Instructional Design Center
Fall 2019

Welcome to this semester’s edition of Teaching with Technology, a newsletter from the Instructional Design Center. Here you will find the latest technology-related news and resources at Ramapo College. This newsletter also features a profile on our first IDC faculty fellow, Professor Karl Johnson from the School of Humanities and Global Studies.

Canvas is Here!

Over the course of this academic year, Ramapo will be transitioning from Moodle to Canvas, a more dynamic, robust, and user-friendly Learning Management System (LMS). The move to Canvas is the result of several years of research and investigation by a number of groups on campus, including the Task Force for Online and Hybrid Learning, the LMS Task Force, and the Instructional Design Center. For this Fall semester, Canvas is available upon request as a “sandbox” account where you can build the content for your courses. (Students will not be able to access Canvas this semester.) Anything that you create in the sandbox can be imported to your courses when they go live. To request a sandbox account and view resources for getting started with Canvas, visit the IDC’s new Canvas webpage:

For Winter and Spring 2020, Canvas is highly recommended as the LMS; Canvas and Moodle will run simultaneously with faculty having the option to choose. For Summer 2020 and beyond, Canvas will be mandatory, and Moodle will no longer be available. Faculty will receive instructions for how to import their course content from Moodle to Canvas.

IDC will be offering extensive Canvas training this semester, including Faculty Development Day and Getting Started with Canvas workshops. We also recommend that you begin with learning Canvas through the following resources:

Instructor Video Tutorials

Instructor Guides

You can also drop into the IDC lab in ASB 223 from 8:30 am-4:30 pm for individual support. In addition, we are happy to announce that Professor Karl Johnson has been appointed as a faculty fellow for IDC this year. Read below about how Professor Johnson will work with faculty members to help design their Canvas courses.

Canvas workshops: October 23, October 31, November 14, December 5, December 10.

Meet Our New Faculty Fellow — Professor Karl Johnson

The IDC is pleased to announce our first faculty fellow, Professor Karl Johnson, who will be assisting faculty with the transition from Moodle to Canvas. Professor Johnson currently serves as the Chair and Co-Convener of the Africana Studies Group and Major. Along with his expertise in his scholarly field, Professor Johnson is well-versed in instructional technologies, including Canvas. Last year he pursued extensive professional training in the areas of Advanced Teaching Online, Designing Online Instruction, and Fostering Online Discussion. He also received training on Canvas, including a Course Creation workshop, which led to him teaching several U.S. History courses with Canvas.

Professor Johnson states: “My proposed plans as the IDC faculty fellow are to support Ramapo College’s Mission and Strategic plans, and integrate our online and hybrid course offerings in such a way that it can support the college’s long term viability by training all students, faculty, staff, and administrators to efficiently migrate and effectively use our new Canvas LMS.” 

Professor Johnson will pursue the following key goals in his tenure as the IDC Faculty Fellow. He plans to help:

  1. Successfully implement the new Canvas LMS at Ramapo College.
  2. Ensure that learning and training for the new LMS is both equitable and efficient for all the constituencies on campus.
  3. Demonstrate that teaching with the technology should mirror practical or real-world teaching and training situations/practices for online and hybrid courses. 
  4. Promote “buy in” that online and hybrid courses are here to stay and will be an important part of the long-term sustainability and viability of the College moving forward into the 21st century.
  5. Develop alongside faculty and administrators viable and competitive online course offerings for summer and winter sessions to prevent our students from pursuing other educational institutions nearby.

Related to Goal #5, Professor Johnson states: “I believe that we at Ramapo College have the best faculty and that we can do a much better job teaching our students for their entire credit load and college life.”

The IDC welcomes Professor Johnson to the team, and we look forward to working with him!

Faculty Development Day – October 23

Join us for Faculty Development, co-sponsored by the Instructional Design Center and the Faculty Resource Center, on Wednesday, October 23 from 1-4 p.m. in B-227 and B-228. To view workshop descriptions, click on the links below. We hope to see you there!


1 -2 p.m.

Option A: Custom Course Materials: How to Lower the Cost of Textbooks
Location: B-227

Option B: An Introduction to Canvas, our New Online Instructional System
Location: B-228

2 -3 p.m.

Option A: Brain-Based Techniques for Engaging Students during Class
Location: B-227

Option B: An Introduction to Canvas, our New Online Instructional System
Location: B-228

3 -4 p.m.

Option A: Open Educational Resources (OER): What’s It All About?
Location: B-227

Option B: Exploring Digital Humanities
Location: B-228

TechSmith Relay is Upgraded with New Features

TechSmith Relay is a video platform that allows you to easily record and share videos that capture your computer screen, along with audio narration, and optionally, your webcam. Relay can be used for recording class lectures, presentations, creating instructional videos, or introducing assignments for online and hybrid courses, as well as for snow days. The simplicity of this tool makes it easy to use. Copy the link to share your video on your course page, Website, or email. Advanced features include basic editing (trimming), viewer analytics, closed captioning for accessibility, adding quiz questions to your videos, and creating groups for sharing videos with other Ramapo users. The new version of Relay is now available to all faculty, staff and students. Login with your Ramapo username and password at to get started. If you need help installing Relay, contact the Help Desk at or 201-684-7777. For assistance learning to use Relay stop by the IDC in ASB-223.

Webex for Web Conferences

Webex is a new Web conferencing tool that is available at Ramapo. Features include video conferencing, text chat, content sharing, polling, recording of sessions and more. This is a great tool for online and hybrid courses, as well as for snow days and virtual meetings. All faculty, staff and students will soon have accounts using their Ramapo sign-on. If you can’t wait and want to use Webex now, contact the Help Desk to get an account at or 201-684-7777. Webex will replace Adobe Connect as the recommended Web conferencing tool on campus. Adobe Connect will be available through Winter 2021.

On-Campus Training Opportunities

Weekly Workshops – Be sure to check out all of the great workshops offered by IDC this semester. To view the workshop schedule and register, visit our training web site.

One-on-One SupportContact the IDC or drop into the lab (ASB-223) if you need personal support with Canvas, or any other instructional technologies.

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