Welcome to the Second Annual March for Best Practices!

We invite all faculty at Yavapai to participate in this peaceful and profound march hoping to share the remarkable work we do in our classes! It is easy to participate and become a voice for the improvement of teaching in both online and face to face environments. The march runs from March 16th to the 27th. You can see our march by clicking on March for Best Practices in the site navigation above or by clicking here.

To become active in the march, all you need to do is create two short videos of one to three minutes and get them to the march. That means using your phone, a friends phone, Jing or Camtasia, or some screen recording software to capture the information you wish to share and get the video to YouTube or Todd Conaway.

If you are addressing an online best practice, please refer to one of the rubrics and make sure you share the rubric used and the item in it.

Here is a fine example from last year from marcher and fellow YC faculty Jason Whitesitt.

If you have any questions about your safety as a marcher, or technical concerns, please email todd.conaway@yc.edu

Fair Use Week


It is Fair Use Week here in the United States. The week is about celebrating, “the important doctrines of fair use in the United States and fair dealing in Canada and other jurisdictions.”

You can see some of the resources made available by fairuseweek.org here.

Below is the twitter stream for the #fairuseweek hashtag.

Online Course Visits

In a newsflash last semester, Dr. Wills mentioned the great experience she had popping into classrooms for impromtu visits, and seeing what really goes on in there. What about the ~30% of classes that are online, I wondered? I didn’t think anyone but the occasional dean might be “popping” into those…

**IDEA** = online course visits.

College president Penny Wills discusses online courses with Instructor Jason Whitesitt

A few weeks later, Instructor Jason Whitesitt and Dr. Wills sat down together for almost an hour looking at his Intro to Popular Culture class in Blackboard. I thought it was an appropriate taste of online learning when they were asked to download a plug-in before seeing some of the content. This is certainly part of the online experience, and once it was squared away, Dr. Wills enjoyed seeing the creative ways Jason uses media. They discussed a range of topics and learned much from the experience.

We are hoping that Dr. Wills will “pop in” to another online class this semester.


Congratulations Maricopa and Mohave Community Colleges!

OER_ProgressGraphicThe Maricopa Community Colleges and the Mohave Community College were both selected as finalists for the 2015 Bellwether Award given out this week in Florida.

The Maricopa schools are receiving the recognition for their work they are doing on the Maricopa Millions Project. The goal of the project is to save students 5 million dollars in textbook costs over a five year period. They are well on the way to reaching that goal and we congratulate the work they have done for students.

Perhaps here at Yavapai we might wonder how we can contribute to lowering textbook costs for our students. We have some teachers already using OER texts, but there is no institutional movement locking at the possibilities. Maybe it is time for us to do so?

The Mohave Community Colleges are being recognized for the work in decreasing student loan default rates. You can see a description of the project below.


Welcome Back!

We have a new version of Blackboard and we have lots of training videos if you need to know how to do something. For the most part the new version does all the same things the other version did. It looks a bit different, but for the most part it is the same. The videos are all in the navigation of the Webletter in the black bar to the upper right of this text. If you hover over “Blackboard Tutorials” you’ll see the videos are broken up into three sections on YouTube. Each section has  a number of useful videos. If you need assistance, please call the us here at TeLS!