On December 4, 2020, Napa Valley College (NVC) held its 3rd Annual Canvas half-day conference. Canvas Network is an open space for educators to share, experiment, analyze and create. This year, NVC partnered with Solano Community College, holding the conference virtually in response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and predominately closed campuses.
The program included a cross-discipline breakout session where faculty from both colleges had the opportunity to exchange innovative teaching ideas and best practices related to their respective disciplines and share how they apply them in the online classroom. As a result of the pandemic, faculty has had to become even more resourceful as they had to transition to teaching fully or mostly online right after both counties went into lockdown back in March of this year.
Vice Presidents of Academic Affairs Dr. Sara Parker (NVC) and Dr. David Williams (SCC) welcomed the 110 plus attendees across the two colleges in pre-recorded messages, while Senior Dean Maria Villagomez (NVC) gave a live welcome and introduction of the two college’s distance education teams.
Attendees, including faculty, staff and administrators, heard from Instructure’s (Canvas) representative, Kelly Nichols, who described new and upcoming features available in the online learning management system and took questions following the presentation.
Workshops included presentations on using Conferzoom in Canvas (the online management platform), Mastery Paths, Quizzes, Instructor/Student Dynamic contact, Canvas Studio and accessibility. With over 100 participants, the virtual conference presented a much-needed lively camaraderie of faculty eager to learn more about teaching.
As both colleges share a number of instructors and students, the two distance education departments intend to continue to find ways to collaborate moving forward.