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Easy Alignment, Preferred Placement: Adopting a Rubric Aligned Course through Canvas Commons

Coffee and a computer

Karen Oeh is an Adjunct Instructor of Anthropology at Porterville College and Cerro Coso College.  Karen started her teaching career at Foothill College in 2003, and then transitioned to online teaching in 2007.  Karen holds a B.A. Degree in Anthropology from San Jose State University and a M.A. Degree in Anthropology from CSU, Chico.  Her specific focus centers around Bioarchaeology and Forensic Osteology.  Karen uses her background as a volunteer Archaeologist with Alta Heritage Foundation to recover human cremains from wildfires.  When she is not teaching, Karen devotes her time to her farm in the Santa Cruz Mountains with 3 horses, 2 cats, and 25 chickens.

Online course alignment can be an intimidating process with numerous rubric criteria, timelines, and campus peer review.  Now, there is an easy way to have your course aligned to the CVC-OEI Rubric and rise above the rest with a Quality Reviewed badge in the CVC Exchange.  By the Summer of 2023, you will be able to adopt two Anthropology courses through Canvas Commons which will be aligned to the CVC-OEI Rubric and the Peralta Online Equity Rubric.  These include Introduction to Archaeology and Introduction to Biological Anthropology that utilize zero cost textbooks (ZTC).

In 2018, I got involved with updating my online courses following the guidelines established by the CVC-OEI Rubric.  I joined the @ONE Course Design Academy with the benefit of working with a Lead Reviewer and Instructional Designer to align my courses.  As the program expanded and changed to a local campus Peer Online Course Review (POCR) process, I continued my interest in quality course design and trained as a local POCR Reviewer for Porterville College. 

Another fortunate coincidence happened for me as an adjunct instructor at the College of Alameda.  Faculty from the Peralta Community College District were invited to complete a course called Online Equity Training.  In addition, I worked with a specialist to align Introduction to Archaeology and Prehistory to the Peralta Online Equity Rubric.  The reason I chose to participate in this professional development opportunity was to gain more knowledge about improving my courses for student success and engagement. I was also interested in taking advantage of opportunities to learn more about universal course design and content meaning.

The benefits of aligning courses to both the CVC-OEI Rubric and Peralta Online Equity Rubric are immeasurable.  It also makes the course more interesting for grading because assignments may be submitted as poems, artistic images, presentations, and blog articles.  Students can easily navigate the course material, read free textbooks, complete self-assessments, and submit assignments and activities that best fit their background and learning style.  The data I have collected through Student Learning Outcomes showcase this effort.                                                                     

Easy Alignment: Adopting a Course through Canvas Commons

Inside your Canvas course is the icon for Canvas Commons in the global navigation panel.  You can search by topic and subject to locate a variety of resources to import into your course.

Canvas Course with

In the Summer of 2023, faculty will be able to adopt and then redesign the two courses I will share through Canvas Commons.  For a step-by-step guide on how to use Canvas Commons, please visit this helpful article by Alex Burkeeva Canvas Commons: Ready-to-Use Instructor Resources. She shares: 

“Imagine a library of thousands of online courses that you can click through and even copy elements from that you would like to use in your own course. Canvas Commons is that library! It’s a repository of courses, pages, modules, or quizzes to name a few. Users share content that they created in Canvas Commons, and this content is free to import and use within your course. You can find new ideas for assignments, quizzes, page design, and so much more!”

Alex Burkeeva Canvas Commons: Ready-to-Use Instructor Resources

Anthropology courses may not be within your subject discipline, however, the assessments, activities, and projects can be replaced with your content, your closed-captioned videos, and your own voice.  The structure and format of this Open Education Resource (OER) provides a streamlined template.  Faculty can add their videos, personal banners and emojis, and share a Diversity Statement to humanize their course.

The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office describes the value of Open Education Resources, “Open educational resources give students more flexibility in learning, and research shows most students perform as well or better using open educational resource course materials compared with students using traditional textbooks”  (Open Education Resources).

Preferred Placement: Badging

As an Open Education Resource (OER), a course already aligned to the CVC-OEI Rubric streamlines badging through the local campus Peer Online Course Review (POCR) process.  A campus Peer Reviewer will evaluate the course making sure it aligns to the rubric criteria and meets accessibility requirements.  A Quality Reviewed badge for your CVC-OEI Rubric aligned course gives you preferred placement in the CVC Exchange, rising above other courses in the search (  This badge is a benefit to faculty who want to showcase their effort and commitment to high standards for ensuring student success.

Find the course

Student Success

Going beyond a badge.  By creating an equity-minded online course, students will feel included in the course environment with images, presentations, and course materials related to their own background. Students will feel a deeper connection with their instructor to reduce alienation and isolation which will improve retention rates and success (CCCCO, 2013).  By incorporating the Peralta Online Equity Rubric, students will have clear goals with resources that direct them to a campus “team” to assist with needs outside of the classroom.  Fostering a sense of belonging, reducing alienation, and including all types of learners will promote student success and retention.


As a member of the 2023 Cohort 2 of the Faculty Innovation & Leadership Investment Initiative (FILII), I am focused on providing two courses aligned to both the CVC-OEI Rubric and Peralta Equity Rubric for faculty from the Kern Community College District to adopt and redesign as a model for quality standards to ensure our students feel valued as well as persist and benefit from our online courses.

To learn more, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at  I would be happy to share my knowledge and provide more details about the Peralta Online Equity Rubric through a webinar, division meeting, or committee meeting.


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