Author Archives: rphoenix

CEAL “On Air” in November and December

cat_webinarLive webinars – they can rock or they can not rock so much..

You get the headphones on, settle into your favorite chair and…you might learn something new OR you might fall asleep.

So when CEAL says we’re going “on air” in November to try something new in our world of professional development, we’d like to think it will rock, totally. Plan to join us in person at the Fort Steilacoom Lava Java or by Blackboard Collaborate for some short but  sweet webinars on a variety of topics – tech, teaching  and otherwise – on these selected dates in November & December:

Tuesdays – Fresh Tech Webinar: 2:30-3:30 PM (FS Lava Java and online in Collaborate)

  • November 3 – The Cool Tools Report; Tips and Tricks with Canvas Gradebook and Calendar work together; Canvas Q&A (time permitting)
  • November 17 – The Cool Tools Report; Taming Canvas Quizzes and Quizbanks; Canvas Q&A (time permitting)
  • December 1 – The Cool Tools Report;  Fancy Canvas Navigation; Canvas Q&A (time permitting)

Thursdays – Design Matters Webinar: 2pm – 3pm (FS Lava Java and online in Collaborate)

  • November 5 – UDL – Universal Design for Learning
  • November 19 – Designing accessible images
  • December 3 – Designing accessible documents

Thursdays – Social Animal Webinar:  3pm – 4pm  (FS Lava Java and online in Collaborate)

  • November 5 – Create a Personal Social Learning Network; Curation and sharing tools
  • November 19 – Twitter and Blogging
  • December 3 – LinkedIn and Facebook Pages and Groups

How Can You Find the Webinar?

The session room is now open! To practice early or join us in a session,  following this link:

Join the CEAL On Air Webinar Here

Need lessons on how to use Collaborate? Feel free to stop by the Lava Java or contact Kyle Peirson at for a quick tutorial on how to set up your computer and headset/microphone to join a Collaborate session.

Web-enhancing or teaching online or hybrid? TTOL course starts Oct. 5

wordle2-cit09If you are venturing into the world of online teaching – whether it’s web-enhancing a face-to-face course or preparing to teach hybrid or fully online – you know the online environment has challenges that you need to be prepared for. Use of technology, teacher and student presence, communication, virtual group work, course and content design and delivery – all require specific planning and thought before you start putting together a course.

To be ready, consider taking Transitioning to Teaching Online (TTOL), a fully online training course facilitated by the Center for Engagement and Learning every quarter. In TTOL you’ll complete weekly readings, explore resources, complete activities & assignments and discuss topics and practices with other Pierce College faculty who are new to online teaching.  TTOL covers a variety of instructional strategies and practices in online teaching and utilizes current research and open education resources (OER) in the content and materials found in each week’s module.

There is no fee to sign up, however you must fully participate and complete all course activities and discussions to earn the certificate of completion. This course is five weeks and participants should plan for 5-7 hours of online activities per week (depending on your teaching background and experience in online learning).

To learn more about CEAL services for faculty or to sign up for TTOL, follow this link:



NWeLearn Conference in Olympia – Oct. 22-23

There is still time to register for the 10th annual  NWeLearn Conference in Olympia, WA October 22 & 23, 2015. An updated schedule grid (shared Google doc) is now available (also linked from the NWeLearn Program page), or check out the schedule-at-a glance and the session descriptions available from the Sessions page.

Our own Laurie Schuster and Rachel Goon from Pierce College Library are presenting a roundtable discussion on Friday, Oct. 22 on Providing Streaming Video for Online Students with Challenges and Solutions. While having this dynamic duo presenting already makes this a great conference, NWeLearn has set the bar even higher with two amazing keynotes:


Jesse Stommel –Learning is Not a
Mechanism: Assessment, Student Agency, and Digital Spaces




awattersand Audrey Watters – The Algorithmic Future of Education. 

Join us for 2 days of outstanding presentations, networking and professional development. Just down the road in Olympia, no less!

Registration information and form are available on the NWeLearn website. Just follow this link:


3-Week Intro to Canvas Courses for Faculty Now Available!

canvaslogoNeed an alternative to our Pierce Canvas Essentials course?
The State Board of Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) is sponsoring a three week online, asynchronous course designed for instructors who have never used the Canvas learning management system or who are just getting started. By the end of the course, you should have a basic understanding of the main features of Canvas, and be ready to begin using Canvas with your classes – regardless of whether you intend to teach online fully or simply move a portion of your activities and lectures online.
This course is accepted as Canvas training by the Pierce eLearning department and fulfills the requirement for Canvas training for teaching online or hybrid courses.
Expect this course to take 10-15 hours over the three weeks, for those new to online teaching.
The first session available begins Oct 12 and runs through November 2, 2015.
Registration is open to any full or part-time faculty, but seats are limited to the first 25 who register.
Follow the link below to register online:
Questions? Contact Mary Davis or James Johnson in the Pierce College eLearning department for more information.

Universal Design for Learning FLC at Pierce – First meeting Oct. 16

In July Pierce College was awarded a state sponsored grant for creating a Faculty Learning Community (FLC) around the topic of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) for the 2015-2016 academic year. Many faculty expressed interest in taking part in an FLC of this type and we are now in the process of forming and meeting as a group for Fall quarter.
The first gathering of the FLC is planned for Friday, October 16 from 12:30PM – 2:30PM at Fort Steilacoom campus. We will meet in Cascade 523.
The main purpose of this first meeting will be to talk about:
  • how we can work together within the guidelines of the FLC grant
  • resources available through CEAL and the college for FLC members
  • how faculty can participate as individuals and as a group,
  • any thoughts, ideas, or questions you may have about UDL and the FLC in general.
The purpose of the FLC is to provide a community of inquiry for anyone interested in exploring how to implement UDL strategies into their teaching. The FLC can provide resources, information, collaboration and support for a variety of projects and activities and is a faculty-driven entity. How the FLC will function and what we will do as individuals and as a group is, in part, decided by the members of the FLC. We need your ideas and participation to make it a great experience.
UDL expert, Candyce Rennegarbe, will be on hand at our first meeting to introduce the guiding principles and framework of UDL and give some practical advice about using UDL in our teaching practices.
Curious? Committed? Please consider joining us on October 16 in Cascade 523 for this first meeting. (Healthy & delicious snacks will be provided! ).
Additional dates and times for FLC gatherings for Fall Quarter are also planned:
Friday October 23, 2015;   12:30 – 2:30  Location: TBD
Rescheduled to Nov 6 : 12:30 –  2:30 Location: FS Lava Java Lab and Online
Friday November 20, 2015;  12:30 – 2:30  Location TBD
Questions? Please email Renee Phoenix at

Free Teaching and Learning Conference at Bellevue College on May 30, 2015

Don’t miss a great professional development opportunity hosted by one of our neighbors to the north.

Faculty Commons @ Bellevue College Invites ALL faculty, staff, and students to attend the FREE 1st Annual Teaching & Learning Conference

May 30th, 2015, 9:00am – 3:30pm
Bellevue College, room D104

Click here to Register Now!

Conference includes a dynamic group of guest speakers, workshops, and the opportunity to  discuss teaching and learning. Our workshops and discussion include some of today’s key topics in education:

  • Inclusive teaching
  • Curriculum development
  • Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

FREE breakfast and lunch will be provided!

Follow this link to learn more

Questions?  Please Contact

Sayumi Irey, Ph.D.
Director, Faculty Commons
Tel (425)564-2354


IGNIS Webinar Series – Two Sessions on Accessibility

Don’t Miss These IGNIS Webinars in May 2015

You are invited to join Alissa Sells and Jen Whetham from SBCTC as they host two upcoming IGNIS webinars on accessibility.  All IGNIS webinars are delivered on Collaborate and sessions are recorded and posted on the ATL blog.

Follow this link to join IGNIS Webinars via Collaborate

Live Sessions Coming Up:

May 21, 2015 IGNIS webinar promotional image of Terrill ThompsonThursday, May 21st, 2015 at 2 pm
Making Accessibility Accessible
Terrill Thompson
Technology Accessibility Specialist, University of Washington

  • Join us in celebrating Global Accessibility Awareness Day.  Terrill will talk about how to make the process of accessibility more accessible to faculty.  Come learn some tips on making your course more accessible and much more!

Thursday, May 28th, 2015 at 2 pm
5 Steps to an Accessible Syllabus
A Faculty Learning Community Presentation by Shoreline Community College

  • As a follow-up to “Making Accessibility Accessible”, please join us for this special hands-on webinar where you’ll learn how to make the various features of a Word document accessible using your course syllabus as an example.  It’s BYOS…bring your own syllabus!  Participants will be given work time during the webinar to start making changes to their documents.  If you missed Shoreline’s Accessibility retreat in February, you won’t want to miss this session!”

If you can’t make it to a webinar, no worries – they are recorded!

Follow this link to view past IGNIS webinars on the ATL blog site

CEAL Takes Up the GAAD Challenge!

Do you know what day it is?

May 21 is Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). The purpose of the day to get people talking, thinking and learning about digital accessibility and users with different disabilities. You can read more about GAAD on their website:

Don’t think digital accessibility is important to you? Do you use a computer for work? Do your students or staff use a computer or digital device to stay connected to the college, the office, your classes?  Yeah, we thought so.

In the spirit of engagement and learning, CEAL is challenging you, dear readers, to level up your awareness of digital accessibility today by taking 30 minutes out of your day and learn more about digital accessibility (or the lack of) first hand. How can you do that?  Here are a few ideas ( you can probably think of many more).

  • Try going “mouse-less” for 30 minutes. Go ahead and put your mouse out of reach and only use your keyboard alone (tab/shift tab, arrow keys, enter and spacebar) to navigate and interact with your favorite websites and applications.
  • Watch a favorite YouTube or TED video with the audio turned off and captioning on (if there is captioning…).
  • Watch this 13 min. YouTube video to learn how a user who is visually impaired uses a screenreader to navigate a website.


  • Take a field trip to stop in and say hello to the Access and Disabilities Services staff on your campus. Pick up some information from them about the work they do and the resources available for students.

For more information visit the GAAD site and learn more about this event and other issues and resources related to digital accessibility.

And don’t forget to take our challenge! 

Just enter your comments below – tell us how you met the challenge and share any additional resources, links or information you found here on our blog.

Applying the QM Rubric – Online and F2F Training Still Available

The Center for Engagement and Learning is reminding all online and hybrid instructors of upcoming dates for  “Applying the Quality Matters Rubric” (APPQMR) workshops through Pierce College. These workshops are free to all Pierce College faculty and meet the QM training requirements for teaching online or hybrid courses.

Total training time for F2F courses is 7.5 hours; online total training time is approx. 22 hours.

New! 3 Week Online Workshop Option:

This special online session is offered in cooperation with Tacoma Community College. This extended session covers the same APPQMR content found in the two week online workshop while allowing participants more time to complete activities and discussions. 10 spaces in the workshop are available for Pierce faculty who want to complete the APPQMR training. Two certified QM online facilitators will conduct the workshop activities.

May 19 through June 9, 2015
3 week facilitated online workshop.
Space is Limited to 10 Pierce participants! Register by May 13, 2015

Follow the link below to register:

3-Week ONLINE Session Registration Form

 Face -to-Face Training Coming Up:


Monday, June 22 and Tuesday, June 23, 2015
1:00 PM – 4:30PM (each day)
Pierce College Puyallup
Room TBA

Space is limited to 25 in this workshop! 

2-Half Day Workshop Format Registration Form.  Follow this link to register.

 Other Training Options:

Quality Matters offers the APPQMR training online several times a month.

  • Each course is 2 weeks in length, facilitated by a certified QM trainer.
  • Includes discussion forums, quizzes, and exploratory assignments; participants can expect to spend about 10-11 hours per week in the workshop – approx. 20 hours total
  • Satisfies the requirement for Pierce College instructors who teach online or hybrid courses.*

The State Board has a limited number of free seats for each college to offer to faculty. You must sign up through Pierce College to attend these trainings. Please contact the Pierce College eLearning department for more information or to get signed up for one of these 2-week online courses. 

Available 2-week Online Training Dates through July 2015:

Start Date End Date Open Seats
2015-05-05 2015-05-19 19
2015-05-12 2015-05-26 17
2015-05-19 2015-06-02 6
2015-05-19 2015-06-02 13
2015-05-26 2015-06-09 12
2015-05-26 2015-06-09 20
2015-06-02 2015-06-16 11
2015-06-02 2015-06-16 14
2015-06-09 2015-06-23 10
2015-07-07 2015-07-21 19
2015-07-14 2015-07-28 20
2015-07-21 2015-08-04 19
2015-07-21 2015-08-04 20
2015-07-28 2015-08-11 20
2015-07-28 2015-08-11 20


Reading Apprenticeship Training in April 2015

A reminder to all of the free “Reading Apprenticeship” training coming up on two consecutive Fridays – April 17 and April 24, 2015.   Total training time is 6 hours in a 2-day format.


Friday, April 17 at Puyallup CTR 250
Friday, April 24 at Fort Steilacoom RAI 241

both sessions are from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
(You must attend both days to complete the 6 hour training)

Space is limited!  Register at

Why Reading Apprenticeship (RA)?

  • RA is a conceptual framework to help post-secondary students develop their academic literacy skills across all disciplines.
  • RA routines are meant to provide students with strategies to make meaning of the texts used in your classroom (“texts” can include anything written, visual, or auditory, such as textbooks, essays, poetry, charts, diagrams, music, and more).
  • Research has shown that learners in RA classrooms improve both their content knowledge and their reading comprehension skills (see for more details on these studies).
  • This training will provide you with hands-on routines that you can use in your classroom to develop your students into expert readers in your discipline.

Are there other training options available?

Yes! If you can’t attend a face-to-face training, you may be able to take an online or face-to-face course through WestEd; see here for details: We will also keep you informed of other training opportunities at Pierce.

Can I include RA as part of my SIP?

We think that’s a great idea! Speak with your dean for more information.

I’ve attended RA sessions at in-service days, Targeted Skills Training, etc. Is this training appropriate for me?

Yes! This training will be useful whether you’re a newbie or if you have some knowledge of RA routines.

Trainings will be limited to 35 participants, so we recommend that you sign up as soon as possible!

Questions?  Contact Zoe Fisher at for more information.

QM Regional Conference In Seattle – April 9-10, 2015


Join your colleagues for the 

QM Works in the Great Pacific Northwest Regional Conference
Location: Doubletree Seattle Airport in Seattle, WA
Date: Thursday,  April 9 – Friday April 10, 2015

Why attend? Presentations and workshops planned will include:

  • Strategies and applications for meeting QM Standards 
  • Getting institutional buy-in for QM adoption 
  • Research, examples and takeaways from institutions and faculty using QM 
  • Findings related to the impact of QM at the institutional level

Ready to lead the charge to ensure quality matters in education?

Follow this link for more event information and to sign up for the conference. 

Got Questions? Contact:

James Johnson
Interim eLearning Director

Pierce College District
(253) 964-6377 //JBLM (253) 964-6567