Teaching Online at FRC
Applying to Teach Online at FRC
If you are interested in applying to teach online courses for Feather River College please review the summary below about the technology used and the appropriate required skills. Then go to the FRC Human Resources website and check Jobs and Policies and Procedures. If you have questions about your assignment or contract status contact the Office of Instruction.
FRC and most other California Community Colleges use Canvas as their platform for online courses. Canvas is easy to use, provides an excellent set of tools to fit nearly any teaching style, and help is available throughout the semester. However, prior experience teaching online courses or training in the use of Canvas is required to teach online courses at Feather River College. There are a number of approved training opportunities that will prepare you to use Canvas to teach online courses and Instructure (the creators of Canvas) offers free detailed help files, video tutorials, and 24/7 phone support for Canvas. These tutorials provide an instructor with a step-by-step guide on how to build a course and navigate easily through Canvas.
Online course design, management, and use of technology pose different challenges than on campus courses. However, many basic principles are the same for success in any instructional mode of delivery such as regular engagement with students, clear organization of materials, providing a schedule of assignments at the beginning of the term, and using fair and reasonable assessment strategies. Many instructors find that teaching online courses improves their on campus teaching.
You should expect to need extra time for developing an online course compared to most on-campus courses. There are also regulations about online courses with which you should be familiar and guidelines for making your course materials accessible to those with disabilities. You will need to plan and prepare your online course in advance of the beginning of the semester you will be teaching.
The Distance Education Faculty Handbook (see the link below) contains detailed information about regulations, guidelines, how to start managing your course area, contacting students, and other tips about teaching online courses at Feather River College. The handbook is often distributed in hard copy at the faculty development "Flex" meetings in the beginning of Fall and Spring semesters.
I Signed a Contract. Now What?
All FRC courses, whether listed as online courses or not, will have Canvas course areas available for your use. No separate process of creating an account is necessary for either you or your students. Everyone uses their FRC email account information to access Canvas (see below about how to get an account and what your login information will be).
Within 24-48 hours of FRC receiving your signed contract to teach at FRC your course should be listed in your "MyFRC" area of this website (the link is at the top of all pages). You will also need an FRC email account. If you didn't already get username and login information for your MyFRC account check with Human Resources. The MyFRC area is where you can check employee information, see your official roster, and enter grades at the end of the semester. You will use your FRC email login information for Email, on-campus computers, and Canvas.
Rosters in Canvas will be updated at least once a day at the beginning of the semester and every few days after "Census" day, the deadline for the college to report enrollments to the State (check the Academic Calendar on the Faculty Resources in the Office of Instruction website area for dates).
FRC Email Accounts
If you don't have an FRC email account use the link at the bottom of the menu on the left "Request FRC Email Account" and fill out the short form. Your account should be available in approximately one business day. You can also use the links next to the FRC Canvas login page to request help. Be sure to select the help topic for email/network account problems to be sure your request goes to the appropriate staff.
Accounts use a standard format which is different for students than staff and faculty. For faculty and staff your username will be the first part of your email address up to the "@" sign which in most cases will be your first initial + last name, small letters. If you have the same name as an existing employee, hyphenated name, or multiple middle names your username might be slightly different. Your password will be your first initial + the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number + your last initial, small letters.
Student usernames include their first + middle initial + last name as their username and first initial + school ID + last initial, small letters for their password.
For help with FRC email accounts use links next to the Canvas login box. Do not request help with email accounts or login problems using the help options within Canvas. They do not have campus account information.
An FRC email account is required to access Canvas because you and your students will use the same username and password you use for FRC email to access Canvas (not the username and password for MyFRC). Click the menu item on the left called "Request FRC Email Account" if you don't yet have an FRC email account. You can use this same form to request your password to be reset, or use the links next to the Canvas login box.
Developing Your Online Course
You can develop your course material prior to entering your FRC Canvas course area in two ways. (1) You can import course material from other Learning Management platforms such as Blackboard or Moodle. Consult your administrator or help files for that LMS for instructions about how to export your course materials so they can be imported into another system without student data. (2) You can go to the public Canvas site and use their free account feature to develop your course. Creating your course in the public site will ensure that your course design will be compatible with the FRC course environment. Then import the material or features you want to use into the automatically deployed Canvas website area for your course. Your students will not be enrolled in your manually created course and you should not add students to your course area provided by the college. Students should be added from our registration system which may take about one business day after they officially enroll.
Once your course area is available in the FRC Canvas site you can begin developing your course, including importing material from external systems or your courses within the FRC Canvas site. Your course materials or any portion of them can be hidden from students until you have completed your course development. However you develop your course please note:
Your Canvas courses will not be visible to students until you "Publish" them using the "Publish" button on the upper right of your course dashboard.
Canvas, Turnitin, and Other Canvas Apps
Canvas supports the addition of many third-party enhancement "apps." Each are supported by the third-party vendor, or through joint support from Canvas and the vendor. Some apps are free and some require fees. Most apps can be added to our Canvas account by the administrator to simplify their installation in a course, or to allow faculty to add paid apps that have already been paid by the college. When you add an app you will select from pre-installed apps or install one just for your course area.
One popular paid app that FRC uses with Canvas is Turnitin. Turnitin checks for originality of an essay (allowing you to spot plagiarism), quickly check the source of passages that your students used in their papers, mark and comment on their papers, and drag-and-drop tags that identify and explain common grammar and stylistic errors. You can also create and attach a rubric that can be used to grade essays.
Turnitin Tutorial for Instructors
Turnitin Tutorial for Students
Your students can view the Turnitin tutorial for students: https://vimeo.com/155202201.
Many book publishers provide apps to integrate their online support of their textbook with Canvas, including test banks. Please contact the Canvas administrator to request a publisher app to be installed.
Apps that are currently installed include: Cengage, Dropbox, Films on Demand, Flatworld Knowledge, Khan Academy, Public Resources, Redirect Tool, TedEd, Turnitin, Vimeo, and YouTube. Although the functions of these services may be available without using the apps, the apps are designed to integrate the services with Canvas to make them more user friendly and to allow more features.
Canvas and the Online Education Initiative
The state-wide use of Canvas among the California Community Colleges is part of the Online Education Initiative which involves deployment of a number of online services for California Community Colleges.
Here's a link to a PDF of the Course Design Rubric produced by the Online Education Initiative. These "best practices" guidelines will give you a picture of the ideal course design recommended by our Chancellor's Office. Don't worry if your course doesn't meet the top standards for every topic! These standards are intended to set goals and to serve as a checklist of the important issues to address. There is no "perfect" model of an online course nor is it always appropriate for a course to incorporate all recommendations.
To find out more about Canvas and the Online Education Initiative, go to: http://ccconlineed.org/.
Feather River College has slightly modified the OEI Course Design Rubric to better meet the needs of faculty and students. However, it is in alignment with the original OEI Course Design Rubirc. Modified Course Design Rubric.
Instructure provides excellent tutorials and guides for Canvas. You can find them on their site or they are available from any page in Canvas by clicking on the ? icon on the lower left. Below are links to useful help videos and guides. There is also a phone number for help available 24/7, a form for reporting problems with Canvas, and a link to the Canvas community where you can share knowledge and experiences with other Canvas users.