All the colors of the rainbow…

…cannot be seen by some. Roughly 1 in 12 men, and 1 in 200 women are born colorblind; they do not see an absence of color. Instead they see with a color deficiency, so it can be a challenge to discern between hues or shades.

Why does this matter for anyone except those teaching in the Arts? Take a look at your online materials. If you’ve chosen different colors of text to add some flair to your syllabus, assignments, or reply-alls, there could be a viewing issue. If important links or dates are highlighted to bring attention, make sure that it’s not actually being missed instead!

This accessibility website is made for just that, to check your color use and make sure it’s view-able to all!

Below is a preview of the site. You choose your color from the wheel on the left. Your chosen color is displayed on the right, with a quick review of its universal acceptability . At the bottom of the page, your chosen color is shown through the filter of a color-deficient perspective. Experiment with foreground and background colors to see all the combinations and possibilities.

color wheel






Virtual Presentations… A Time Saver

Time. . . A constant challenge. Instructional preparation, professional development and collaboration, excellent instruction, quality formative and summative assessments, availability for office hours, emails, phone calls, colleagues, paperwork, record keeping, attending meetings, providing resources, the list of “things” goes on and on.

How do we balance everything and still have sanity? That IMG_1366surely is a plurium interrogationum (a loaded question).  In order to even have a chance at answering that question, we must break that complex question down. Let’s start in the classroom.

Many instructors are now using discussion forums to help students introduce themselves. This technique allows students to connect with the instructor and each other in new and interesting ways, while saving precious instructional class time. This idea can also be translated to other areas of your course.

An as instructor, I have often considered different ways to deliver content to students effectively and efficiently. One way that I have found to do this is student presentations, but not in the traditional sense.

Traditional student presentations work like this; (1) The student prepares and then presents their content, (2) The instructor assess the content, and (3) The audience sits and listens.

There are, however, several problems with traditional presentations. They require plenty of time for each student to present (instructors often must use several of their class sessions to allow each student to present). They require time for feedback from peers and the instructor. Even when peer feedback is assigned, it is often weak because some students have a difficult time listening to a large number of peer presentations in one sittings and begin to quickly tune the information out.

Rather than these types of presentations that instructors and students alike have sat through for years, I have found that virtual presentations work much better. They allow students to present on information related to course content and receive quality peer feedback, all outside of class time. They also allow students to build their capacity to leverage technology to impact their learning.

Here are four easy steps to execute virtual presentation:

1. Assign a topic
The topic should intentionally connect to course objectives and content and have a distinct purpose. For example, students might synthesize and explain their findings and discuss how they plan to use the information in the future.

2. Specify Guidelines
Details on length, presenter appearance, and audience engagement are crucial in order to facilitate good virtual presentations. With the amount of technology options available, it is also important to provide some expectations and boundaries.

3. Provide a virtual place to share presentations and give feedback
As mentioned above, virtual presentations allow students the opportunity to efficiently receive peer feedback and learn from each other. While instructor assessments are important, peer feedback gives students a different perspective. Using Canvas, instructors can specify criteria for peer reviews through a discussion board forum, for example, so the presenter can easily receive feedback from their presentation. Again, all this is done outside of class, giving the instructor more time during class to instruct.

4. Reflect
A full class discussion, high-lighting key points, provides an opportunity for students to share their thoughts and for the instructor to check for understanding and assess if the outcomes were met.

Virtual presentations have worked well in my courses, but I am always looking for other technology tools ( or for example) that can help students meet the course objectives and beyond. What other websites, tools, or techniques have you used to allow students the chance to present their work and get quality feedback from their peers, without losing quality in-class time?

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

February OER Training Course Available from SBCTC


How to Use Open Educational Resources”

This training begins on Monday, February 23, 2015.

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 also practice locating and sharing open educational resources.

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 to the next class from previous participants.


Follow this link to the training website to register.

Technical difficulties in registration?  Please contact

Questions about the training content or schedules?  Please contact Boyoung Chae at

Free IGNIS Webinar Series 2015 Kicks Off Feb 5!

IGNIS LogoJoin hosts Alissa Sells and Jennifer Whetham from the State Board of Community and Technical Colleges for the 2015 series of IGNIS online webinars. This popular webinar series is a fully online format featuring local and regional faculty and other experts who present on a variety of topics related to teaching, assessment, technology and all things community college. These webinars are free and there is no need to sign up before attending.

Been There, Done That!

This Thursday, February 5 at 2PM, Alyson Indrunas, Director of eLearning and Instructional Design from Everett Community College will talk about the challenges and triumphs of her online teaching career so far. Always entertaining and insightful, Alyson will  reveal the “Four Things I Did Wrong as an Online Teacher.”

Don’t miss it! 

The IGNIS webinars are delivered in BlackBoard Collaborate sessions and there is no need to register or sign-up. Just click the “Join Us in Collaborate” link below to join the webinar.  The IGNIS Collaborate room is open 24/7 so you are welcome to test your connection anytime before the scheduled webinar.  A headset/microphone is recommended for optimal audio quality.

Hope to see you there!

To access the webinar follow this link:


New To Using Collaborate?

Follow this link to a very helpful resource for how to prepare your computer to use Collaborate. (thanks to Shoreline Community College eLearning department). Be sure you have the latest version of JAVA on your computer*.

*Chrome browser on a MAC does not support use of the JAVA applet required to access Collaborate webinars. BB Collaborate recommends using FireFox or Safari browsers on a MAC.

Free workshop February 19 – 20: Making Online Course Content Accessible

Do you want to make your online course content accessible?

Do you feel overwhelmed about where to even begin?

Shoreline Community College’s Faculty Learning Community (FLC) on Accessibility is offering a FREE hands-on workshop “Making Online Course Content Accessible” on February 19 and 20, 2015 at Dumas Bay, Federal Way, WA.  This workshop will assist participants on how to:

  • Make your syllabus and other documents accessible
  • Caption your video and audio content

Reserve your free spot now!  Free overnight accommodations are also available on a very limited basis.

Contact Amy Rovner @ or (206) 547-6937 to reserve your spot!

  • What:  Making Online Course Content Accessible” facilitated by Shoreline Community College FLC on Accessibility
  • When:  Thursday, February 19 and/or Friday, February 20, 2015 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (Daily)
  • Where:  Dumas Bay, Federal Way, WA


Data, Engagement & UDL – Main Topics of Faculty In-Service on Feb 21

CEAL is reminding everyone that Adjunct Faculty Day,  planned for Saturday, Feb 21 at Fort Steilacoom campus,  is fast approaching with a full day of professional development planned for faculty at Pierce College.

Registration for this event is open to all Pierce faculty, however only part-time/adjunct faculty are eligible for a stipend.

Follow this link to register

Session Information

Morning activities begin at 9:00 am with presentations and discussions centered around student engagement and student data at Pierce College. Pierce College Director of IR, Erik Gimness, Research Associate, Carly Haddon,  and Director of Educational Outcomes and Effectiveness, Allison Sieving will be on hand in morning sessions to facilitate discussions and activities that will specifically be looking at Student Engagement data and Course Completion data. They will also be demonstrating use of our new Tableau dashboards, tools designed to help faculty filter student data and identify opportunities for growth/improvement. Other topics include discussions around constructs of engagement, the relationship of engagement as a concept to our work as practitioners, and opportunities for inquiry and research.

Candyce Rennegarbe

Candyce Rennegarbe will present on UDL framework & strategies for student engagement and success.

In the afternoon, CEAL is excited to have Candyce Rennegarbe who will lead discussion and activities on the topic of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Universal Design for Learning is a proven framework that can be utilized across all programs and courses – even across institutions.  UDL is good teaching and happens both in the upfront design of courses and in the engaging opportunities of active learning classes.

Candyce will introduce the brain based UDL framework and provide examples, resources, and take-away strategies on UDL that have been successfully applied at a post secondary level to:  increase teaching effectiveness, improve student outcomes, and meet the needs of diverse learners.  Her goal is to make this an interactive afternoon where good teaching ideas are shared.

More About Candyce and Universal Design

For the past six years Candyce coordinated a campus wide UDL Project at Tacoma Community College where she worked with over 100 faculty members from all disciplines, as well as the Board of Trustees and Student Services. She recently retired from her TCC teaching position as a full time faculty member in the Transitional Studies Program teaching reading and English and Adult Basic Education.  Throughout her 18 years at TCC, she facilitated trainings in Washington state and nationally on UDL, learning disabilities, testing, brain based learning, and establishing a system for at risk learners to become more successful.

Check out these links to related UDL videos highlighting work Candyce was involved  in at TCC.

Title:  Christie Fierro    UDL and Communication Class

This five-minute video illustrates Ms. Fierro applying UDL strategies with her TCC Communication’s Class

Title:  Universal Design for Learning – TCC

This five-minute video features students from TCC’s UDL Project in Year 2 talking about their success with UDL





Register for Winter 2015 Adjunct Faculty Day

teach learnJoin the Center for Engagement and Learning and your fellow Pierce colleagues for a day of teaching and learning at the Winter Adjunct Faculty Day.  This event will be held on Saturday, February 21, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom.  Coffee and a catered lunch will be provided.  All adjunct faculty members will be compensated $100 for participation in the entire day of training and for successful completion of a reflection form regarding the event.  This required reflection form will be made available to you electronically following the training.

Register for Winter 2015 Adjunct Faculty Day here.  Registration will close on February 13, 2015 to allow us for an accurate count of catering and workshop materials.

Questions?  Contact CEAL at

Register for COLLG 110 Training – Saturday, January 31

PC-CEAL-logo-stacked-2clrWould you like to join the College Success experience? There will be a one-day training and orientation session on Saturday, January 31, 9 am-4 pm at Pierce College Fort SteilacoomCoffee, a light breakfast, and lunch will be provided.

Faculty who attend this professional development opportunity will explore the curriculum for College 110, examine effective pedagogical approaches used in the course, and have an opportunity to network with current COLLG 110 instructors.  If you are interested in or considering teaching COLLG 110 and have not yet participated in a training session, here is your opportunity to get started.  Successful completion of the training enters you into the pool of College 110 instructors.*  

*Being in the COLLG 110 instructor pool does not guarantee you will be assigned to teach a section; section assignments are made by the coordinators of the Reading and College Success Department in consultation with the Dean of Transitional Education.

Click here to register online!  There is a cap of 25 participants.

If you have questions about this training, please contact Amber Baillon (


Register now – ATL Winter College Readiness Retreat

atlRegister now for the ATL Winter College Readiness Retreat on February 12 – 13, 2015 at the Rainbow Lodge in North Bend, WA.  The focus will be “Exploring the Full Spectrum of Student Voice in Washington State – Expression, Consultation, Participation, Activism, and Leadership.”  Educators and students with an interest in joining the state-wide community of practice around the concept/principle of Voice are encouraged to attend.  This will be a great opportunity to share and interact with other colleagues and students from across Washington State.

ATL Winter College Readiness Retreat

“Exploring the Full Spectrum of Student Voice in Washington State”

When:  February 12-13, 2015

Where:  Rainbow Lodge, North Bend, WA

Cost:  Registration fee is $90 for educators and $65 for students.

What:  A two-day retreat focused around the concept/principle of Voice.  At its core, Voice is the practice of active listening.  When students are invited and supported as stakeholders in their education, it leads to sustained engagement in academics and enhanced achievement.  For more information on Voice, check out this video:

Watch Washington State CTC students and faculty “Practicing Voice”


Questions regarding the event: Jennifer Whetham, 360-704-4354

Questions regarding registration: Jackie Eppler-Clark, 360-704-4351

Check out the Assessment, Teaching, and Learning website here.