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Student FAQ


A student-focused FAQ is available with the Registrar's Office.

For a best practices guide on online etiquette when communicating with fellow students, staff and faculty click here.

Faculty FAQ


Yes. MSU Denver is evolving to provide MSU Denver students one of the most immersive, connected, efficient, and affordable online learning experiences available – Canvas. When launched, it will noticeably improve the user experience for faculty and students alike. 

June 1st, 2020. As of June the courses in Blackboard will be exported to then be migrated to Canvas in either Tier 1 or Tier 2 process (see other questions below). Instructors should stop building/developing fall 2020 courses in Blackboard on June 1st, as any further work will not be migrated to Canvas. During June instructors can work on non-LMS course components while the university makes this transition. [In some cases, chairs have made specific arrangements to capture Blackboard courses on July 1st. In that case instructors and chairs should be in close contact.] 

  

Remember, Summer 2020 courses will continue in Blackboard, unaffected by the Canvas transition. 

 

Your access to “old” (meaning Summer 2020 or earlier) course in Blackboard will be unaffected at least through all of 2020 and probably longer. 

Many academics from all levels of the institution expressed the desire to launch courses in Canvas starting this Fall. While not a small undertaking, we reviewed all aspects of implementation and determined this is possible! Thus, over the summer, we will integrate the system, migrate courses, and configure 24/7 faculty and student support for all online instruction to occur in Canvas fall term.

This decision is informed by your feedback submitted through the President’s Ideacatcher, requests made during Faculty Senate and Council of Chairs and Directors meetings, and messages shared with deans and chairs. We’ve listened to your frustrations about the limitations of our current system and agree we need to educate our students on the highest quality platform immediately. Since many fall courses will be online, migrating courses now will allow us to avoid creating newly-online courses in Blackboard only to double later the effort to migrate them to Canvas. 

Yes. Learning how to create and facilitate effective online courses and learning how to use Canvas is work that instructors can do during the summer and thus earn a supplement. One-time funds available through the national CARES Act have been dedicated to supporting instructor efforts to learn Canvas, engage with new methods, and plan for effective teaching and learning. Canvas training will be essential for every instructor (even those not teaching online), and those who engage in the ACT-20 program (starting July 6th) and complete their work within four weeks will receive a $1,000 supplement.

Our goal is for 100% of instructors to complete ACT-20 program, starting July 6th, and thus earn the supplement. This includes those who have deep online instruction experience, those who are only teaching online because of COVID-19, and those who haven’t and won’t teach online again. Canvas is an equally valuable tool for in-person courses.

Any MSU Denver employee that will teach even one course in the fall 2020, spring 2021, or summer 20201 terms is eligible. This includes all three categories of faculty, department chairs, and any other employee that will teach a course during that time. Instructors who are unsure about their eligibility should check with their Chair/Supervisor.

Under this plan, courses with existing Blackboard content will be migrated to Canvas. Departments have received details on how to confirm which specific sections need careful (expensive) Tier 1 migration, with all other sections included in batch Tier 2 migration process.

The instructor training that begins in July will address both general discussions of how to meet the six-course goals and specifics on how to do so within Canvas. At the end of their training, instructors will attend a 2-hour Post-Migration Course Checkup, which will guide them on how to start and finish preparing their fall Canvas courses. 

No, Summer 2020 will be the last semester MSU Denver courses are taught in Blackboard. This will help ensure a consistent student learning experience, faculty teaching experience, and technical support.

Courses will migrate in one of two ways. Chairs are working with faculty to determine which specific sections warrant inclusion in Tier 1 migration, with a batch Tier migration process for all others. 

Courses designated for Tier 1 migration will go through an expensive automated migration process that creates an equivalent course in Canvas. These courses should require minimal touch-up efforts byfaculty after migration. Analogy: Think of this as hiring professional movers to box up your kitchen with incredibly careful labeling of boxes (“Drawer closest to the fridge, left side) and then unpack that into a new kitchen. 

All other courses (Tier 2) will be migrated to the canvas as an archived course to which faculty can easilyrequest accessAnalogy: Think of this as quickly boxing up everything in the kitchen, with minimal labeling, and putting those boxes in a storage unit. Nearly all course content is preserved, but it will take more effort to put it to good use if you decide to use things stored there.

Every Tier 1 course comes at a costBesides, there are thousands of Blackboard course shells that are empty of structure or contentplus thousands more that were only used to post files for downloading or posting grades. Tier 1 migration will be limited to specific course sections that are complex, complete, and significantly different than any other Tier 1 designated course. Any course that meets those criteria, whether it is face-to-face, hybrid, self-paced online, etc. can be included in Tier 1 migration. Remember that Tier 2 migration will bring nearly all course content into Canvas in some fashion, and that Blackboard itself will remain available for reference.

K16 is the company managing the Tier 1 migration in partnership with Instructure (the company that makes Canvas).

In cooperation with Faculty Senate, Council of Chairs and Directors, and the Center for Teaching, Learning and Design, six broad design and facilitation goals will guide our work to bring existing courses into Canvas and to build new fall online courses. In general, they ensure we offer classes where navigation is easy, student effort is equivalent to face-to-face courses, expectations are logical, and the learning experience is engaging and accessible by everyone.

The Center for Teaching, Learning, and design will continue to support summer term course design and facilitation. Details on support for the Canvas transition and Fall 2020 courses will be released soon. Additionally, to ensure faculty members are prepared to teach their courses in the new system and that their daily instructional needs are answered immediately, we have contracted with Instructure (makers of Canvas) to provide training and premium 24/7, one-on-one customer service.

CTLD training will begin in early July, but those eager to understand the new system can now complete this LinkedIn Learning course. Students – those familiar, uncertain, and uncomfortable with online learning – will receive similar Canvas support for one year after which ITS will provide support. 

As instructors create courses that meet these goals, the CTLD and ITS will train, guide, and troubleshoot along the way. A variety of training, workshops, and self-directed tutorials will address the six-coursegoals while allowing faculty to choose which specific concepts, techniques, and tools they want to explore. 

  

Department-Specific Training 

Training and workshops specially delivered to departments will be a new aspect of CTLD support. Department chairs will receive information on the availability of these efforts and a request for information about how each department would like to be supported. 

  

Live Training and Workshops  

Summer (Blackboard) Available Now. Fall (Canvas) Versions Available July 6th, 2020. 

Live virtual training and workshops cover many aspects of the six-course goals, as well as other evidence-based design practices, online course facilitation, and technology options. For currentpossibilities (supporting Summer courses in Blackboard), view the Live Training and Workshop Sessionspage then register to attend. Topics that directly involve Blackboard will have new versions for Canvas by July 6th, 2020. 

  

Self-directed Tutorials 

Summer (Blackboard) Available Now. Fall (Canvas) Versions Available July 6th, 2020 

Roughly 100 self-directed tutorials are available right now. The tutorials cover a variety of topics such as how to set up group work and collaboration; recording, delivering and uploading lecture videos; and ensuring that content is accessible. Visit Ready Self-Help Tutorials to learn more. A large portion of these tutorials cover topics unrelated to Blackboard (or Canvas), so don’t hesitate to check them out. Topics that directly involve Blackboard will have new versions for Canvas by July 6th, 2020.  

 

Virtual Support Hours and Support Tickets – Available Now 

Instructors can ask pressing technical questions on the Immediate Support page. In a 10- to 15-minute session, instructors work with the support team on specific questions or concerns. 

Any MSU Denver employee that will teach during the next year is eligible including affiliate faculty, department chairs, all full-time faculty, and others. If you have questions about your eligibility, please check with your department chair.

After enrolling in ACT-20, register for specific workshops. Choose one workshop under each of the six goals and two additional workshops of your choice. After completing these 8, every instructor should register for the “Final Course Checkup” capstone (for 9 total workshops).

The first two weeks of sessions were posted on June 26th, and future schedules will appear at least 10 days ahead of time. Every session will be offered at least twice a week. We hope you will be able to find a way to register for all the workshops you wish to attend (remember, you don't need to take them in any specific order). However, if it happens that you cannot find a spot, you are welcome to adjust your plans. Just be sure you attend 8 workshops, with at least one from within each course goal.
These will be offered starting in the 2nd week of the ACT-20 program (July 13th) and the first of these will be posted by July 1st. These 2-hour sessions are limited to 15 participants at a time and should be taken after completing your 8 other ACT-20 workshops.
You (and your chair) received an emailed enrollment receipt when you submitted this form, which makes for an easy way for you to see what you indicated there. Good keywords for searching your email are "ACT-20" or "enrollment receipt."

Bringing courses online for Fall is not an effort intended to be covered by the polic. With Faculty Senate support, we added language to the Substantial Use of University Resources definition in the policyto state this. Materials you create for Fall courses are your own, with no university ownership claim to those materials.

Online Learning – Online learning includes all course types that do not require you to come to campus and that meet robust but simple course design and teaching expectations. When searching through our schedule of classes, courses called “online,” “self-paced online,” “synchronous online,” and “asynchronous online” are all online learning experiences.  

 

Synchronous Online Learning A subset of online learning, synchronous learning includes consistent and required live class sessions on a predetermined schedule.  These courses may have weekly course meetings, midterm or finals study sessions, or live group project requirements. Courses with synchronous learning almost always also have asynchronous components (readings, videos, etc.). 

 

Asynchronous Online Learning A subset of online learning, asynchronous learning includes courses that allow students to review course content and complete course requirements without needing to attend live, required sessions. Asynchronous course content can include recorded lectures, readings, videos, audio lessons, powerpoints, and notes. Asynchronous learning requires review of content within a predetermined timeframe, but those windows are usually within days or weeks, not hours like required live lectures.  

This is just fine. In the enrollment form you committed to "Registering for and attending 8 workshops, with at least one from each course goal," as well as "Registering for and attending a 2-hour Final Course Checkup." If the specifics of which workshops you took under each goal shift, that is fine.

Best practice indicates that intentionally including Synchronous AND Asynchronous learning components works to create a well-designed online course and sets the instructor and student up for a successful and satisfying learning experience. Research has demonstrated that including synchronous time in fully online coursers increases student engagement, participation, feedback, instructor immediacy & presence, knowledge transfer, retention, and satisfaction. 

July 6th, the same day training begins.

Starting with Fall courses, and every term after.

An introduction to Canvas is available at this LinkedIn Learning course, and MSU Denver training will begin July 6th.

Classes will automatically be created for you.

Nothing. We will move this content over for you (either in a Tier 1 or Tier 2 migration process, as designated by you and your chair)Starting June 1st, we will migrate Blackboard courses into Canvas and changes made after this date will not be part of the migration.

Each course automatically receives a Canvas course no matter what type of course it is. This allows everyone to use all applicable tools (such as the gradebook, assignmentsannouncements, etc.).

Yes, the university’s media platform, YuJa, will continue to function within Canvas.

Yes, there is an integration between MS Teams and Canvas.

MSU Denver does not having a working agreement with Zoom, which means that there no business agreements in place to protect university data or be compliant with FERPA regulations. The University does have licensing with Microsoft Teams, including business agreements in place to ensure compliance with FERPA and protection of University data. Microsoft Teams provided similar functionality to Zoom. For this reason, please do not use accounts created at another institution for instruction of MSU Denver courses.

They provide essential support, are part of the Canvas implementation team, and happy to continue to answer your questions related to the migration and usage of Canvas

Listed below are some tasks you could complete now to save time in the fall:

  • Create Content Documents
    • These could be notes, lectures, and other content that you would like to communicate through written pages in your course
  • Find Resources
    • Compile a list of readings and videos that you would like to include. 
    • Search for copyright-free or open access readings to include in the course 
    • Check for captioning on the videos you pick 
  • Write Primers
    • These are introductory paragraphs that provide much-needed context to your resources. Once you have listed a resource, consider writing a primer to go with it that will catch student’s attention, explain the purpose of the reading or video, and maybe point out what students’ should be looking for or thinking about as they interact with the resource.
  • Plan and Record Videos
    • Videos can be inserted to any LMS if you record them using a platform like YuJa or Microsoft Teams. Create a course intro, an instructor intro, module overviews, and lectures that can be inserted into the course when the time comes.
    • If you will be holding synchronous sessions, create the PowerPoints or other visuals you plan to use 
  • Find copyright-free versions of images you’d like to include in the course or in your lectures
      • Search Google Images
      • Click Tools
      • Click Usage Rights
      • Select “Labeled for Reuse”
      • Look for results that come from Wikimedia Commons or Flickr as they are very clear about licensing information
  • Write Quizzes/Exams
  • Write Discussion Prompts
  • Create documents for assignments, projects, papers, etc.

 

Once you have all of this ready to go, it will just be a matter of deciding where it goes in the LMS when you get access. Starting on this now will give you more time to complete these items and when it comes time to teach the course, you can focus on being present and dedicated to your students instead of creating the course.

Staff FAQ


Staff members implementing tools for virtual student services or staff collaboration can review training on the ITS Online Ready page, LinkedIn Learning courses found on the Faculty and Staff Hub, or these self-directed tutorials.

MSU Denver does not have an operating agreement with Zoom, which means that there no business agreements in place to protect university data or be compliant with FERPA regulations. The University does have to license with Microsoft Teams, whom we do have business agreements in place to be compliant with FERPA and protect University data and provides similar functionality to Zoom.

Yes, there is an integration between MS Teams and Canvas.

Online Learning – Online learning includes all course types that do not require you to come to campus and that meet robust but simple course design and teaching expectations. When searching through our schedule of classes, courses called “online,” “self-paced online,” “synchronous online,” and “asynchronous online” are all online learning experiences.  

  

Synchronous Online Learning – A subset of online learning, synchronous learning includes consistent and required live class sessions on a predetermined schedule.  These courses may have weekly course meetings, midterm or finals study sessions, or live group project requirements.  

  

Asynchronous Online Learning – A subset of online learning, asynchronous learning includes courses that allow students to review course content and complete course requirements without needing to attend live, required sessions. Asynchronous course content includes recorded lectures, readings, videos, audio lessons, PowerPoints, and notes. Asynchronous learning requires review of content within a predetermined timeframe, but those windows are usually within days or weeks, not hours like required live lectures.

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