REMINDER: Registration is Open for Washington’s Annual Canvas Conference (WACC)

Don’t forget to register for Washington’s Annual Canvas Conference (WACCwhich will take place on March 24-25, 2016 at Tacoma Community College.  This collaborative 2-day conference will focus on enriching higher education Canvas users. 

**While the conference is primarily focused on faculty, administrators and staff are welcome as well!  Tickets include WACC presentations, a continental breakfast, and a buffet lunch both days. 

Sessions will focus on Accessibility, Pathways to Success, Open Educational Resources, and Universal Design and representatives from Canvas, Panopto, and other vendors will be there.

For more information on the program schedule and how to register, visit

Be sure to watch this short video on how to complete the registration process.

What’s new in Canvas?

With the recent update to the Canvas interface, it can be easy for the smaller changes or behind-the-scenes adjustments to go by unnoticed. For example, did you know that you can see if a student has viewed feedback on an assignment? Speedgrader has been updated to include “student viewed” information in the details view in the upper right corner.

A few other highlights include:

  • Announcements – “Like” button added
  • Assignments – submission options now include “external tool url”
  • Course Analytics – improved graphics and sorting ability to view stats more effectively
  • Student View – more obvious, to prevent any confusion

Watch below to see an overview of the new features. Full release notes can be found here.



Winter Adjunct Faculty Day – Becoming the Complete Faculty Member in Today’s Higher Education World

You are invited to attend Winter Adjunct Faculty Day on Saturday, February 20 from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm at Pierce College Puyallup.  The theme of the day is “Becoming the Complete Faculty Member in Today’s Higher Education World – Developing a Pedagogical Statement.”  The agenda is framed around Pierce College’s institutional outcomes and our Achieving the Dream (AtD) initiative.  We will emphasize the following skill-building areas:  Leadership & Vision, Data & Technology, Equity, Teaching & Learning/Pedagogy, Engagement & Communication, College-wide Strategy & Planning, and Pierce College Policies & PracticesWe are planning hands-on skill building opportunities to add to you CV/Resume.

This is an open invitation to all Faculty.  Adjunct Faculty will receive a $100 stipend for participating in the training and submitting a working draft of their Pedagogical Statement.

Here is the LINK for registration   REGISTRATION DEADLINE: MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2016

The tentative AGENDA for the day is as follows:

Plenary:   What are the critical knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for today’s professors in higher education? What are college’s looking for? What are the “big picture” trends in today’s higher education landscape? How do we engage today’s students?

Session 1 Options:

  1. Digging into the Data: A hands-on opportunity in the computer lab to learn to navigate the amazing data & technology tools that have been developed by Institutional Research to help us help our students.  You will have an opportunity to explore data in Dashboard and Tableau and to begin to think about ways to use the data to help your students.
  2. Skill-building in UDL:  Bring a digital copy of your syllabus or a short Word based document that you use regularly in a class (assignment directions, worksheet, handout…etc).  Hands-on practice with tools in Word and Acrobat that can assess documents for accessibility and readability and discussions and examples of how to start making them better for your students using UDL principles. 
  3. The First Ten Days. Why Are They So Important?:  How can you get students engaged in the content, participate in the learning, and develop an emotional commitment to their learning? Let’s discuss why this is so important in the first 10 days of the quarter and share ideas that you can bring to your classroom right away!

Session 2 Options:

  1. Digging into the Data
  2. Skill-building in UDL
  3. The First Ten Days. Why Are They So Important?

LUNCH:  Equity, Identity, & Your Classroom: An engaging and informative activity. We will learn about ourselves, our students and our teaching. Do we teach with an equity lens?  (LUNCH WILL BE SERVED)

Session 3:  What Do I Do Now:  A Practical Guide to Pierce College Policies & Practices and How They Impact a Professor’s Decision Making in the Classroom:  What is the Student Code of Conduct?  What are student and faculty rights and responsibilities? When do I use an “Incomplete” versus and “No Credit” when submitting grades?  What are the implications of each? Interested in ADS, FERPA, Counseling and other resources?  We hope to answer these questions and many, many more.

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday, February 20!  Questions?  Please email Karen Danner (, Greg Brazell (, or Jessica Bodas (

SnapType for Dysgraphia

Dysgraphia is a deficiency in the ability to write clearly and express ideas through handwriting, as well as trouble processing language. As quoted from the International Dyslexia Association, “Expressive writing requires a student to synchronize many mental functions at once: origination, memory, attention, motor skill, and various aspects of language ability. Automatic accurate handwriting is the foundation for this juggling act. In the complexity of remembering where to put the pencil and how to form each letter, a dysgraphic student forgets what he or she meant to express.” (

However, an individual’s intelligence is not effected by dysgraphia, and so it can be a frustrating condition if judged on ones writing ability. A relative to Dyslexia (the struggle to read) but not the same thing, a student with dsygraphia will be able to read and comprehend but be challenged in expressing their understanding through writing.

example of dsygraphia handwriting(example of Dysgraphia)

Occupational Therapist Amberlynn Gifford created an helpful tool that can save time and frustration for students with dysgraphia called “SnapType”. Created initially for K-12 learners, the program allows a student to photograph any paper using a smart phone or tablet. Once the worksheet, image, test, book excerpt, etc., is photographed they can type onto the image using SnapType. Their are even options to dictate using Speech-to-Text software. The completed form can be saved as a .pdf, emailed, or printed wirelessly.

The applications are only limited by the creativity of how you can use the tool! Click the link below to see SnapType in the App Store, and the playlist at the bottom to see some examples of SnapType in action.

Snaptype in App Store


Free MOOC – Teaching Adults for New (And Newish) Teachers

moocRenton Technical College is presenting a MOOC (massively open online course) titled “Teaching Adults for New (And Newish) Teachers.”  This six week course allows new and “still-feel-new” higher education teachers get the basics that they need in their first years of teaching,  The course is starting this Monday, January 25, 2016 and is hosted on the platform.  This course is free and a certificate of completion will be awarded to participants.

By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of Adult learning theories
  • Develop and write a clear course syllabus in student-centered language
  • Create measurable student learning outcomes
  • Write and E.N.G.A.G.E. lesson plan
  • Articulate a variety of strategies for teaching efficiently
  • Create varied active learning activities and assessment tools
  • Use UDL methodologies in the Classroom
  • Recognize and utilize your personal style in the classroom
  • Articulate the importance of diversity awareness in the classroom
  • Create a cooperative classroom community
  • Utilize appropriate resources and tools for continued student engagement
  • Participate in a PLN (Personal Learning Network)

For more information or to enroll in this course, follow this link to the platform: 

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

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!

NW Conference on Teaching Psychology – Registration Now Open


Registration is now open for the TIP Northwest 2016 conference!  The theme of this year’s conference is “Applying the Science of Learning to Teaching Introductory Psychology.”  The conference will take place on Friday, April 22, 2016 at Highline Community College.  The cost of the conference is $50 and includes meals and a wine and cheese social.

For more information and the link to register, check out the conference website:


8:00am Registration & Breakfast
8:45am Welcome
9:00am Susan Nolan, Seton Hall University
10:00am Round Table Discussion – Response to Dr. Nolan
10:30am Break
10:45am Voices – Applying the Science of Learning in General Psychology
11:45am Round Table Discussion – Response to Speakers
12:15pm Lunch
1:15pm Voices – Applying the Science of Learning in General Psychology
2:15pm Round Table Discussions – Response to Speakers
2:45pm Round Table Discussions on Various Teaching Topics
3:30pm Break
3:45pm Regan Gurung, University of Wisconsin
4:45pm Closing Remarks
5:00pm Wine and Cheese Social

Have questions, comments, or concerns?  Feel free to contact Garth Neufeld:

Garth Neufeld, MA, LMFT
Psychology Department, Highline College
Organizer, Northwest Conference on Teaching Introductory Psychology
Email Address:
Phone: 206-592-4606

Requesting Professional Development Funds

Professional Development Funds are available to me, but now what?


Each year, Pierce College provides funds to faculty to use towards professional development activities.  For the 2015-2016 academic year, full-time faculty may request up to $500 and part-time faculty may request up to $250.

But how the heck, do I access these funds? 

1.  You complete a Request for Faculty Travel And/or Use of Professional Development Funds form!  Find the Full-Time Faculty form and Part-Time Faculty form HERE.

2.  After the form is completed, you submit it to your Dean for his or her approval.  Do you only teach online or you are not on campus?  Approval can be obtained via email!

3.  You have approval!  Now what?  Email the completed and approved form to

Hmmm, I still have questions …

Don’t despair!  CEAL has a whole section on Faculty Central devoted to accessing professional development funds which can be found HERE.  From the step-to-step process and accessing the forms (Request Process and Forms) to answers to the most commonly asked questions  (Helpful Hints and FAQs), CEAL has you covered.

Need one-on-one help?  We have professional development contacts!

Full-Time Faculty

Part-Time Faculty



Barb Brennan

Jessica Bodas Greg Brazell Sharon Hardin
(253) 964-7331 (253) 964-6781 (253) 964-6696

(253) 964-6759

Need ideas for professional development activities?  Check out this calendar of 2015-2016 local and national conferences or subscribe to our Blog to stay up-to-date on all things CEAL. 

Registration Now Open – Regional RA Conference at RTC

Reading Apprenticeship Blog

Registration has now opened for the 2nd Annual Reading Apprenticeship Conference – Metacognition and Mindfulness: Academic Literacies for the 21st Century.  The conference will take place at Renton Technical College on Friday, March 11 through Saturday, March 12, 2016.

Early bird registration rate is only $95 and includes a Friday night dinner (and entertainment), as well as Saturday breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snacks.


For more information on the conference, check out the conference website and this CEAL blog post.

Questions:  Please email Michele Lesmeister at

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.

How to Use Open Educational Resources (OER) Training

Happy New Year! SBCTC eLearning again invites you and your faculty to participate in January How to Use OER training that begins on Monday, January 11, 2016.

This two week course is fully online and asynchronous, providing participants with information and experience in adopting and integrating open educational resources (OER) into their pedagogy. In addition to discussing the concept of OER and open licenses, participants will practice locating and sharing open educational resources.

As this is a fully facilitated training that will produce an official certificate to the participants upon successful completion, participants are expected to spend 10 hours to complete the course. This training is FREE for anyone in the WA CTC system.

For those who would like more information from a participant perspective, Read messages from previous participants.
Interested? Head to the training website.

Technical difficulties in registration? Please contact
Inquiries about the training content? Please contact Boyoung at

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.