Friday, December 28, 2007

Remember that the Blackboard Vista servers will be down for planned maintenance today through Sunday while we move to a newer, larger, faster, database server. We expect to be back up Sunday morning, although the downtime is not officially scheduled to end until Monday morning at midnight.

Hope your break is going well!


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Hardware Upgrade Update

The Bb ASP has revised the schedule on the hardware upgrade to be from 8 a.m. MT on December 28 until 8 a.m. MT on December 30. David will make changes on the domain level to provide that announcement.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Managing Your MyCCCOnline Page in BB Vista

Good Morning Everyone-

When we begin duping sections for a new term I typically get a set of emails from faculty. About half of you are worried that we will remove access to shells from past terms and the other half of you are frustrated with a very long list of courses in your MyCCCOnline page and would like to get rid of all of the old terms.

We would like to get to the point where you can manage what you would like to keep around yourself, but until then here is a link to a training module LisaMarie Johnson made to help you organize what shows on your MyCCCOnline page:


Monday, December 17, 2007

Downtime over Christmas Break

I want to wish everyone a happy happy Christmas break!

CCCOnline offices will be closing Friday the 21st and not re-opening until Wednesday, January 2nd. We are making some hardware changes during that time however. We are moving to a new big database server for Vista. Blackboard hosting will be making the switch for us December 28-30; Vista will be down for at least the 28th and 29th (beginning at 12:01 am on the 28th). We are not making any software upgrades or patches, so you shouldn't see any changes in your courses after the weekend. You might check anyway though, just to be sure.

The Banner student information system is also going through a major upgrade the weekend before Christmas, so Frank is coming in Christmas Eve to do some testing of our scripts.

We'll e-see you all in the next year!


Friday, December 14, 2007

Only training shells

Hi All-

Only old training and profesional development shells are going away. Your fall course shells will still wait around for you for awhile yet. (For the half of you who want to get rid of your old course shells..... eventually we will clean those out also.)



Thanks to all of you who sent your grades in promptly! We offered nearly 550 sections this fall and all but 8 had grades in by yesterday evening!


Training Clean-up

We will be cleaning up the old training courses (deleting old shells) and unenrolling you from any shells you are still enrolled in from past training session early next week. If you need to keep any information from old sessions around please copy it this weekend.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

League for Innovation Conference

Hi All-

I think I sent this out, but wanted to blog it so I can find it again.

CCD is hosting the League for Innovations conference in Denver this year. If you volunteer for 6 or more hours the League will pick up the conference fee.

If any of you wish to attend this conference as a volunteer please let me know and I will see if I can get you on the list.

The League website is


Lisa Cheney-Steen
Co-Executive Director for Learning Technology
Colorado Community College System

Original Message:

The League for Innovations Conference will be held in Denver at the Adams Mark Hotel in downtown Denver 3/2-3/5 2008. Community College of Denver is hosting this event. Three thousand people are expected to attend. Although the League is adept at putting on a conference of this size, we need volunteers to help at this event.

Please get the word out that volunteers are needed to help with staffing the registration booth, being guides and go-fors, assisting with answering questions, etc. Conference registration is free for people who volunteer for six hours or more. Please ask interested people to contact our volunteer coordinator, Connie Strand .

Thanks in advance for getting the word out.

Academic Technology Schedule

Thought you all might be interested in this also (my notes in italics):

Academic Technology Schedule

  • Dec. 9 – end of term but sections open for two weeks, until Dec. 23
  • Dec. 10 & 11 - Process Student Survey and limit release to QA and Chairs. This will be distributed to appropriate users.
  • Dec. 13 – Grades due
  • Dec. 17 – Student Surveys are released to faculty
  • Dec. 24 – testing of the Banner-Vista scripts (Banner upgrade happens the prior weekend, Banner is the current student information system used.)
  • Dec. 28 – 30 – Vista Server will be off-line for a period of 48 – 60 hours beginning sometime on Dec. 28 for a hardware change. (New database server).
  • Jan. 2 – continued testing of changes to both Banner and Vista
  • Jan. 3 – resume processing of the dup requests
  • Jan. 15 – all section dup requests due by 12 noon; all duping that can be done prior to splits should be finished this day
  • Jan. 16 – section splits
  • Jan. 17 – 12 midnight, regular registration closes; late registration until Jan. 24
  • Jan. 21 – Spring term opens
  • Feb. 1 – Open dup site for Spring II requests
  • Feb. 19 - all section dup requests due by 12 noon; all duping that can be done prior to splits should be finished this day
  • Feb. 20 – split meeting
  • Feb. 21 – Close of registration at midnight; late registration goes one week to Feb. 28
  • Feb. 25 – Start of Spring II

Further explanation:

Dup requests: Every semester David and his team copy your shells for the coming term from either a master shell or your shell from a past term. This is of course a time-consuming process that takes place on a regular schedule. Your program chair turns in the specific dup request (which shell to copy from), so be sure they know what your preference is.

Split meeting: The Wednesday before classes we sit down as a group and decide exactly how many sections of each course we will offer. This typically involves much negotiation around class size, grading load, availability of faculty, and cost. So when your program chair says they don't know for sure how many sections we will offer two weeks before the start of classes they are being honest with you.

Unrelated side note on late work:

Late work of course causes the vast majority of the student/faculty conflicts I mediate each semester. Today while surfing I saw this policy on a course David Wiley teaches:

Late Work Policy

If your work is ever late, I may or may not accept the work and may or may not penalize the work, depending completely on my possibly grumpy, biased, or elated mood. If this does not seem fair to you, then do not be late with your work.

I like it because it reflects my own -- I let students turn in work as late as they want (although before the end of the semester), but I noted that I truly hate to get a mass of grading the last week of class and will probably be extremely grumpy at the sight of it. They should reflect that grumpiness to be reflected on their grade.

My high school daughter has a math class this semester which allows late work up to a point -- 5 days. She hasn't managed to turn in all of her assignments because she does tend to let them pile up for the entire 5 days, however she is learning a valuable lesson her other teachers are skipping - she is trying to figure out how to manage her own schedule -- school, work, social, etc. I appreciate the math teacher for giving her this flexibility and of course the rope with which to hang herself. :^)


Monday, December 10, 2007

Vista Review of Recent Downtime

I wanted to give you a quick review of the past couple of weeks, since it may affect a few responses to students:
  • December 1 and 2 - students were unable to submit attachments through Vista.
  • December 3rd - BB re-booted the database and server (we have 9). This corrected the attachment problem, but meant BB was down from 11:30 am until almost 1:00 pm.
  • December 7th: More attachment submission problems.
  • December 8th: BB re-booted the system unexpectedly, down for approximately 25 minutes Saturday am.
That means there was at least one weekend when your students were genuinely unable to submit attachments and a couple of times when they may have been booted out of an in-process exam.

So what are we doing about this?
We are upgrading to a snazzy new database server with more and faster processors. BB hosting has scheduled the transition to the new hardware for December 28 through 30. It should take 48 hours; when I have specific times I will let you know. You can assume that BB Vista will be down for most of the 28th through the 30th though. When we come up again we hope to be more stable.

Thanks for a good semester everyone! Technical issues aside we have once again had very few student complaints this semester. We truly do appreciate all of the time and effort you put into your classes!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Vista Issues Today

Dear Faculty,

Some of you may be noticing "exception errors" or other system errors in Blackboard. David and his team are aware of the problem, and working with Blackboard to fix the problem. Please be patient, and we will keep you informed as we know more. I know this is not a good time, being the last couple of days in the semester.



Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Bad URL for grades

The link for the grade book in the original e-mail for entering fall grades had an error in it. Please use the following URL to access the grade book for your fall courses.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

Grade book URL

Bad Grade Book URL

The link for the grade book in the original e-mail for entering fall grades had an error in it. Please use the following URL to access the grade book for your fall courses.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

Grade book URL

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Entering Fall Grades

Dear Faculty;

It’s that time of year again, the end of the semester and time to enter grades. Please follow the directions below to enter grades for your courses. If you have any questions regarding grades, please contact me (

All grades are due no later than Thursday, December 13, 2007.

Once you have submitted your grades, we will pull a daily report listing the grades and they will be manually entered into Banner for the students. Grades will not be viewable by the students until the day after they are manually entered.

If you have any students needing their grades earlier, please contact John Schmahl, or Roxanne Manske,

To submit final grades:

go to the online Grade Book here,

Login using your Blackboard Vista login credentials

Select the appropriate section

If you are missing any section(s) or have extra section(s) listed, please contact Frank Vazquez,

Enter the appropriate grade for each student, accepted grades are listed below

Remember, developmental courses (those with course numbers under 100) must use the developmental grades, see below

**All students must be given a grade, even if they have not participated in the section**

Enter a Last Date of Attendance for any students receiving a grade of “F” or “W”

Click “Update” and return to the menu to select the next section if needed

Approved grades

Standard courses (course numbers 100 and above, e.g., PSY 101)
F (must include last day of attendance)
I (must include incomplete contract)
W (must include last day of attendance)

Developmental courses (course number less than 100, e.g., MAT 060)
U/F (must include last day of attendance)
I (must include incomplete contract)
W (must include last day of attendance)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Open Content Resources -- a growing list

Dear Faculty,
I've been putting together a list of open content resources, with the help of lots of other folks (Lisa Marie, Phyllis, Sean, Jesse, Lisa, Cheryl), and thought it would be good to share that list with you here. Also, it will be going into the Faculty Wiki so that you can add resources to the list as you find them. These are great places to look for supplemental materials to put into your courses -- in a wide variety of subject areas.


Open Content Resources:
Hewlett Foundation OER initiatives:
MIT OpenCourseWare:
Carnegie Mellon:
Harvard University Library Open Collections Program:
Rice University Connexions:
Morgue File - public images:
National Repository for Online Courses:
CCCOnline's Custom Hippocampus:
Internet Archive's "Moving Images" collection:
Prelinger Archives:
Free videos produced by various PBS stations around the country:

From Jesse Stommel and Sean Law's Open Content ENG 121 course:
Etext library
Project Gutenberg:
Full etext with MP3 files:
Brevity - An online magazine of creative non-fiction:
Plagiarism Article Database:
Wikibook on Rhetoric and Composition:
The Nuts and Bolts of College Writing:

Reminder! Wikimania Webinar this Friday, 2-4PM!

Reminder! Wikimania Webinar this Friday, 2-4PM!

Ready to get your wiki on? We hope you will attend the Wikimania webinar this Friday, 11/30, from 2-4PM. No registration is required.

Join us to see and experience navigating the Faculty Wiki, setting up a user account, conducting basic editing, content creation, and more! The session includes about one hour of presentation. The remaining time will be spent in hands-on-practice. I am pleased to announce Jonathan Fuller and Kathy Miles are collaborating on this session!

If you have not participated in an Elluminate session before, you may want to be sure your computer is set-up for the software prior to the session by going to the Elluminate support page and entering the Configuration Room:

During the Wikimania session, you will have an opportunity to practice with the wiki. To do so, you will need a user account. If you do not already have a user account, please set one up now. You can watch the demonstration of this process from the following link:

The session officially begins at 2:00PM MST, 11/30/07. However, you can enter early at 1:30 PM... we look forward to seeing you there! Use the link below to access the session:


Lisa Marie Johnson

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Grading Forms Bug - From ProfHelp

Faculty who are using Grading Forms:

If you are using Grade Forms in your course, please note that anytime you make a change to the Assignment/Discussion using the Edit Properties a new grade book column is created.

For example,
  • Assignment 1 is gradeable using a Grade Form—an entry in the grade book is created named Assignment 1
  • Choose the Edit Properties on Assignment 1
  • Make a change to the properties of the Assignment for example change the due date of the assignment
  • Click Save—a new column is made in the grade book and is named Assignment 1 1 (note a 1 is added to the end of the grade book column)
A possible issue with this scenario--The column containing the student grades may not be included within the Total points or a calculated column. Please review your grade book if you are using Grading Forms to assess errors related to this issue.

For assistance, please email

Amy Sorensen

(720) 858-2731

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Conference - Save the Date and Proposal Request

The Learning Technologies Council (formerly known as the system’s Course Migration Team) is planning its first annual conference about the most effective ways to use technology in online, hybrid and traditional classes. If you would like to present, please submit the proposal form by January 18, 2008. Although a hard copy of your proposal will be considered, our preference is an on-line submission.

To submit your proposal send the requested information to and

These are the topics in which the Council is particularly interested, but you are not limited to them:

  • Multi-Media Components (pod casting, video, Second Life)
  • Student Access
  • Hybrids and course enhancements
  • Advanced Vista skills (selective release, grading forms, Elluminate, panel discussions)
  • Students behavioral issues (authentication, testing, plagiarism)
  • Faculty development (mentoring)
  • Digital and textbook alternatives
  • e-Portfolios

Presentation Description

Briefly describe the subject of the presentation including how you plan to present the information; i.e., handouts, lecture/discussion, panel, small group activities, etc.

Presentation Abstract for use in the conference program--maximum of 50 words please.

Audio Visual Request

Each classroom will include a computer and overhead projector. Hands on sessions will be in a 22-seat computer classroom. Please make any other requests here.

Circle the level of your presentation

Beginner Intermediate Advanced






Phone Number:

Email Address:

Email if you have any questions. The date is Feb. 22nd. PPCC's Rampart Campus is on the North end of Colorado Springs at the Interquest exit and is very easy to access.


Monday, November 26, 2007

Student Survey

The student survey opened last Monday and will remain open through the last day of the term. Students should be seeing a pop-up with directions for filling out the survey.

If students don't see the pop-up you can send them directly to

That link will also provide them with the survey.


Friday, November 23, 2007


Apparently I don't want anyone to let us know if there are problems.....


Up and Running

Hi Everyone-

BB Vista is up and running again after our upgrade this morning. If you can't get in or see problems within your course please email

Hope everyone had a very happy Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

More Blogging - Web 2.0 Tools

I am writing a series of blog posts for NROC (National Repository for Online Courses) on Web 2.0 tools at

CCCOnline is a member of NROC, which gives you access to their course content if you like it and want to adopt it in your course shells. You can get an idea of what is available at


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Webinar tomorrow!

CCCOnline and CMC Present: Showing What They Know

Learn about and experience classroom assessment tech tools for student-created content. You will learn about and see some of the tools in action and be able to experiment afterwards using example accounts we've created for you!

When: Friday, November 16, 2007 2:00 - 4:00 PM (MDT)
Where: Synchronous online session via Elluminate
Password: no password required, open to public.

If you have not used Elluminate before, you will want to arrive a little early to set up your system for Elluminate in advance. You can also do this now/anytime :).

Go to: and click the "Preconfigure my Computer for a Session" link. That will install the software and walk you through set-up. If you plan to "talk" during a session you'll need to have a good mic on your computer or a headset. Talking is not required ... you can communicate through a chat area if needed!

No registration is required to attend. This will count as a professional development credit for anyone who is CCCOnline faculty and attends. If you have questions, please contact Lisa Marie Johnson.

We look forward to seeing you there!
Lisa Marie

Gradebook download for Mac folks

Hi everyone,
To follow-up, and just as a reminder to anyone working on a MAC or who does not have Excel, when you click download for the grade book you actually save a comma delimited file with an extension .CSV that can be read by any spreadsheet program. We'll get the Microsoft-centric wording out of these Vista Guides over time! Thanks for your patience.
:) Lisa Marie Johnson
Skype (voice/chat/video): lisamariejohnson

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

BB Vista Upgrade the Friday after Thanksgiving

Please don't forget that BB Vista will be unavailable from 12:00 AM Friday,November 23rd through 12:00 noon Friday, November 23rd. This 12 hour window will allow us to upgrade to service pack 2. SP2 includes changes to things such as the garbage collection process, which in turn improves overall performance.

Please back-up and download your grade books before the downtime to prevent data loss. Directions for that process are here:

Grade book Download




Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Training Schedule and Registration

We have a new registration system for Training and Professional Development. You can access that directly here:

The descriptions for the workshops are on the wiki:

I hope you enjoy the new workshops. Send all feedback directly to please.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

OH NO another case of Plagiarism!

Brought to you by Karen Kaemmerling, CCCOnline Program Chair

Many of us face the issue of plagiarism every semester, sometimes multiple times a semester, and sometimes multiple times by the same student. For sure it is frustrating, and what can we do . . . well being as proactive as possible is the first step.

First, be sure you have a comment about plagiarism in your syllabus, but we have to be more hands on with our students who come from all different backgrounds with a wide range of writing abilities. Include in your Introduction Discussions one on Plagiarism, what it is, how to avoid it in your course, what your expectations are for citation, and where to find resources to help them. Also, include a comment about plagiarism in your rubrics for exams, assignments, and discussion posts. We might also include a link to our writing toolkit at

So now you’ve done those things and you find a case of plagiarism, now what?! First document everything, and be ready to defend your case. Contacting your chair is also advisable.

Lisa Cheney-Steen, our Co-Executive Director for Learning, generally recommends the following steps:

First Offense: Option to redo assignment after discussion with instructor about offense, we do have a lot of students who don't understand plagiarism. (However, if you already had a plagiarism discussion in your introduction discussions, this step might be skipped)

Second Offense: Automatic zero on the assignment, no option to redo

Third offense: F in the class

With the first offense, we might also consider recommending or even requiring the use of the Smart Thinking Writing Lab which is free to the student. At the lab, the student should let them know she is having trouble identifying what is plagiarism. The goal here is to help students learn from this mistake, avoid it in the future, and keep them “in the learning” in this course and future ones.

Are we going to catch every plagiarized paper? No. Do we need to be plagiarism police? No. We need to try to teach our students about the problem, and remember our role as instructors.

Friday, November 02, 2007

...Last Chance for 2007 Training and Professional Development through CCCOnline!

... last chance for 2007 Training & Professional Development through CCCOnline!
(No pre-registration for these sessions is necessary)
CCCOnline and CMC Present: Showing What They Know
Learn about and experience classroom assessment tech tools for student-created content.
Alice Bedard-Voorhees, Ph.D., Colorado Mountain College
Lisa Marie Johnson, M.Ed., Colorado Community Colleges Online
When & Where:
Friday, November 16, 2007 2:00 - 4:00 PM (MDT)
Synchronous online session via Elluminate
no password required, open to public
Wikimania! Learn how to use and edit the CCCOnline Faculty Wiki
[Learn about the Faculty Wiki, offer feedback, see a demonstration of editing and uploading files, practice during the last hour with your facilitator there to answer questions and assist!]
Lisa Marie Johnson, M.Ed., Colorado Community Colleges Online
(... and maybe more!)
When & Where:
Friday, November 30, 2007 2:00 - 4:00 PM (MDT)
Synchronous online session via Elluminate
no password required, open to public
Space is limited so please plan to enter the session on time. If this is your first time using Elluminate, or using it on the machine you plan to access the session from, please arrive early to allow time for set-up!
Please let me know if you have any questions.... or need anything at all! :)
Lisa Marie
Director, CCCOnline Training & Professional Development
Skype (voice/chat/video): lisamariejohnson

November 15 Webinar: Exploring Second Life

Here is a webinar Cheryl Comstock is doing with the Monterey Institute for Technology and Education. You all would be welcome to attend.

Are you already familiar with the virtual world of Second Life? This intermediate-level session will offer a tour of some of the great educational resources within Second Life. Cheryl Comstock from Colorado Community Colleges Online will be our tour guide on Thursday, November 15 at 2:00 p.m. ET.

This could be a great opportunity to have an experienced Second Life enthusiast at your institution host a professional development event for your staff to introduce them to Second Life.

Prerequisite: Some experience navigating Second Life, including personal log-in and avatar.

Seating is limited so please email by Friday, November 9 to hold your place! We will confirm with the meeting coordinates on EdTech island.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Training News

Hello faculty & staff!

In October 2007, the link for Training and Professional Development Needs survey was distributed to faculty and staff of CCCOnline via the Faculty Blog. There were a total of 79 individuals started the survey and 72 completed it. If we take the total number of faculty and staff from the current training database, this is a return rate of approximately 26%.

Summary of Results:

For the open-ended Question 9, pertaining to the Faculty Wiki, it appears many of you find it difficult to navigate and the appearance cluttered. Many of you indicated you were not aware of how it could be of use to you… so, to find out now, check it out by going to … take 10 minutes to browse the links including the “Blackboard Vista ” (guides for using the technology), “Training & Professional Development” (being updated for 2008, but contains some very useful information about policy and sessions), “Teaching Resources “ (just what the name says), and “Instructional Design” (for help understanding the design standards and assistance with those). Have suggestions for the Wiki? Feel free to send them or jump in and start editing yourself- yes! You can do it!

For the open-ended Question 10, asking about additional comments, there was a lot of valuable feedback about how the training sessions of past have helped you, how you might improve them, and how enthusiastic you are for 2008.

For questions 1-8, a summary of responses can be viewed by following the link below:

Additional comments given with the questions 1-8 are not included in the summary, but very good suggestions were made. The general consensus regarding ‘new’ technologies and methods is whether or not faculty are expected to implement these and, if yes, to what extent. While Training and Professional Development with CCCOnline is meant to encourage an expansion of your skills and your confidence in new tools and techniques, there is no requirement to use them in your courses necessarily.

There were many great suggestions about the length of sessions, start dates, and why having a ‘weekend’ available during facilitated sessions is important for many. Additionally, you gave us excellent guidance on the reasoning for teaching all Vista tools and the need for a place where self-paced anytime “Just-in-Time” training is significant for your continued professional development.

Given the one week time frame and the limited distribution of the survey link this is a good response rate overall. The information is useful and I humbly thank you all for your participation and support. I hope for future surveys more faculty and staff will participate letting their voice be heard in driving the direction and scope of the training and professional development opportunities from CCCOnline!

Thank you for letting me be a part of the excellence of CCCOnline. I am enjoying serving YOU!

:) Lisa Marie Johnson

CCCOnline Training & Professional Development, Director


Video/Voice/Chat- Skype: lisamariejohnson

Monday, October 29, 2007

Scheduled Downtime over Thanksgiving Break

The Blackboard Vista servers will be unavailable from 12:00 AM Friday,November 23rd through 12:00 noon Friday, November 23rd. This 12 hour window will allow us to upgrade to service pack 2. SP2 includes changes to things such as the garbage collection process, which in turn improves overall performance.

Our goal of course is to improve the overall stability of Blackboard Vista and at least minimize the periods of slowness such as those we've experienced in the past.

We will let students know about this downtime directly, but you might want to remind them in your classes also.


Friday, October 26, 2007

Fall Faculty Conference Materials Available

Hi Everyone-

The conference materials and presentations from the fall faculty conference are available now at

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Request from Alice Bedard-Voorhees

From Alice:

Would anyone want to share exampes of their best student-created content? LisaMarie Johnson and I presented on tools for student-created content at the 9/28 conf. and I'm quite sure we would find examples in the CCCOnline courses...
The abstract sets it up nicely: "Enabling students to
create their own educational content increases engagement,
improves learning, and can result in products of lasting
value. So why are effective examples of student-generated
content in online education so hard to find?" the answer is
that there are so few of them to find. "Asking the question
'why are there so few good examples of student-generated
content?' is really asking the question 'why is educational
practice so hard to change?'" PDF. Via DEOS.
Direct Link:

Just a thought. I'd think Art has some, Hum has some (photos), that there are PPT's, webpages and audio recordings..and? If you have any examples please send them to



"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"
--Mary Oliver

Monday, October 22, 2007

Training Update

CCCOnline would like your feedback to assist in steering the future of Training and Professional Development for 2008 and beyond. Let your voice be heard and contribute to the training process through completion of an anonymous survey.

The survey has 10 questions of various types and should take around 15-20 minutes to complete.

The survey is available until 12:00AM on Monday, October 29, 2007.

Follow this link to take the survey:

Questions about the survey can be directed to Lisa Marie Johnson at

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Update on a Couple of Vista Bugs (Tracking and GC)

Hi Everyone-

I have this from David Chatham today:
I have asked Blackboard to turn off the garbage collection process. It is accessing the same tables as those that a new file upload accesses, and, since Blackboard cannot yet control when the garbage collection process runs, it is best to turn it off. The problem with GC is that when Blackboard sets a time for it to run (I have requested between 12 a.m. and 6 a.m. ) the process disregards the time limits and runs all of the time, interfering with instruction. It will need until tomorrow morning to cycle through before we see any improvements.

You do not need to send me any more lists of sections with unknown users. They have enough examples to determine the issue and are in the process of fixing tracking. Those adjustments should begin to show some time Saturday.

David Chatham
Dean of Academic Technology

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Faculty Update

Hi Everyone-

Lots of small things to update you on today:

Late Registration: Student Services added 160 students to session 1 classes and 80 to session 2 classes during the first three days of classes. (Most of those over the weekend before classes started). In session 1 12% of those students had dropped by census day as opposed to an overall drop rate of 19%. John plans a student success study once the semester ends.

No Shows: Student Services staff are pulling these from the backend, so as faculty you no longer have to submit names. Once John Schmahl has the list of no-shows, he passes it on to the colleges. His understanding is that only PCC, MCC, and CNCC are automatically dropping those students, so you will probably not see them disappear from your courses. If you have no-show students on your grade report at the end of the term you will have to give them an F in the course.

Faculty Wiki Upgrade: Jonathan Fuller has upgraded the wiki software. Account creation has been automated once again, so if you don't have a wiki account and you are interested in using it to teach your class it is available at

Bug in the Tracking Feature of Vista: The student tracking tool in Vista is behaving a little oddly. You may notice several students listed as "unknown" rather than by their name. If this is the case in your course please email and let her know. We are working with the Blackboard development team to correct this.


Monday, October 08, 2007

Elluminate Upgrade

I hope we don't have too many of you using Elluminate Sunday mornings well before dawn, but if you are:

Dear Elluminate Customer,

We are pleased to inform you that we are releasing an update to Elluminate Live! on Sunday October 14, 2007, during our regular maintenance window from 2:00am – 6:00am US Eastern. This will now be reflected as Elluminate Live! V8.2. This update provides improvements to Elluminate Live! in the following areas:
  • Enhancements to the quality of audio
  • Performance improvements ensuring a superior experience, especially in large meetings
There will be no visible changes to the Elluminate Live! interface. In addition, this update also includes the Elluminate Live! Manager (ELM) version 2.8. This update will contain minor bug fixes and operational enhancements. There will be no visible changes to the ELM interface.

We will do our best to minimize the amount of time taken during the upgrade but you should allow for the full time. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and we appreciate your patience as we strive to deliver the best in class products to you.


Friday, October 05, 2007

Drop reminder sent to Ses 2 students

The following reminder was sent to session 2 student today and posted on the student blog.


This note is a just reminder that you have until Thursday, October 11, 2007, to drop your CCCOnline delivered Fall session 2 course(s) with a full tuition refund.

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

This e-mail applies ONLY to CCCOnline delivered courses. CCCOnline delivered courses are those courses with a section ID of C21.

Please note that due to the large size of CCCOnline courses, we split courses into multiple sections (C21, C22, C23, etc.), therefore, the section on your MyCCCOnline home page may not be C21, however, if you want to drop the course, you will need to drop the C21 section at your college.

Do not assume you have been dropped from a class for not attending or logging in; at many colleges you must ensure you drop a class before the above date or you will be responsible for full payment. Contact the Cashier’s Office at your Home College to find out their individual policy.

**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
- on your Current Schedule, use the Drop Down box under Action and select Drop
- 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.

For any technical questions or problems with your course, please visit

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

Student Services

Monday, October 01, 2007

That Green Thumbtack

Hi Everyone-

In case you weren't at the faculty conference on Friday here's a solution to the sticky green thumbtack on discussions from Stephanie Dunham (if I have the wrong Stephanie I appologize!), then updated by Heidi Barrett:

The thumbtack will disappear once Vista thinks you have viewed every message. To view each message most easily try going into each topic and "expand all", then "select all". After that choose "create printable view" to see all of the messages.

The other option that seems to work is to open each thread in each unit.


Saturday, September 29, 2007

2007 Gold Medal Faculty

Every year the program chairs choose 2 or 3 instructors who exemplify the best teachers with CCCOnline. These are our Gold Medal Faculty.

This is not a rotating award, faculty who win once can win again. This year just over half of the Gold Medal faculty were GMF last year also. The criteria is that the chosen faculty must be matrix 2 level and must be an outstanding instructor. That last bit is very difficult when you consider the field you are all standing in. CCCOnline faculty are truly amazing teachers. You all regularly go above and beyond for students.

I'd like to thank everyone for all of your hard work with students and most particularly the Gold Medal faculty:

  • Accounting: Brenda Lauer
  • Arts and Humanities: Kyla Hammond
  • Psychology and Sociology: Vanessa Dahn and Carrie Garman
  • Business: Wendy Lewis, Diane VanOs, and Glenann Arnold
  • Computer Technology: Phyllis Dobson and Stan Kuchel
  • Education: Kathi Waggoner
  • English: Jesse Stommel, Brian Dickson, and Angela Havel
  • Health Sciences: Aarthi Ramesh, Mary Steggall, and Jesse Devasia
  • Languages and Literature: Jennifer Ray and Angela Havel
  • Math: Erica Hastert, Louis Sass, and Kristy Pollart
  • Paralegal and Criminal Justice: Holly Dershem-Bruce and Robin Rossenfeld
  • Science: Rusty Roe and Kate Lormand
  • Social Sciences: LisaMarie Johnson, Al Turner, and Holly Dershem-Bruce

Two instructors were nominated independently by chairs in two programs: Holly Dershem-Bruce and Angela Havel. Extra congratulations to them!


Friday, September 28, 2007

Rosters Available

Hi Everyone-

The class rosters for session 2 are available now at .


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Well Never mind--- the thumbtack is a bug

Hi All-

Turns out the green discussions thumbtack that stays on even when you read and respond to posts is a known bug that will be corrected in a later upgrade.

Sorry for the confusion!


Vista Bugs

Several of you have reported a problem with the discussion thumbtacks remaining after you have read all of the discussions. Unfortunately we haven't been able to replicate that one. Here is some advice from Profelp, Amy Sorensen:

I can not replicate the issue. I check the CRJ 125 course and after I read all of the discussions on my end the thumbtack and asterick in the Course Tools menu disappeared.

Maybe clear your Java Cache and be sure your browser is set to load a new page every time you visit a page. The instructions are below.

Let me know what you discover.

: Delete the Java Cache

  1. Click on Start
  2. Click on Control Panel
  3. Double click the Java icon
  4. Under the General tab and near the bottom of the window is a section called "Temporary Internet Files" --> click the "Delete Files" button
  5. Close out of the settings window and the browser
  6. Re-open the browser
  7. Launch Internet Explorer
  8. Go to the Tools Menu
  9. Select Internet Options
  10. From the General Tab, in the Temporary Internet Files section, Choose Settings
  11. Be Sure the Every visit to the page is selected.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Known Bugs

Hi Everyone-

I have information on a couple of bugs in the BB Vista LMS that are not corrected by application pack 2.

1. The Student View tab returns an error prior to and after the session dates. What that means is that the Student View tab will not work until after the first day of classes. All you can do is use the Teach tab before there are actual students in the class.

2. Replying to emails with attachments: There is a Java error that prevents you from sending the Reply. You have to close the email, open it again and then hit reply. You may have to reply twice to the email in order to attach a file.

I'll let you know if we confirm other bugs.

The thrice daily re-boots have stopped for the time being. We don't expect to start them up again, although the next test will be the opening of our session 2 classes on Monday.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

BB Vista is Back Online

Hi Everyone-

Blackboard Vista is back online. The upgrade took Blackboard a little longer than expected, but they were able to release the site to us around 7:00 this morning. The Learning Technology Council has been online this morning along with CCCOnline Academic Technology staff to perform our own quality analysis.
Everyone will be monitoring the servers as load gradually picks up again.


Friday, September 21, 2007

Faculty Conference - Directions

If you have registered for the conference already you should receive an email with this information from Donna Welschmeyer later today. Just in case you don't ---

Registration will open at 8:00; the opening session begins at 9:00 in M1900 (the Main Dining area) on the first floor of ACC's main building.

Parking is free in any ACC lot.

All conference sessions are in the Main Building or the Annex; maps will be included in registration packets. You can also see maps of the campus and parking facilities at

If you need driving directions, you can use Mapquest or any of the other online mapping systems. Use the destination address of 5900 South Santa Fe Drive, Littleton, Colorado.

Many sessions are at or near capacity due to fire code restrictions, so "walk-in" seating in most sessions will be very limited or unavailable. Please make any registrations changes that you wish to make as soon as possible. If you need help editing your registration, email
See you Friday!


Faculty Conference

Hi Everyone-

If you haven't registered for the CCCOnline Faculty Conference and you are planning to attend please get your registration in so we are expecting you. We would love to see you there! For the record just over 150 of you have registered so far, so you are sure to see a few old friends. For registration go to

Don't forget that Blackboard Vista will be down Saturday afternoon at 1:00 through at least Sunday afternoon at 1:00. You can check after that if you have something critical to work on, but don't worry until Monday afternoon. We will of course send out an update if things don't go as planned.

Last, Phyllis Dobson sent me a link to a website with a list of 100+ cool tools for online education, many of which are free. You can see it here - - if you want to see if you are missing any. The list misses one of my favorites. I use a Netvibes homepage for my browsers that automatically feeds in my favorite blogs, has a calendar tool, etc.

See you at the conference!


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Blackboard Vista Upgrade this weekend

Hi Everyone-

We are going ahead with the upgrade to Blackboard Vista this weekend. Vista will be inaccessible beginning at 1:00 pm on Saturday (the time is to accommodate testing center schedules). While we originally had 48 hours scheduled for the upgrade and associated testing we expect to release the website back to you by Sunday afternoon, possibly as early as 1:00 pm.

The notices to students and to college staff suggest they check the website beginning Sunday afternoon, but that no one worry about an inability to access until Monday after 1:00 pm.

We will have a splash page up during the downtime giving everyone additional information as we have it.

Once we have completed the upgrade we hope to be able to stop the thrice daily re-boots of the entire system.


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Office 2007

Hi Everyone,

Many of you may have students with Office 2007, while you only have Office 2003. If that is the case you may also be having problems opening and reading Office 2007 files. From Phyllis Dobson:

I don't know if you've heard this before but Office '07 files are downloading with a zip extension. Any file created and saved with .docx or .xlsx extensions do not automatically open in Vista (like the Office '03 files did) and when downloaded, are defaulted to a .zip extension. This is not zipping the files, just throwing that extension on the file. Thus we can't open it in Office '07 programs.

I've figured out three work arounds: This might be useful for faculty to know:
  • For faculty/students with Office '07 on their computer, just change that .zip extension to the .docx or .xlxs (whichever) when on the Save/download screen. The file type can stay as Winzip because there is no other choice.
  • Faculty can download the Compatibility patch:

  • Have Office '07 students save in the '03 format.

And an update from David Chatham on when this may be corrected in BB Vista:

I am told by Bb that they have a fix coming out sometime in October. I don't know when we would apply this as I don't have any information on how long it would take. The change will not be ready in time to catch the September 22 upgrade.



Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Apologies from MoCoZone

Hi CCCOnline Familia,

My apologies--I was inadvertently working in the wrong blog! The source I gave you is a good one though :).

See you at the f2f!

All Best,


Monday, September 10, 2007

Fort Carson Part 2

Hi Everyone-

I understand there may be potential security concerns with asking soldiers when they may be deployed. An alternative is to let students know that if they are a soldier and they are likely to leave before the end of the term they will need to complete all work no later than December 3rd. At that point you can leave things in their hands.


Fort Carson Soldiers

Hello Everyone-

Many of you have students in your class who are soldiers at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs. Some of those may be a part of the 3rd Brigade and scheduled to deploy again late this fall. Following is a request from the Army and from the president of PPCC, the college through which most of the soldiers are registered, to wrap up class work a week early. Please let me know if you will have trouble meeting this request.
Attention CCC Online Faculty:

Soldiers of the 3rd BDE at Ft Carson, Colorado are scheduled to once again deploy sometime towards the end of the year. The US Army has requested that all coursework and requirements be completely finished by Friday, November 30th (preferred) or Monday, December 3rd at the absolute latest. Soldiers enrolled in our courses have been instructed that they need to work closely with their instructors and do everything possible to complete the requirements on time.

President Kinkel has agreed that PPCC will ensure affected soldiers are completed by the December 3rd date. Incomplete grades are not an option as soldiers will not be able to complete assignments in a reasonable time following the end of their term. As an instructor to affected soldiers, we ask you to please work with the soldier and arrange course assignments, exams, projects, etc. to ensure that the soldier is fully completed by December 3rd. Soldiers in your classes are:

List of students goes here

If this list is incorrect, please contact Cheri Arfsten at 719-502-4100. Also, if feel you cannot complete the course work with this soldier by December 3rd, please contact Cheri today. If subsequent issues arise that prohibit finishing the course on time, please contact Cheri Arfsten at 719-502-4100.

Your cooperation is extremely important to our men and women in uniform who already sacrifice so much. By doing this we can at least ensure that they have the opportunity to further their educational goals while voluntarily serving in the US Army. Thanks you for your assistance and cooperation.
I'm not sure the list of CCCOnline faculty that PPCC is using is accurate, so you may want to email your students and ask anyone who is likely to be deployed to please self-identify. That way you can make any necessary arrangements with them. Also please keep in mind that this is only the 3rd Brigade, not everyone at Fort Carson.



Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Conference Registration Available

Hi Everyone-

Registration for this year's faculty conference (September 28th!) is available at

Remember, there is no cost to you to attend the conference. We ask for an RSVP so we have a headcount for lunch and to plan the rooms for the discipline team meetings.

This year the conference committee has lined up a really exciting bunch of presentations, including a series on the Quality Matters project. Our QA program looks primarily at the teaching side of the online courses, while Quality Matters also looks at the design and activities in the courses themselves. This move to Vista has given us a chance to look at all of the CCCOnline courses, then next step is to map what changes we'd like to see in them as a whole. QM will provide us with another perspective on what makes a great online course.

See you there!


Friday, August 31, 2007

Grade Rosters Unavailable

The server, where the grade rosters sit (outside of Vista), will be down this morning for maintenance. It should be back up early this afternoon. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes. This is NOT the Vista grade book and is not related to the recent Bb troubles and it will not impact Vista.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Vista Update 082907

Hey Everyone- This note is going up on Blackboard Vista today:

Attention Students and Faculty: Temporary Service Outages

The Vista System will be taken down and brought back up daily at 2 PM, 8 PM and 4 AM for approximately ten minutes.

BlackBoard has identified the core issues with the recent latency in the performance. The reboot will be scheduled as a part of a short-term solution until we can schedule a software upgrade.

We apologize for this inconvenience. Please schedule your online activities around these daily system outages.
The splash page will be up during the brief downtimes and will include information about the duration of the down time.

What the cluster reboot does is reset all of the connections between the application servers (we have 8) and the database. Each server has 100 (rising to 125 later today) connections available. Apparently these are not being released properly once the current request has been processed. Re-booting the entire cluster (all 8 application servers and the database) resets these connections (releases them really) and allows performance to return to normal levels.

The root cause of the bottleneck is problems with the way Web Logic is communicating with the database server. The upgrade to application pack 2 includes an upgrade from Web Logic version 8 to version 9, which does include general fixes for this sort of problem. We will probably try to push that upgrade forward from the currently scheduled weekend (September 22-26), but have to complete some additional testing first. As soon as I have more solid information I will pass it on to you.

Thanks for all of the hard work! Students seem to be in their classes and happy with them. We are receiving very few support calls at this time and the support desk (Deb Michel) has been able to keep up with the calls and emails all week.