Recent (and not so) Writing

Recent (and not so) Writing

A few of the titles and dates plus excerpts follow

Transitioning from on campus to online

by Janene McMahan | Jul 26, 2021

Your use of Canvas can help you translate your face-to-face course into an enjoyable online experience for you and your students. Here are a few steps to get you started, including how to build a template to use for each week or module and how to add your lectures right inside the editor.

How to inspire success through student interaction

by Janene McMahan | Jun 28, 2021

Get ready to inspire someone to do their personal best this semester. This Teaching Tip includes ideas for increasing interaction in your course. Start with one thing and be consistent. Your choices will impact student learning and achievement. Before the semester,…

Introducing the online course evaluation rubric

by Janene McMahan | Jun 1, 2021

The Online Course Evaluation Rubric serves as a framework for making notes on and progress toward preparing your course for next semester. Several instructional designers worked together gathering important course elements into categories with evaluative statements to jumpstart your review.

My course content is in Canvas. Now what?

by Janene McMahan | May 17, 2021

Blackboard courses are currently being migrated to Canvas to help make the transition easier for faculty. Once there, courses will be ready to teach with some lightweight cleanup.

Blackboard improvements within Grade Center

by Janene McMahan | Jan 20, 2021

This tip continues to explain new features available to instructors after the Blackboard upgrade that happened over winter break.

Adapting to recent changes in Blackboard

by Janene McMahan | Jan 12, 2021

Blackboard was upgraded last month to provide users with better performance and reliability. Here are tips and solutions to help you adapt to the changes.

Three ways to make your course more accessible

by Janene McMahan | Oct 20, 2020

Everyone’s pinched for time and we need real solutions that are quick to implement with regard to accessibility. This tip provides a look at three areas you can improve in your course using simple ideas that are easy to execute.

Address uncertainty in your syllabus

by Janene McMahan | Jul 9, 2020

Recommended strategies and language to include in your syllabus to help address the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, try surveying students about their current routines and internet access.

One perspective on Quality Matters course certifications

by Janene McMahan | Feb 24, 2020

UAF adopted Quality Matters as a framework for continuous improvement of online and blended courses four years ago. Gary Copus, professor emeritus, shares highlights, benefits and challenges of certifying three UAF Justice courses.

Quick communication with students

by Janene McMahan | Oct 6, 2019

A few ideas on how to easily increase your communication with students while possibly reducing your time performing course management.

Invite students to publish

by Janene McMahan | Jun 10, 2019

Are you interested in encouraging your students to create work to share with others? Adding your voice to the domain knowledge–which shapes our education–is a strong motivator. As teachers, writers, designers, and artists we long to create and share.  What…

Adding Custom Questions in Blue Evaluations (#facdev)

by Janene McMahan | Mar 19, 2019

View the slides to see a bit about the Blue Evaluation form process.

Tackle Grackle to make accessible materials

by Janene McMahan | Feb 17, 2019

Course materials need to be accessible. The Grackle add-ons assist you with making your materials more accessible even if you’re not a standard Google apps user.

Rebuilding your course

by Janene McMahan | Jan 6, 2019

As faculty, at some point you’ll have to rebuild and refresh your existing course or rebuild and rebrand one you inherit. If you’ve found yourself in this situation for the upcoming semester, read on. I’m right there with you and these are the steps I’ve taken:

Our journey with Quality Matters

by Janene McMahan | Nov 27, 2018

UAF’s Master of Education in Special Education program became the first online special education program in the nation to earn the Quality Matters’ Online Program Design Certification. Here’s how they did it and how you can earn Quality Matters certifications for your course or program.

Three ways to set up your course more efficiently

by Janene McMahan | May 30, 2018

Teaching online since 2011, Janene McMahan has learned some things along the way. In this tip she shares three ideas for making the best use of your time: set expectations, set up your workspace for good flow, and prep a layout once then replicate it.

Make your Google Docs accessible

by Janene McMahan | Sep 17, 2018

If you use Google Docs in your online course or share them electronically with your face-to-face students make sure they are readable. Some students use a screen reader to assist them. Here are three tips with the needed steps to make your Google Docs more usable.

Clean up and refresh your course today

by Janene McMahan | Aug 28, 2018

Welcome to the fall semester. Here are quick tips to clean up your course today. There is one amazing “Wow’ item for Blackboard and a few very clear steps on cleaning up your WordPress shell. Feel free to stop into UAF eCampus during Open Lab to learn more.

Calendars and Schedules

by Janene McMahan | Apr 17, 2018

Pedagogy Resources The eCampus collection dedicated to thoughtful teaching practice All Pedagogy TopicsReference Glossary Calendars & Schedules Helping students stay on track  What are Calendars & Schedules? Sometimes the terms “course calendar”…

New Box View replaces Crocodoc for inline grading

by Janene McMahan | Jan 21, 2018

As of this month when your students turn in programming code and graphics inside of Blackboard you can use the New Box View inline grading tool to view the code and add comments to the images. If you previously used Crocodoc to quickly view spreadsheets or papers inside of the Blackboard Grade Center, you’ll find the expanded list of supported file types a breath of fresh air!

Students communicate strategies and pitfalls

by Janene McMahan | Dec 14, 2017

During National Distance Learning Week UAF eCampus conversed with students via Facebook. Here’s a light read on student strategies to stay on task as well as a few shared challenges we all face. Read on; it might spark a small change to make in your course as a result.

Use video to capture students’ attention

by Janene McMahan | Oct 6, 2015

Engage your students via voice over visuals. You can do it with tools you already have. Sure, you can make a video and incorporate it, but if you’re not quite ready, don’t despair. Put your voice into your course today. Use Keynote (or PowerPoint) and Quicktime to bring your materials to life.

Free graphics

by Janene McMahan | Apr 28, 2015

There are at least two great ways to search for images you can use in your course materials (or homework):
-Google Images search
-Website repositories of graphics labeled for commercial or non-commercial reuse

Joanne Healy’s Grant Submission Adventure

by Janene McMahan | Feb 9, 2015

Joanne Healy, while pursuing her CITE project goals, wrote two grant submissions in the last two months. She notes, “It’s important for new teachers to shift their pedagogy to a more collaborative approach based on continuous improvement of learning with 21st-century mobile devices.” Her proposal work parallels and supports recent SOE initiatives. While Joanne hopes […]

Promote your course

by Janene McMahan | Aug 26, 2014

Is your department counting on you to bring new students into the discipline? Are your class sizes smaller than you’d like? Often times being listed on the course schedule isn’t enough. Here are some ideas to increase enrollment and visibility of your class.


by Janene McMahan | Jan 13, 2014

Whether you teach face-to-face or online, consider using a WordPress site for all or most of your course content. UAF eCampus supports a multisite WordPress installation at

Incremental change

by Janene McMahan | Nov 18, 2013

Get ready for next semester now. This teaching tip helps you think about how to make the needed changes while enjoying the process. Whether face-to-face or online, all classes need routine care.