students, which the community college system will go once we go to a portal system. Of course, we will then have a new problem -- getting students to use that email address. In the end, we communicate with those who make it possible.

It was a challenging beginning to the semester, but I hope we can all focus on learning outcomes from here on out.

Happy Labor Day!


Friday, September 01, 2006

CCCOnline F2F Conf Info

We hope to see you at the F2F Conference on September 22nd!
This year's theme is VistaVision and Beyond.

Here's the link to conference registration:



Alice Bedard-Voorhees
Associate Academic Dean

End of Day 3, Beginning of Day 4

It was a tough night for the night owls. Sometime after 8:30 or so it became pretty difficult, if not impossible to get in to Vista. David and the WebCT support team were able to correct that, but it took until this morning (about 10 minutes ago). You all should be able to get in to Vista again, so give it a try and let David know if you can't. Probably you will still need to clear cookies, your cache, etc.

Fortunately this was only a problem at CCCOnline. We turned off SSL to try to speed things up and that caused Vista to not play well with our entry page. None of the other colleges had that problem.

CE students only have problems if for some reason they are not in the CE databse. We still are missing around 100 students, but are adding them as fast as we find them. I added almost 20 from and ENG 121 class yesterday afternoon. There may still be large blocks like that out there, but we don't think so.

So... be patient with your students. Most of them should be able to login by the end of today.