Anthony Bolaños

Anthony Bolanos

I am very pleased to announce that our eCampus team is growing. Anthony Bolaños has joined us as our new Instructional Designer. With more than 6 years of experience, he’s obsessed with innovating new ways for simplifying the tasks of all the instructors and students.

Anthony is from Bakersfield, and he graduated from CSUB in 2015 with his degree in Computer Science/Information Systems. At CSUB, he started his employment as a student tutor for the computer science department. He then took on a job with the Faculty Teaching and Learning Center (FTLC) in January 2014. His first initial FTLC job was an Instructional Technologist position from January 2014 to November 2018. He was then promoted to Instructional Designer at CSUB starting November 2018.

Anthony has an amazing professional journey and innumerable accomplishments. He was a system administrator for their Learning Management Systems, Blackboard and the Canvas Pilot, that will be seen in production by Summer 2020. He was an admin for SharePoint, InfoReady, TechSmith Relay for lecture capture, and Turnitin. He made several audio podcasts recordings sessions of professors or students presenting their work at CSUB. He recorded Dr. Anthony Flores’ interview for the BBC in 2016. Anthony has recorded Dr. Kim Flachmann presenting several chapter introductions for her online book through Pearson Publishing.

He is a technophile and has a lot of interest in AR/VR development and Computer Programming. He also is a connoisseur of food and loves to talk about it. He also has one more exceptional talent; He is a drummer. He said, “If I wasn’t an Instructional Designer. I would have been a VR/AR developer or a touring drummer.”

The most liked thing about eCampus according to him is “Working with a great team of many talents, also meeting professors and helping them out with their courses”. At eCampus, he is currently working on ArcGIS workshops and assisting professors with migrating Vimeo videos to our Studio video server on Canvas.

When Anthony is not working, he travels with his wife Jodie and their miniature poodle Trini down to visit their son Isaac, a freshman at CSU Channel Islands. He also plays on different musical projects when asked and goes to live concerts and fine dining restaurants with his wife as much as they can.

On behalf of eCampus, SJSU, we would like to welcome Anthony. All of us here are excited to get to know him and work with him on upcoming projects.



Bolaños, Anthony. (2020, Feb 11). Interview type [email].

Zoom, Just got better!!!

Zoom just launched some really cool and much awaited features. Lets unbox the new Zoom.

Meeting/webinar features

The webinars will no longer need a search for a tidy/formal space to sit when attending a video conference as you can now set a virtual background. You can now attend your video conferences without thinking which background looks decent enough.

Image/Video as Virtual Background

Users can select an image/video as their virtual background. You might need to have a image available on your system or select one of the default options available. You can also have a video in your system for virtual background or use the default video available and use it for the meeting. Make sure the video is in mp4 or mov with a resolution of 360p-1080p.

To achieve the same, let’s create a new meeting on Zoom.


You will see some default images available for virtual background

Default Images for Virtual Background

You can select any of these

Default Image set as Virtual Background

Or you can add an image of your choice by adding it from your computer. Click on the Plus(+) icon and then click on add image

Add Image from PC

Select an image from your PC and click on Open

Uploaded Image

Now when we check the virtual background it should be set as the image we selected


Lets check how we can set a video as virtual background

We do have some default video options present

Default Video Options

Select any of these to see a video virtual background

Default virtual video background applied

Want a video of your choice to be on the virtual background , select a video that you want as the virtual background from your computer.Add video

Select from computer

Add Video from PC

Select the video you added

Select Video from System

Add or edit profile picture during a meeting.

Users logged into their Zoom account can now add or edit their profile picture during a meeting. If they are not logged in, users will be prompted to login or sign up with Zoom and can subsequently change their profile picture from their Zoom web portal.


  1. Make sure you login to Zoom.
  2. Go to the meeting you want to join. When your camera is turned off, the participants in the meeting can see your profile picture. You can change it if you want to even during the meeting.Profile Picture Visibility
  3. Go to the home screen of zoom application. Click on setting button below the profile picture on the top right corner




4. Go to Profile tabProfile Settings

5. Click on the profile picture and a new window should open up. You can edit your current profile picture from this window or change the picture for a new one.

Edit Profile Picture Screen

Change Picture–> Select a new profile picture from your PC and click open.

New Picture from PC

New profile picture

Click on save and you should be able to see your new profile picture in the meeting tab

New Profile pic on meeting


Meeting features

Skin tones for meeting reactions.

Users can now set a skin tone for their meeting reactions.

Go to Settings –> General –> Select the Reaction skin tone


You can send reactions when on the meeting from the reaction icon in the bottom panel of the meeting

Chat features

Format text in chat messages:

Users can now format their chat messages with bold, italics, strike-through and bullet points.

Start a chat by clicking on the chat icon on the home screen of zoom application

Chat Screen

You can format your text as below. Highlight the text and you should see some options above








Bullet Points

Bullet Points


Reply with an image, file, voice message, or code snippet:

Users can now reply with an image, file, voice message, or code snippet, in addition to text and emoji replies.You will see a reply option right next to every message. When you click on it a reply text bar comes up

Reply with Image

You can reply with a screenshot or an image that is available on your google drive or your system.

Reply Bar Options

Select the portion you want to screenshot and click Capture to insert it in the chat


Reply with File

You can reply with a file that is available on your google drive or your system. The file can be a image, pdf, a audio file or a video file.

Select File

Audio file from computer

Select audio file from computer and Click open

Audio file from computer

Audio on Chat

Video file from computer

Select video file from computer and Click open

Video file from Computer

Video on Chat


Pdf from computer

Select pdf file from computer and Click open

pdf file from computer


pdf on chat

Reply with Code Snippet

Code Snippet option should be enabled on zoom chat if not already done

Go to settings –> Chats

Check the first option

Show “Code Snippet” buttonChat Settings

Click on code snippet option in the chat and then download window should appear. Download the same.


Click on inset code snippet on the chat and the below window should appear.

Enter title and language of code. Enter the code and click create snippet.

Code snippet should be added to the reply.

Code snippet in chat

Reply with emojis

You can reply with emojis via any of the below icons

Smiley icon below the message


From the reply text window

emoji 2

Enhanced “happy birthday” reaction:

When a user sends the message “happy birthday”, the Zoom client will now show cake emojis.

Enter a message Happy Birthday. Click Enter

Happy Birthday message

7 Research-Based Teaching Principles – Oct.2019 Teaching Community of Practice (TCoP) Recap!

Hello Everyone!

My name is Dr. Rayna Friendly, and I am back again with a recap from SJSU’s October 2019 Teaching Community of Practice* (TCoP) Meeting. At this meeting, we once again had a guest facilitator: Dr. Mark Felton, Professor of Teacher Education and Faculty Associate Dean of Research in the Connie L. Lurie College of Education.

The topic of the meeting was 7 Research-Based Teaching Principles, based off the book How Learning Works (Ambrose, Bridges, DiPietro, Lovett, & Norman, 2010). By the way, a FREE electronic copy of this book can be accessed HERE! 

At this meeting, Mark reviewed 5 out of the 7 principles covered in the book (listed below), as well as some fantastic, practical ideas for how to apply these principles when teaching University students. If you missed the meeting, you can view the full Zoom Recording of this session HERE! I strongly recommend viewing the recording, as many common teaching challenges were addressed in respect to how to enhance the learning experiences students receive in the classroom (as well as tips for teachers to reduce time spent on grading student work!). Mark also welcomed any questions (his email is 


7 Research-Based Teaching Principles:

  1. Students’ prior knowledge can help or hinder learning
  2. How students organize knowledge influences how they learn and apply what they know
  3. To develop mastery students must acquire component skills, practice integrating them, and know when to apply them
  4. Goal-directed practice coupled with feedback enhances the quality of learning
  5. To be successful, students must learn to monitor and adjust their approaches to learning
  6. Student Development and course climate matter for student learning
  7. Helping students to become self-directed learners


*What is the TCoP, you ask?

  • The Teaching Community of Practice (TCoP) is a group for part- and full-time SJSU faculty (of all levels, across all departments), who are interested in enhancing their respective teaching practices. The TCoP will meet regularly, according to members’ schedules, to exchange strategies, tips and resources that have led to successful (and sometimes, less-than-successful) teaching experiences. Please fill out this form if you are interested in joining this community and you will be added to the groups’ mailing list. For inquires about the TCoP, please contact me at


The 2019 ATXpo- Academic Technology Expo held at Santa Clara University on October 7, 2019 was the sixth annual ATXpo that brought together the insightful and bright minds from eight Bay Area esteemed universities that included- University of San Francisco, UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco, Stanford University, San Francisco State University, San Jose State University, Santa Clara University and Saint Mary’s College of California. These universities aimed to provide an exposure to the recently acquired technologies that are going to promote learning and improve the conventional methods of teaching.

This was a full day event where participants interacted with each other. The agenda included a Keynote Session, highlights on featured projects, and three sessions of IdeaLabs. These sessions were engaging and were experimented on through play .These sessions exhibited the projects and technologies that are surfacing to, promote an interactive and better learning environment. It demonstrated the new generation teaching methodologies that can be acquired by universities for more equipped classrooms and knowledge transfer experiences.

Attendees from San Jose State University left an remarkable impression and their efforts worth their weight in gold. So it’s worth taking the time to find just the right words to describe their work below.

Jennifer Redd (Director of eCampus- San Jose State University) talked in her introductory presentation about how important is it to communicate she said, “the development of a communication plan that encourages creativity is a great supplement to providing technical and instructional support.” She mentioned how eCampus proudly produces artwork catered to the campus community. The artwork creates a safe, welcoming, and inclusive atmosphere. Every month eCampus showcase one person, who has impacted the world in a positive way and illustrate them on our, ‘Person of the Month’ wall. She clearly made us all understand that, you have to find a way to communicate to cultivate the learning and knowledge.

During the second IdeaLab Session, Jennifer joined Assistant Professor of Psychology Valerie Carr as she shared how she designed a neuroanatomy lab by using augmented and virtual reality. Dr. Carr, a previous eCampus Immersive Learning Institute Participant who worked closely with eCampus Lead Instructional Designer Yingjie Liu, described how she selected and implemented the use of different AR/VR apps into the curriculum to provide students with an immersive experience on a complex topic (the brain).

ATXpo - Jennifer

Bethany Winslow (Instructional Designer at eCampus- San Jose State University) talked and demonstrated about this intriguing topic, “Tinkering in Virtual Worlds: Experiential Preparation & Networking for VR Ready Educators” She presented a demonstration of the Hypergrid Resources Library she built, that connects different virtual worlds in the OpenSim metaverse. Bethany volunteers with The Community Virtual Library, which has had a presence in virtual worlds for over a decade now. Open-source virtual worlds like the one she showcased are hosted on a distributed system of servers all over the world. She offered participants with an opportunity to try navigating an avatar on the laptop to explore the library and to Hypergrid jump to another location. Bethany shared her experiences in the last year and a half of networking and collaborating 100% in the virtual world with a global community of educators and librarians, of attending multiple virtual events, and about presenting in-world at virtual educational conferences. She urges any educators interested in integrating virtual reality with their teaching to make sure they are familiar with the long history of desktop virtual reality used for teaching and learning.

Bethany In-WorldPresenting

Bethany’s avatar in virtual world library with some of the posters she presented

Yingjie Liu (Instructional Designer at eCampus- San Jose State University) gave an impressive tour, where participants immersed in the world of augmented reality. Her topic was, “Using a Self-guided Augmented Reality Tour as a Service Learning Project that Teaches Students and Others about Campus Sustainability”

She highlighted the initiatives going on in our University and mentioned students in a Geology of California course at San Jose State University (SJSU) during the Spring’19 session, created an augmented reality sustainability tour of the campus as part of a service-learning Earth Day 2019 project. This project was designed to:

1) Teach students concrete ways to live sustainability

2) Draw attention to the sustainability practices on campus and

3) Contribute to the school’s sustainability mission.

These goals were accomplished by having students research sustainable practices, locate examples on campus, then create augmented reality (AR) tour stops that highlight and explain the sustainability examples. The students contributed to SJSU’s sustainability mission by providing an AR tour that teaches others about sustainability and encourages participation in the school’s efforts to be more environmentally friendly and sustainable.

She demonstrated how this project, revamped San Jose State University’s outdated online Sustainability Map and elevated the user experience by making it mobile (accessed via smartphone or tablet), and immediate (instant on-the-spot information). She concluded that by saying, “Overall, students had a positive experience creating, using, and learning from augmented reality. Students’ reflections revealed that prior to doing the project, they had little knowledge of SJSU’s sustainability practices. After having completed the project, students displayed a sense of pride for all that the school does to be environmentally sustainable. They also felt that they gained knowledge about what sustainability is, and learned something new about sustainability at SJSU.”
She encouraged people on how this example set by San Jose State University should be a motivation for thousands of such initiatives and guided on how these initiatives can take a kick start.
ATXpo- Yingjie
2. Winslow, Bethany. (2019, Oct 10). Interview type [email].
3. Liu, Yingjie. (2019, Oct 10). Interview type [email].
4. Redd Jennifer. (2019, Oct 10). Interview type [email].

Using Piazza for Class Discussions – Sep.2019 Teaching Community of Practice (TCoP) Recap!

Hi Everyone!

SJSU’s September 2019 Teaching Community of Practice* (TCoP) Meeting was on the topic of Using Piazza for Class Engagement and Discussions. We had a special guest facilitator, Krissy Connell (Lecturer in the Child and Adolescent Development Department), who shared the various ways she used Piazza in her courses.

  • NOTE: For those who were unable to attend, the Zoom RECORDING of this meeting can be found HERE.


TAKE-AWAY POINTS ABOUT PIAZZA. The following are some of the key take-aways about the usefulness of the Piazza tool, highlighting how and why you might consider using it yourself in any courses you teach:

  • Krissy mostly uses Piazza as a discussion tool, since she has found increased student participation in discussions using Piazza, as compared to using the Canvas’ “Discussion” feature. She also points out that students can use this tool while studying, since they can benefit from seeing her responses to all the questions other students ask!
  • Some of Krissy’s favorite features of this tool include:
    • Ability to organize the discussion posts by FOLDERS (e.g., can organize according to course and by each lecture/module/topic you teach. Plus you cannot accidentally forget to label your posts by folder, since you are required to publish them to one of your folders upon posting)
    • Students can post questions, as well as responses to other students’ questions, ANONYMOUSLY (Krissy says this is the Student’s most reported favorite feature and has led to more students participating in discussions)
    • With one click of a button, the instructor can label students’ questions/responses as a “GOOD QUESTION” or “GOOD RESPONSE”, respectively. Krissy said that she does this for all posts because it makes students feel good to get this feedback
    • Instructor can also post to an individual section or to multiple SECTIONS of the same course at once
    • Students can create STUDY GROUPS and you can see, and comment on, their discussions, 
    • Instructors can create a POLL within a ‘discussion post’, ‘question’, or ‘note’ to her students
    • Instructors can send REMINDERS to students to comment on a post or discussion
    • Piazza’s “CLASS AT A GLANCE” tool shows instructors a dashboard summarizing recent Piazza activity by students, such as: # unread posts, # of follow-ups, average response time, etc.
    • The STATISTICS tab shows you trends in responses (good if there’s a requirement in your syllabus for course discussion)- this also shows trends by the folders you create!
    • You can set up Piazza to EMAIL you every time there’s a post, etc.
    • PEER EDUCATORS or TEACHING ASSISTANTS for the course can also answer questions from students, and instructor can review these to ensure they are good answers
    • EXIT POLL are a very useful feature that you can add to posts, where students are given the opportunity to indicate what they were confused about, how comfortable they are with what they are learning, and any additional questions they may have. 

Questions & Comments:

  • Q: Will this add too much complexity for students, teachers?
    • This is really easy for students to set up, because Piazza’s integrated with canvas!
    • They will just have to quickly register/login at the beginning of term, and can do so right from the Canvas course!
    • Super efficient and easy to post a question, poll, etc.! The text box has the usual text editor ( you can add links, change the font, etc)
    • Krissy’s biggest set up task is to create the folders (for each module, quiz, exam, etc.) at the beginning of term (however, this too is not difficult as you can “batch-add” folders, rather than needed to add one folder at a time)
  • Q: Is Piazza ‘worth the trouble’ to implement this my classroom?
    • Krissy thinks so! She emphasized that most students say they prefer this tool to Canvas’ Discussion feature, especially because they can post anonymously
    • Krissy thinks Piazza has so many more resources/tools for her than Canvas…she even removed the ‘Discussion’ tab from Canvas’ course navigation bar so that all discussions go through Piazza
    • Folders help you organize your discussions! Important because this way students don’t need to scroll through all their announcements to find old content, etc.
  • Q: Do you have to create a new set of folders for every term you teach?
    • Yes, but this is relatively easy. Simply go to “manage class > configure class folders” and then you can bulk-add folders!
  • Q: If you copy your course Canvas shell, does it copy the Piazza layout?
    • No, you would still need to make new Piazza folders, but this is not too much work
  • Q: Can you use Piazza in-class and online? Maybe integrate with quizzes online?
    • Krissy hasn’t tried looking for any quiz features, but there are a lot of features you can add-on to Piazza, ask eCampus!
  • Q: When students enroll and are added to Canvas late, are they added to Piazza automatically?
    • As soon as they are added to Canvas, they can enroll/register with Piazza
  • Q: What are some of the common challenges that your students experience when using it?

    • Students need to make sure they click on the correct folder to see relevant posts
    • Students who are uncomfortable with technology/ not using Canvas often might not use the tool much. However, students she’s asked have mostly said they liked Piazza, especially the anonymous feature!
  • Q: Do students get notifications when you post on Piazza through their email like they do with Canvas announcements?

    • Yes! Krissy can choose when the notification goes out (can save as a draft to send later) and who it will go to (to whole sections, individual students), and can even force-send an email to students who did not sign-up for email reminders.
  • Q: Can SJSU people contact you for more information?

    • Yes! Krissy said you are welcome to email her ( for more information
    • You can also contact eCampus for more information



*What is the TCoP, you ask?

  • The Teaching Community of Practice (TCoP) is a group for part- and full-time SJSU faculty (of all levels, across all departments), who are interested in enhancing their respective teaching practices. The TCoP will meet regularly, according to members’ schedules, to exchange strategies, tips and resources that have led to successful (and sometimes, less-than-successful) teaching experiences. Please fill out this form if you are interested in joining this community and you will be added to the groups’ mailing list. For inquires about the TCoP, please contact me at