We are the Program for Online Teaching, a group of volunteer faculty helping other faculty teach better online.

Our focus is on pedagogy as the guiding force for using technologies for teaching.

Many of us are from MiraCosta College in Oceanside, California. MiraCostans may access the Teaching/Technology Innovations Center for technical help, resources, news and more.

The POT Network

  • POT Diigo group
    (see tutorial on how to save bookmarks)
  • POT Facebook group
  • POT Vimeo Channel (workshops)
  • POT YouTube Channel
  • Twittter (please use hashtag #potcomm)

POT News Flash for May 2015
POT News Flash for May 2015 avatar

As you may already know, the Program for Online Teaching is spending this semester blogging at Pedagogy First, POT’s new blog. We have lined up guest authors to post their experiences and recommendations, and during April have focused especially on cool tools, with Rachèle DeMéo, Jordan Molina, Silvia Vazquez Paramio and Bethanie Perry sharing how to select the best tools for online teaching.

In May our bloggers plan to look at MOOCs and other elements of online ecology, “best practices”, online education today, and more. May will feature international guest authors and posts emphasizing research in the field.

Enjoy at http://mccpot.org/wp.​ Feel free to comment!

Happy online, hybrid and technology-enhanced teaching,


Program for Online Teaching News Flash: April 2015
Program for Online Teaching News Flash: April 2015 avatar

Hello faculty,
This semester, the Program for Online Teaching website​ has become the Pedagogy First! blog. We are publishing some of the best in online teaching advice, examples, and analysis.

We have invited faculty and innovators from MiraCosta and other colleges to write blog posts on such topics as preparing and gathering materials, cool tools, and the state of online education today.

For March, we have articles by Joanne Carrubba on starting to teach online, Jill Malone on online assessment strategies, and Bethanie Perry and Todd Conaway on instructor presence in online classes. More is on the way. Take a look and enjoy at http://mccpot.org/wp.
Happy online, hybrid and technology-enhanced teaching,


POT Newsletter #51 (January 2014)
POT Newsletter #51 (January 2014) avatar

POT Spring Flex Workshops

We are pleased to announce the following workshops for Spring Flex Week:

Monday, Jan 6 12-1:20 pm: “The Learning Curve in Teaching Online” (Rachèle DeMéo) OC 4802 

This workshop will unfold what to expect and not to expect from teaching online. It will discuss mistakes that can be avoided as a new instructor, communicating with students and realistically what to expect workload-wise. The workshop will also provide attendees with useful resources for teaching online and tips for preparing and organizing an online class. 

Monday, Jan 6  2-3:20 pm: “Structuring your class for deep learning” (Laura Paciorek and Louisa Moon) OC 4802 

Get your students thinking deeply through creative activities in online classes.  At this workshop, you will hear some ideas and also have some time to develop your own strategies for encouraging deep thinking in your classes.  This workshop is suitable for online educators at all levels of experience who are interested in improving instruction.

Wednesday, Jan 8 – 11:00-11:50 am “EXPLORE: Educators eXamining Professional Learning Online Resources & Experiences” (Jim Julius and Lisa M Lane ) OC4802

The array of learning resources and experiences designed for educators interested in online, hybrid, and web-enhanced teaching can be overwhelming! During this workshop, facilitators from the Program for Online Teaching and MiraCosta Online Education will provide a thoughtful overview of the many online and in-person opportunities available to you locally and online. Hear about POT’s Certificate program as well as informal First Friday discussions and all the great resources on the POT website. Review the online Blackboard tutorials and workshops from Online Education, and provide input into the design of new professional development for MiraCostans. We’ll also take a look at external online resources ranging from lengthy, more formal courses to great free sources for webinars, email updates, and online resources. We’ll discuss using social networking tools such as Facebook and Twitter to build personal learning networks that can provide you with a personal filter of the latest and greatest resources, research, and advice for effective and creative online teaching. Finally, we’ll review how these various options fit within Flex.

Wednesday, Jan 8  1:30 pm-2:50 pm: “Collaborative Work Using Google”  (Robert Kelley, Laura Paciorek and  Jim Julius)  OC4804

Discover new opportunities for collaboration (e.g., in your onsite, hybrid, and online courses) and making your life simpler, using Google Docs and Sites.  We’ll cover activities for building community, the benefits of using Google Docs for posting assignments and grading rubrics (that can be updated ‘live’ and posted in more than one place), getting student input via surveys (e.g., to fuel a subsequent class discussion), and you’ll have plenty of time for guided hands on activities – to see for yourself – how easy it is to use Google Docs to share ideas and collaborate on projects (e.g., editing a shared document, presentation, spreadsheet, or site).  By the end of the workshop, you’ll have several ideas for making your classes run smoother and with greater collaboration opportunities, plus the “know how” to make it happen.

Thursday, Jan 9 – 7-7:50 pm  ”The Magic of Video Clips – tips and tricks for YouTube” (Lisa M. Lane & Todd Conaway) Online

In this online session in Collaborate, we’ll focus on YouTube and how to work with it for both online and on-site classes. YouTube has a wealth of video materials of varying quality, and to fit our pedagogy adaptations are frequently needed. Done well, video clips can enhance the learning experience in line with text and other instructional methods. Tips and tricks will include downloading videos for future use, setting start and end times, creating playlists, forcing high definition, uploading fair use clips, watching videos online with your students, and embedding effectively.  

Sign up for flex at http://www.miracosta.edu/flex

Student Online Orientations

Student Services sessions to help online students, on campus.

Student Orientation to Online Learning 
Jim Julius & Laura Paciorek

Tuesday January 14, 2 – 3 pm OC 1201

Wednesday January 15, 2 – 3 pm SAN 107

Thursday January 16, 2:45 – 3:45 pm OC 1201

Tuesday January 21, 12 – 1 pm SAN 107

Thursday January 23,  2:45 – 3:45 pm OC 1201

Wednesday January 29,  12 – 1 pm OC 1201

POT Certificate Class: Online Education

The Online Education semester, focusing on multimedia and educational theory, begins on February 1. This free professional development class should be of special interest to those already teaching online, though beginners are also welcome if they are ready to set up their own blog to post work. And it’s taught by our own volunteer POT faculty.

Please see http://bit.ly/potcert13 for more information and to register.

New for flex credit: POT Reading List!

You may already know you can earn flex hours for viewing POT videos, but now we’ve added the POT Reading List.

The rules are the same: you must do your reading on your own time and post a reflection. See the Get Flex Credit page for details.

A Couple of Cool MOOCs

In addition to the POT Certificate Class, there are two open, online classes of interest to online instructors this semester. “MOOC” stands for Massive Open Online Class.

Deeper Learning MOOC

A free, flexible, nine-week online course that will allow K-16 educators to learn about how deeper learning can be put into practice.

Rhizomatic Learning

Based on the idea that “the community is the curriculum”, a conversation about learning theory with Dave Cormier.

Happy online, hybrid and technology-enhanced teaching,



POT Newsletter #50 (November 2013)
POT Newsletter #50 (November 2013) avatar

It’s our 50th newsletter!

What workshops would you like?

The Program for Online Teaching offers on-campus workshops (during flex week and the regular semester) on the pedagogy of teaching online and using educational technologies in the classroom.

We’ve got a quick little text box at the POT website (http://mccpot.org/wp) – please let us know what workshops you would like us to offer in Spring.

Getting flex credit for POT

Did you know that you can get flex hours for most things related to POT? Most are pre-approved as Category II activities, such as participation in the POT Cert Class. We also have Category I workshops and Cateogories II and III activities. Keep reading for more!

Moodle workshop Friday, December 13 at 2:00

Moodle is the MiraCosta-sponsored alternative to Blackboard. Based on a social constructivist pedagogy, Moodle offers an “opt-in” system, where you add what features you want to your class. Support is provided by an outside vendor to which MiraCosta subscribes. All the tools are there: assignments, gradebook, embedded media, linking out to other stuff. Moodle is laid out more like a syllabus, week by week, and many faculty find it easier to use. Both the Moodle-curious and experienced Moodlers are invited to this workshop.

Sign up at flex (http://www.miracosta.edu/flex) after December 1.

Online Education: POT Certificate Class (Spring Semester) starts February 1.

The POT Certificate Class’ first semester (Online Pedagogy) is winding down at the class website (http://bit.ly/potcert13).

The second semester, which can be taken separately for an Online Education badge, is free, faculty-taught, and focuses on online media tools, networked educating, and online educational theory. While it’s not the “how to teach online” semester, the Online Education section provides 12 weeks of guided readings and viewings, plus a great but smaller-sized community of educators from MiraCosta and other colleges around the world. We start February 1.

A textbook is required but we have copies of it in the PDP office, and an e-text of it at the library’s website.

As a MiraCosta College faculty member, you may claim flex credit for the reading, creating and blogging involved in the class. The POT Cert Class is a pre-approved Category II activity. Participants and certificate students may claim credit at the end of the year by putting the URL of their blog in the “Location” field on the Category II form at http://www. miracosta.edu/flex, and uploading a pdf or screenshot of the main page of their blog. Both full-time and associate faculty are welcome in this program. At 4-5 hours per week, possible participation may total a large portion of the flex contract for full-time faculty.

Come by the website at http://bit.ly/potcert13 and, if it looks interesting to you, just fill out the blue link: Register for Spring.

Tech we’re playing with (free, of course)

Plotagon – this is a downloadable free program for making animated videos using text-to-speech. Select your avatars and location, and type in the conversation. The program converts the text to speech, and the avatars can talk to each other using selected “moods” (happy, angry, serious, etc.). https://plotagon.com/.

Present.me – this online service allows you to have a presentation with one side of the screen showing a video of your talking, and the other showing your slides. https://present.me/

Togethertube is a way to watch Youtube videos with a group. No need for registration or login and everyone can text chat during the movie.

New at the POT website

Mike Bogle’s excellent Moodle 2 video tutorials

Moodle tools guide (organized according to teaching use)

Newly recommended videos at YouTube

Creating a custom map with Google Maps (http://mccpot.org/wp/2013/11/creating-a-custom-map-with-google-maps/)

Giving students audio comments in Google Docs (by Jennifer Roberts) http://youtu.be/Llv1Nh4Om0c

Tip of the Newsletter: Showing a clip from a YouTube video

When you choose Share -> Embed on a YouTube video to show to your students a video inside Blackboard or Moodle, YouTube give you code that looks like this:

 <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/vhAH53HZhxI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

But what if you want to show just a portion of that video? If you want to show just an excerpt, you can use a service like Splicd, where you enter the YouTube video’s URL and the start and stop times and it gives you the code. It looks like this:

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/vhAH53HZhxI&start=60&end=120"></param>
<param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param>
<embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/vhAH53HZhxI&start=60&end=120" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed>
<div style="text-align: right; margin-top: 3px; width: 425px; height: 344px;">
<a href="http://splicd.com" style="color: rgb(85, 85, 85); font-size: 13px; text-decoration: none; font-family: Helvetica,sans-serif;">powered by <span style="color: rgb(200, 91, 0);">Splicd.com</span></a></div>

What is Splicd doing?

First, it’s taking credit in its own URL. 🙂 But it’s also adding the start and end times:


You can do this yourself. Just add these to YouTube’s simpler code:

 <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/vhAH53HZhxI&start=60&end=120" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

POT will be offering a workshop about YouTube in spring – stay tuned!

Help wanted!

POT is seeking volunteers to facilitate cool workshops, help teach the POT Cert class, assist with the website, and undertake other (flex-eligible) tasks. Have you been teaching online for a year or more, and are willing to share what you do with others? Do you have experience with an unusual tool or technique? Or maybe you just have a little time to comment on other people’s posts in the POT Cert class as they work their way through?  Contact Lisa and volunteer for Spring!

Happy online, hybrid, and technology-enhanced teaching,




POT Newsletter #49 (August 2013)
POT Newsletter #49 (August 2013) avatar

Fall Flex 2013 is Monday, August 12

Creativity in Online Teaching series

Monday, August 12 10:00 am – 2:00 pm +
Location: OC4802

What’s the best approach to the challenges of online teaching? Creativity! POT’s fall flex workshop day will focus on the enthusiasm, tip, tools, and generative process of building online components for student learning. As always, POT’s focus is on realizing your teaching goals through technology, rather than letting the technology control what you do.

Cost $15/participant for all day, $10 if bringing own lunch, $5 donation requested for single workshop (make checks payable to MCC Academic Senate with POT Workshop in the subject line).

10:00-10:50 Creativity When Starting Out

How can you be creative about building your online class? Faced with a bunch of Blackboard buttons or a blank screen, it’s hard to focus on your own teaching strengths and design a good learning experience for students. We’ll share a process and some tips for getting started.

11-11:50 Creativity in Presentation and Discussion

Great lecturers and facilitators can take advantage of the web’s many resources and tools to create engaging presentations and discussions for their classes. We’ll share tool-choosing tips and ways to help make decisions based on your own teaching strengths.

12:00-12:50 Creativity in Online Teaching lunch with seminar

Come join us for a lunch a lively roundtable based on your requests for topics (add them at http://bit.ly/potcreativity).

1:00-1:50 Creativity in Interactivity and Student-Led Projects

Creative classes use individual and group shared projects, media creation, and projects led by the students themselves. Come discuss the many options for featuring more active learning in your online class.

Additional workshop: 2-3:30 Screencasting, OC4804

Don’t just tell your online students – show them! Screencasting is a great way to share mini-lecturettes, make quick replies to students, demonstrate a method, or provide students with feedback on their assignments/quizzes. Importantly, you’ll get hands on experience with how to do this easily and for free! We’ll focus on learning the basics of Screencast-O-Matic. You’ll learn how to share your screencasts either as a URL link or how to embed the video directly within your course (e.g. using Bb or Moodle).

Sign up at the flex website.

POT Online Teaching Certificate Class starts September 1

The POT Cert class returns for its fourth year, helping faculty from everywhere to learn how to teach effectively in the online environment. The class features…

  • a focus on pedagogy, with technology at the service of teaching
  • an opportunity to be an online student
  • experimentation with the latest online tools and techniques
  • a creative teaching and learning environment
  • participation in a community with participants from all over the world
  • participant documentation and reflection
  • maximum flex hours

For more information, see the class website at http://pedagogyfirst.org/wppf13. To join the class, email Lisa.

Two POT workshops/discussions in Fall

Friday, Sept 13 2-3:20pm Student engagement online, Room TBA at Oceanside

This time of the semester, some students are starting to fade from our online sections. Despite the traditionally higher drop rate for online classes, there are ways to help those who are losing interest, getting lost, or just “forgetting” to attend. Come discuss what factors can help keep students engaged in online classes. Please bring your own ideas for discussion – successes, challenges, and things you’re trying.
Friday, Oct 11 2-3:20 pm Skills and tools for online instructors, Room TBA at Oceanside
At this workshop, we’ll demo some free internet tools that can be used for online classes, and talk about ways in which we can learn new skills through networking. Because we’ll have a hands-on component, registration is limited to 24. Please also bring  your own ideas for tools you’re using or would like to use.

Moodle 2: Best Online Class!

@ONE’s Joan van Duzer teaches the best Moodle 2 class around October 14-November 18. See http://www.onefortraining.org/node/669 for more information. Fee is $65.

Web app of the month

Educlipper is a new, free web 2.0 application that, like Pinterest, allows you to clip from the web (or your own files, images, and pdfs) to create online boards in various subjects. Image resolution is excellent, and the community is focused on education rather than hobbies.

Happy online, hybrid and technology-enhanced teaching,