Ally for Clark College

Clark College has a new, appropriately named, Ally.  Ally is a Canvas-integrated content accessibility tool designed to save faculty time by harnessing technology to assist with creating accessible content, while helping students get the accommodations they need faster.  It might also be useful in supporting the Universal Design concept, where students could use the Ally provided alternative formats that best match their learning style.

After a successful pilot and SBCTC RFP process, Clark College purchased a license for Ally.  Note that Ally (recently purchased by Blackboard) is a very young one-of-a-kind product that is undergoing rapid development, so we should expect to see continuing improvement of its features and capabilities.  For a quick look at Ally, view this company produced video:

If you are a Clark College faculty member, click here to learn how you and your students can use Ally in your Canvas courses.

It’s Coming! A New Canvas Interface

Canvas, Clark College’s Learning Management System (LMS), will have a new look and updated functions. Updated functions will differ depending on your access (faculty or student).  Please look for emails specific to your access level in the near future.

What’s new?

Login Page

  • The background image for the Clark Canvas login page will change.
  • Your login credentials (username and password) will remain the same.

Global Navigation

  • Global Navigation has moved from the top of the screen to the left-hand side.
  • “Logout” is now accessed via the Account icon.  Click on your avatar photo to access your account settings and logout.


  • Default login page replaces Activity Stream (list of announcements, discussion posts) with a grid of multi-colored course “cards”.
  • Ability to toggle between Course Cards and Activity Stream.
  • The Grades link has been moved from the Global Navigation to the right side-bar on the Dashboard.

Responsive Design

  • This change will make Canvas easier to use on a wide range of screen sizes.
  • When the width of a browser window is reduced, the left-hand course navigation will collapse in a pop-out menu (a square icon of three horizontal lines: responsive).

Watch this video to learn more about the changes.  Learn more @

You will begin seeing the new Canvas interface on Wednesday, June 22.

Washington’s Annual Canvas Conference


This year’s WACC 2016 (Washington’s Annual Canvas Conference) is focused on Pathways to Success, OER (Open Educational Resources), Accessibility, and Universal design. During this event you’ll be able to attend dozens of presentations and other opportunities to connect with colleagues.

  • Website:
  • Dates: March 24 (Thursday, 8:30a – 4:00p) and March 25 (Friday 8:30a – 4:15p), 2016
  • Location: Tacoma Community College (TCC)

Tickets are purchased through an online web app on our conference website Your ticket covers conference presentations, a continental breakfast and a buffet lunch, each day.

The WACC (Washington’s Annual Canvas Conference) is brought to you by your Washington State Board Community Technical College (SBCTC) eLearning Council (ELC)

Course eValuations

EvaluationKITThis academic year, Clark College has adopted a new strategy to make our course evaluation process more affordable and efficient by moving to a fully online solution using a product called EvaluationKIT.  eLearning has been successfully using EvaluationKIT to evaluate strictly online courses for over seven years, so this is an expansion of our use of this product to include all course types from face-to-face or web-enhanced to hybrid and online.  Unit Operations Supervisors will be setting up and managing these projects with assistance and technical support provided by eLearning Systems staff.  TechHub and eLearning Systems staff will also provide technical support for students, instructors, and administrative staff as needed.

One week prior to the survey release, those instructors with a course in an EvaluationKIT project will receive an email announcement indicating which course(s) will be evaluated.  When the project begins, students will receive email invitations with directions to participate in the confidential and anonymous course evaluation in EvaluationKIT.  The survey will be available to students between the dates specified in the announcement.  EvaluationKIT is fully integrated with our Canvas LMS, so if you are using Canvas for your courses, students can easily access the survey when they access the course.  The use of Canvas is not required, however, it does provide additional (single sign-on) access for your students and instructor access to the response rate tracker and reports from finalized projects.

If you are using Canvas, a Course Evaluation link will automatically appear for students in the left navigation sidebar of the course.  Students who have not yet completed the survey will experience pop-up reminder links whenever they access your published course.

If you are not using Canvas for your course(s), students will still receive email invitations and reminders with a link to access the survey.  If they prefer, they can also access the survey from their profile in Canvas.  The directions for students to access the survey are in this post on Smart Penguin.  For those students with Smart Phones, a free EvaluationKIT mobile app is available for iPhone and Android, which allows students to easily submit their evaluations using a unique mobile token that will be included in their initial email invitation.

Note:  Should you have special instructions for your students to follow for participating in the evaluation, such as completing the evaluation in a computer lab as a group, please share them with your students in advance.

Click here to learn how to check your response rate during the survey.  Instructors can also utilize the free EvaluationKIT mobile app to access a response rate tracker.  Your personal mobile token and the links to download the free app will be included in the announcement email.

One week after all grades are posted, you will receive an email with directions and a link to access your results.  Only those people who generally have access to student course evaluations will have access to these results.

Contact your Unit Operations Supervisor for any course corrections.  If you experience any technical difficulties with the course evaluations,  contact the eLearning Systems team right away, or file a Tech Ticket by clicking Help and Report a Problem on the Canvas site.  Please let us know if you have any questions.  We are very interested in your feedback and welcome your comments.

National Distance Learning Week

National Distance Learning Week logo


November 9 to 13, 2015 is National Distance Learning Week!

Did you know?

Over 2 million undergraduate and graduate students took at least some eLearning courses in 2013 (Trends in eLearning: Tracking the Impact of eLearning at Community Colleges 10th Anniversary Edition April 2015, Instructional Technology Council). Between 2013 and 2014 national eLearning enrollments grew over 4%, while overall college enrollments declined nearly 3% during the same time frame.

 eLearning Excellence at Clark

At Clark we’ve added 5 more courses to our list of officially recognized Quality Matters courses, for a grand total of 42 Quality Matters eLearning courses. Join us in recognizing,

  • ART 145, Digital Photography I, developed by Jamie Marie Waelchli
  • COLL 101, College Essentials: Introduction to Clark, developed by Kristin Sherwood
  • ENGL&235, Technical Writing, developed by Tobias Peterson
  • HPE 266, Mind Body Health, developed by Laura Demeri
  • MATH 090, Elementary Algebra, developed by Jennifer S Ward

Learn more this week

The United States Distance Learning Association is hosting informative webinars throughout National Distance Education week, and they’re free. See the full schedule on their website. Note: all webinar times are Eastern Time Zone.