Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Holidays!

I want to share with you the words to a song from the CCCS office party last week. This was sung in honor of the "Golden Elf" award (you can see Rhonda holding the elf). Everyone at CCCOnline received this very special award for all of the work we have done as we move to a new learning management system.
Sung to the tune of Jungle Bells:

Dashing through the term

with a computer and ipod

O'er the chapters we go
passing all the way

Servers begin to crash and ring
making log-ons tight!

Course shells crash and burn

as students' stomachs churn tonight

Oh D2L, D2L

rescuing us today!

Oh what fun it is to be

In the online way!

We wish for you a wonderful break from classes full of friends, family, and lots of time to rest up for the next term!

Lisa Cheney-Steen

Friday, December 18, 2009

D2L Maintenance


Just in case you were planning to work in D2L next week, please note the following planned maintenance information:

Maintenance Dec. 23 from 6 AM to 10:30 AM Users will not be able to access D2L courses during the maintenance. The offline period will be used to upgrade software version and add hardware for the Spring term that begins in January.

DO NOT REPLY TO THIS POST. If you have questions, please email me directly at

Webinar Archives

As you work on your courses for spring during the break between semesters, I wanted to remind you one last time in 2009 that you can find the D2L webinars including the one on “Preparing your D2L Courses for Spring” from yesterday in both the CCCOnline Community where you can still post questions for us and in the New Faculty Wiki.

In January of 2010, the Mentors and Training and Professional will be here to support you and answer questions, and we will also run D2L Q&A webinars and another one on getting your courses ready. After we are underway in the spring, we look forward to exploring new tools and methods with you in webinars and workshops.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Webinars Today!

We will be covering the steps to preparing your course in D2L for spring classes today in a webinar from 1-3. Join us at or visit this new wiki page for PDF instructions and a video demo.

Also the NROC webinar that I mentioned earlier this week is actually at noon mountain time, or 2 eastern. If you can’t make that webinar, you might be interested in the archive and those of other NROC sessions at

If I don’t e-see you today at the webinar, have a wonderful holiday season!
Karen Kaemmerling

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

D2L Spring Prep Webinar and more!

In case you are eager to begin preparing your D2L duped course for spring, join Training and Professional Development on Thursday December 17th at 1pm for a webinar on “My D2L course is duped, now what?” We’ll go over the QA checklist and preparing your courses for spring. If you can’t make it we’ll record it too, and we plan to repeat this session in January. To Log in go to and/or visit this new wiki page for PDF instructions and a video demo.

Also you might be interested in an NROC webinar that is the same day and close to the same time…on establishing "Presence" in the Online Classroom:Drawing in Students with Web 2.0" Thursday, December 17, at 2pm ETPresented by: Jay Bennett, Instruction and Course Coordinator for the Michigan Virtual School Join us for this free webinar offering. Seating is limited, so please <> Let them know you are from CCCOnline.

If you have any questions, email me directly at

Friday, December 11, 2009

D2L Tip and New Faculty Wiki!

Happy Holidays Everyone,

First a D2L tip: The Groups tool is a great example of how this LMS has different pedagogy in mind with their tools. I believe these exciting differences are going to help us make stronger assignments and courses. Also, the Groups tool cannot be removed by instructors from the Course Navigation Bar. Since even if the designers remove the tool, it reappears on the course navigation bar with each dupe, we recommend that if you aren’t using groups in your courses to let students know that is a tool they don’t have to worry about. After more research and testing, we plan to release a webinar and workshop this spring on this “cool” tool. If you are eager to experiment, check out the D2L PDF resources in the CCCOnline Community, consider joining the D2L Community, and check out the D2L resources posted in the NEW FACULTY WIKI.

After listening to your suggestions, we’ve been working for almost a year to develop a more user-friendly, easily navigated WIKI with all the great information we had before. While it is still a work in progress, we thought you might particularly find the information about D2L handy during the next couple of weeks. Check out the our NEW Wiki today!

I hope your final grading is going smoothly! Your mentors and I remain eager to provide you support. Please contact me directly with your questions about this post at

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Gradebook URL

There was a typo in the URL for the faculty gateway in the e-mail regarding grades. Please use the following URL to access the gateway and the gradebook.

I apologize for any inconvenience.


BB Vista is back up

BB Vista is up. BB is investigating the source of the problems in the data center.

Lisa Cheney-Steen

Vista update

Here's the news from BB:
There appears to be a Datacenter event that is causing a problem for many Vista clients. This is not specific to your site but rather a more widespread infrastructure issue. Our engineers are currently working on the problem as fast as possible. I will provide additional details as they are released.
We'll let you know when we have more information.

Lisa Cheney-Steen

Vista update

Here's the news from BB:

Up again

Well as soon as I send an email to everyone BB Vista pops back up. David has not heard from BB yet, so no information on what is happening. Be sure to save any work you are doing frequently and please remind students to save test questions one question at a time as opposed to completing an entire exam and then saving.

Lisa Cheney-Steen

BB Vista is down

Hey Everyone-

It looks like BB Vista is currently down or at best very, very slow. David Chatham is contacting BB for additional information.

Lisa Cheney-Steen

Fall Grades Due December 17

Dear Faculty;

It's that time of the semester, Fall grades are due no later than Thursday, December 17, 2009.

Please follow the directions below to enter grades for your courses. If you have any questions regarding grades, please contact me (

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

If you have any students needing their grades earlier, or any students not listed on the grade roster, please contact John Schmahl, or Roxanne Manske,

To submit final grades:

Login at the Faculty Gateway here,
- You can use your Blackboard login credentials

Click on the Online Gradebook

Select the appropriate section

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

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 on the grade roster must be given a grade, even if they have not participated in the course**

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

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)

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

Friday, December 04, 2009

Digital Content Survey

The digital content survey will be available to students beginning Sunday, December 6 and ending Sunday, December 13. If your course uses digital content, please encourage your students to complete this survey. Thanks!

If you have questions about the survey, please do not reply to this email. Instead, contact Thanks!

Still have D2L Questions?

Join us today from 1pm-3pm for a Q&A session about using D2L. Like an open lab, come ask anything and we’ll try to answer it. Log in at This webinar will not be recorded or count toward training credit and does not have a schedule.

Another resource for understanding D2L are the PDFs provided by D2L and housed in the CCCOnline Community. These may come in especially useful as you are preparing your courses for spring. Learn how to use the Find, Search, Bookmarks, Pages, and Scrolling features of a PDF from the tutorial at:

Thursday, December 03, 2009

BB Vista is back up

Blackboard completed their testing and upgrading of Vista last night near midnight. Our testing since has not revealed any new problems since that time. However, we will continue to monitor the system as the day progresses.

As a result of the problems yesterday, your students may have had difficult attaching documents, posting announcements or sending class email. Their ability to login was impacted, especially yesterday afternoon. Please take all that under consideration as you and your students complete these last two weeks of classes.

Thanks for all of your patience!

Lisa Cheney-Steen

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

BB Continues to Troubleshoot

Hey Everyone-

Blackboard is continuing to troubleshoot the Vista issues, but the latency and stability issues are still occurring. BB is now performing a complete audit on our database. Our AT staff is spending the evening monitoring the situation. If you attempt to work in Blackboard this evening please be careful about saving work.

Lisa Cheney-Steen

Vista continues unstable

Hi Everyone-

Vista has continued to be unstable throughout the afternoon. We received our first alerts around 1:00 pm. Blackboard briefly thought they had the problems solved around 2:45, but unfortunately the system continues to be up and down. Internal email is generally not working, so not a good choice for communicating with students.

We appreciate everyone's patience with your students, Vista, and CCCOnline in general. Please be assured we didn't plan this just to make everyone feel really good about the move to Desire2Learn. :^)

Lisa Cheney-Steen

Blackboard Mail Problem

An issue with Mail has again been detected in Blackboard that probably affects the last several days. We are working on this, but we do not have an estimate of when it might be cleared up. It might be prudent to depend on external email for now

We will keep you posted.


Posts from this Blog

Hi everyone. This message is being sent to you via the CCCOnline Faculty News blog. Many of you reply to messages sent via this tool, and when you do that, you are actually sending your reply to about 10 people in the office.

If you see this "" in any of the address lines of the email you receive, EVEN THOUGH you may see an individual's name also listed, please don't reply to the message. Instead, compose a new message and send it to the individual to whom you need to speak. This will speed up our responses to you. If you are unsure who to contact, please visit this wiki page: Thanks!

If you have questions about this process, please email me directly at

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

D2L and Image Editing Tip

Did you know we should resize images before uploading them to our course content? Also, for the My Instructor widget in D2L, the design team specifically asks instructors to use an image of no larger than 100x100 pixels.

Don't know how to resize an image for your course? If you don’t have an image editor on your computer that is easy to use, try this find by Lisa Marie Johnson, Picnik. It is a web based program, thus no download is required, and as she says is a “snap to use.”

Check out this demonstration Lisa Marie created at

Blackboard Back Up

Ok, it appears that Bb has resolved the stability issue. Please try logging in again. Of course, if you experience any trouble, let us know or you can contact the Support Center at 1-888-800-9198 (


Blackboard Issues Continue

OK, it looks like we were premature in our earlier notice. There are still issues with Bb stability. We are working with Bb to get the issue resolved as quickly as possible.

We apologize for any inconvenience.


Blackboard Back Up

Blackboard is back up and appears to be stable again. Please contact us or the Support Center (1-888-800-9198 or if you have any trouble.


BlackBoard Stability Issues

We’re having stability problems with Bb currently. This issue has been off and on since last night so you and your students may experience problems accessing Bb at times. We’re working to get the issue resolved.