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!