Author Archives: rphoenix

Call for Proposals -ATL Conference in Vancouver WA – May 4-6, 2016

atlconferenceThe  26th Annual Assessment, Teaching, and Learning (ATL) Conference will be held May 4-6, 2016, in Vancouver, Washington.  Beverly and Etienne Wegner-Trayner, social learning theorists and consultants, will deliver the opening plenary on communities of practice.

We encourage all of you brilliant and innovative faculty to consider submitting a presentation proposal for one of the six strands:

  • The Scholarship of Teaching & Learning
  • Institutional Assessment Informing Practice
  • eLearning and Instructional Technologies
  • College Readiness/Transitional Studies
  • Fostering 21st Century Leadership in Education
  • Voice

But, here’s the catch….proposals are due by 5PM on Friday, January 29, 2016

Download more information about the conference proposal guidelines and a proposal form here:

ATLC Proposal Form-2016

ATLC Proposal Criteria -2016

Registration for the ATLC conference will open in February,  SBCTC just launched its brand-new website, and in addition to their new ATL page, we have a new look and feel to our ATL Conference web page. Check it out and get the ATL Conference on your calendar!

10 Days to Awesome Series starts Feb 17

awesomepup 2Looking to build up some awesome digital and collaborative online skills? Join us for a series of four 10-day online courses for faculty and staff that introduce a range of online and digital tools for connecting, creating and collaborating. The courses are designed to support participants in exploring and practicing useful skills like creating video and audio for learning and communicating, social media applications for connecting professionally, and creating accessible materials for work or for teaching.

These courses are self-paced with access to a live facilitator for the duration of each 10-day session. Participants will have continued access to all materials after the course is completed and can follow up with course facilitators at any time for continued support through the Center for Engagement and Learning.

All courses are conducted in the Pierce College Canvas LMS. You must have a current Pierce College Canvas account to be able to access these courses. If you do not have an account, please contact the eLearning department to request a Canvas account. 

Follow this link to Register for 10 Days To Awesome 

Schedule & description of courses:

Presence! Screencasting for Learning: Feb 17 – Feb 25, 2016

This course introduces strategies for creating educational or informational podcasts & screencasts and use of tools such as Canvas Media Tools, Screencast-o-matic and Panopto. Webcam and microphone/headset for recording video and audio are required.

Create! Making Documents Accessible: April 27 – May 6, 2016

Introduction to creating accessible images and Word, PDF and PPT documents. Participants will be able to re-design 2 documents that they use in courses or in their work unit.

Collaborate! Webinar Tools and Strategies: May 11- May 20, 2016

Connected! Social Media and PLN: June 22- July 1, 2016

This course introduces use of Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook Pages and blogs for building a professional personal learning network.

Introduction to using online webinar tools such as, BB Collaborate and Canvas Conferences. Webcam and microphone/headset are required. At least two live webinar sessions will be scheduled for participants to practice during the 10-day course.

Save the Date: Free Open Stax Webinar on Jan 26, 2016


Access from DAY ONE!

Learn how OpenStax free textbooks can remove barriers for you and your students

OpenStax, Rice University’s open education initiative, is presenting a webinar called Access from DAY ONE: How OpenStax Free Textbooks can Remove Barriers for our system faculty and staff members.

OpenStax provides free, peer-reviewed textbooks, which means students have immediate access — no sign-in required! OpenStax currently carries textbooks for Physics, Sociology, Biology, Anatomy & Physiology, Statistics, Math, Economics, Chemistry, History, and Psychology, and will be developing additional books in math, science, and government over the next couple of years. During this presentation, Nicole Finkbeiner, the Associate Director of Institutional Relations, will address methods for overcoming barriers to student success, demonstrate how to access the textbooks and faculty-only resources, and answer any questions you have about the books or the initiative.

Please feel free to contact Nicole Finkbeiner ( with any questions regarding this webinar.

Is there a MOOC in your future?

moocIf you’ve been spending much time hanging around the Internet, you’ve probably heard about MOOCs – massively open online courses. Here at CEAL, we’ve found some of the best MOOCs on the platform. At, you can create your own free account and find some great professional development courses also for free.

For example, starting next week you can take part in  “Humanizing Online Instruction: The #HumanMOOC”. It’s a fully online course offered from Dec. 7, 2015  – Jan 11, 2016 with strategies and ideas for creating strong social, cognitive and instructor presence in your online course.

And starting February22,  2016 look for “Accessibility: Designing and Teaching Courses for All Learners” – a MOOC presented by Buffalo State and SUNY Empire State College that will help you find resources and develop more skills in understanding how to creating inclusive and welcoming learning experiences for all your students.

To learn more or to set up a free account and take a course, visit this link:

(You do need to create a different account than your Pierce Canvas account – is a completely different Canvas instance).

Some of us at CEAL are signed up for both MOOCs – hope to see you in one or both in the coming weeks.


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.