Library: Internet Access Student Survey

Posted on behalf of Stephanie Noell, Librarian.

What prompted this survey and why are you interested in the results?

This survey is the result of a series of conversations I have had with my librarian colleagues as well as faculty and staff from across the college. In my experience as an instructor, I came across several students whose only access to the Internet at home was via their smartphone. Over the last year, I have spoken with other employees at Mountain View and many reported the same experience. These experiences combined with a survey by one of Dr. Patricia Lyons’s classes on phone usage at MVC left me wondering just how our students are accessing the Internet at home. The results of such a survey would be helpful in determining how important the on-campus computer labs are to our students.

How does device usage, access to the Internet, and student technology preferences impact the teaching and learning environment?

Since most of our courses have accompanying eCampus pages, access to the Internet is now right up there with food, shelter, and clothing in terms of daily essentials for our students. How students access the Internet impacts how well they are able to write and format their papers as well as research for their projects. In the instance of my students who only have access to the Internet at home via their smartphones, these students were typically also working full-time jobs and were single parents. With our labs closing around the same time that classes let out for the day, these students were left with little to no time to work on any other device but their phone. The papers that they typed up on their phone were not formatted well and were difficult to read.

As far as technology preferences go, the number one issue that comes up for me as an instructor (and as a librarian assisting students in formatting their papers) has been students who own a Mac who save their papers as Pages documents. Pages and Word are both word processing software that do not play well together on PCs. If students are typing up their papers in Pages, make sure that when they are done they go to File>Export As>Microsoft Word (.docx). This will save a Word document version which they can then submit for their eCampus assignments.

Was there anything that surprised you in the results and if so, why?

The results of our survey were as follows:

Q: What kind of Internet access do you have at home?

  • None = 2
  • Smartphone = 60
  • Laptop = 53
  • Desktop = 29
  • Tablet = 41
  • Other
    • TV = 11
    • Xbox = 6
    • Playstation = 7
    • Nintendo = 5

The surprising aspect of these results for me was how few of the responses fell under the None category. With so many of our students living at or below the poverty line and with Internet bills and computers being as expensive as they are, I was surprised to see how much of a financial priority technology and Internet access are to our students and their families. I was also surprised to learn how many students are using gaming consoles and SmartTVs to access the Internet at home. I would be interested in exploring the functionality of our webpages and our eCampus sites on the various gaming consoles. Finally, the low numbers of desktop computers when compared with mobile technology like smartphones, laptops, and tablets seems to indicate a preference for mobility with one’s hardware. Since most of our students are accessing the Internet off-campus from mobile devices, we must be mindful of how mobile-friendly our online resources are. For eCampus pages, there are many considerations to make for content to be mobile-friendly (see Blackboard PDF below).

If interested in learning more about this topic, what web resources might you point people towards?

  1. Blackboard. (2017). Best practices for mobile-friendly courses. Retrieved from http://www.blackboard.com/Images/MobileBestPractices_FINAL.pdf
  2. Feinberg, I., & Greenberg, D. (2016, August 11). How adult learners are not getting 21st-century skills. The Conversation. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/how-adult-learners-are-not-getting-21st-century-skills-63490
  3. Young, L. (2016). E-learning, the digital divide, and student success at community colleges. EDUCAUSE Review, 51(5). Retrieved from https://er.educause.edu/articles/2016/8/e-learning-the-digital-divide-and-student-success-at-community-colleges

Participatory Budget Development

Posted on behalf of Marsha Peters.

participatorybudget-01

Can you tell us a little bit about what is happening in your area?

We are preparing for our annual Participatory Budgeting Funding process. Participatory Budgeting is a different way to manage our funding.  It is a democratic process in which our MVC Community can directly decide how to spend part of our budget – it puts our community in the financial driver’s seat. We fund totally based on the decision of the voting body.

participatorybudget-02

What is the planned timeline for this project?

September 2016 Information Session
October 2016 Proposal Submission
November 2016 Participatory Budgeting Project Fair
November 2016 Voting
January 2017 (Convocation) Winners Announced
January – August 2017 Project Completion

participatorybudget-05

What is a secret tip to keeping calm during such a process?

Maintain a sense of humor and never take anything personally.

participatorybudget-04

What does finishing this project mean to MVC?

The completion of this project, means some divisions will receive funding that will allow them to   achieve additional strategic goals.  These goals are beneficial and will support Employee and Student Success, Community Engagements and Institutional Effectiveness.

participatorybudget-06

MVC Teaching & Learning Center

675x375-tlc-01

BEFORE: The previous self-support lab in W162.

What if faculty and staff could go to a single place on campus to receive one‐on‐one support, learn about new and emerging technologies, and begin the process of professional development?

675x375-tlc-02

It’s surprising what paint can do to breath life into an underutilized space!

The Challenge

The support model and organizational structure for Distance Education and Professional Development at Mountain View College has changed. On campus these services have been spread out across multiple locations and even multiple floors. There is some confusion, partly because of new hires within these departments, previous support roles provided, and servicing locations, as to where faculty and staff go for one‐on‐one support, what technology is currently available, and who provides support.

675x375-tlc-03

The first shipment of updated furniture arrives!

Proposed Solution

By consolidating existing staff into a single location (W162), we can begin to provide the institution with a consistent presence and drop‐in support related to the new scope of services under eLearning and Professional Development. Lack of presence and drop‐in support has been a missing element, as noted by faculty during previous return weeks.

675x375-tlc-04

The redesign now support three full-time staff within the space (as well as all of the previous computer equipment).

A Staffed Center

By transitioning three full‐time employees to the space, support levels, expectations, and space utilization will drastically improve. We’d like to see the space become known as a “Teaching and Learning Center” instead of a self-support lab. Within a teaching and learning center meaningful dialogue is exchanged, instructional strategies are proposed, and curiosity is paired with the right hardware or software (that can in turn even be checked out to interested individuals).

675x375-tlc-05

IT helped ensure that all PCs were reconnected, that the two new Macs worked perfectly, and that all computers now share a network printer.

Questions and Answers

What’s happening to this space?

W162 is being upgraded to support teaching and learning efforts at Mountain View College. We’re preparing to support eLearning and Professional Development across the institution.

675x375-tlc-06

AFTER: The redesign now includes the same number of PCs, two new Macs, and three staff workstations!

What’s changed?

We’ve kept the same four PCs, added two new Macintosh computers, and brought in three staff members into the space. We’ve upgraded hardware and software across the board and aim to eventually provide one-on-one support for teaching and learning efforts. The major difference is that W162 is now a staffed Teaching and Learning Center (instead of a self-support lab).

675x375-tlc-07

We hope that employees drop by for a quick tour of the new space.

Can I still use the space?

Of course! We’d like to invite every employee to utilize the new hardware and software, ask questions of the staff in the space, or simply drop by to take a quick tour! You are the reason why we’ve invested in the space improvements and we’d love to keep supporting you.

675x375-tlc-08

These two Macs are ready to handle all of your multimedia needs!

When will the space be finished?

We’re currently working with IT and facilities to finish up installation and configuration of all computer equipment and printers. We should be fully operational during the month of November. In the meantime, you are completely welcome to use the space as we are working through completion.

Of course everyone’s invited for an official open house in the month of December! Stay tuned for more details as we continue to enhance the space.

Employee Giving Campaign

We’d like to take the time to learn more about departments, campus initiatives, and why campaigns such as these matter so much to the Mountain View College (MVC) family. Please take a moment to learn about more them.

By Heather A. Marsh.

675x375-givingcampaign-01

“I feel fortunate to be a Mountain View man, and show that a lot of people are not as fortunate as we are.”

Can you tell us a little bit about the current campaign and its overall goals?

“Delivering the Promise” is the Dallas County Community College District’s second annual Employee Giving campaign.  As Dr. May said during Conference Day this fall, “TOGETHER, we can make an impact and create opportunities at the colleges of DCCCD.  And TOGETHER, we strengthen this enterprising learning community and prepare students for lives of meaningful and life-sustaining work.”  Last year, Mountain View College employees supported MVC funds and scholarships with over $10,000 in donations!  I am excited about this year’s campaign which runs through October 31st, and even more excited about how this year’s campaign will support students for years to come!

675x375-givingcampaign-02

“I am MVC Proud and want the best for our students and the MVC family.”

What does being a part of this campaign mean to MVC?

At MVC, we have always been very generous in our participation and giving – and it was truly remarkable what we accomplished together last year.  As we celebrate our 46th fall semester of serving students and the community, it is important to remember that each employee’s gift –combined with their colleagues’ gifts – will continue to make a huge impact on our ability to “Empower People and Transform Communities”.

Remember that your gift can support a location priority, or any existing fund of your choice.  I love all the MVC scholarships and funds, but one of my favorites is the Student Emergency Fund.  With this fund, the college can help a student who (e.g.) can’t afford their regalia for graduation.  What a wonderful thing to be able to do – help a student celebrate and share their success with friends and family!

675x375-givingcampaign-03

“I want our students to succeed.”

How can any employee at MVC help contribute to this effort?

While you can donate to any existing fund or scholarship at any time throughout the calendar year via the “Donate Now” button on MVCs website (upper right corner), to participate in the Employee Giving program (and to take advantage of the opportunity for ‘payroll deduction’), you have until October 31st.

Participating in the Employee Giving program is easy! Just visit the DCCCDs Foundation home page (www.foundation.dcccd.edu).  You’ll see the Employee Giving tab on the home-page under “News & Events”.  Once you click, you’ll see the ‘Ways to Give’ button, and then our MVC logo.  Remember that you can choose where your gift goes.  Priority needs have been identified for MVC, but you can always support any existing fund of your choice by selecting “Other” and then typing in your specific fund or scholarship in the drop-down menu.  You can also choose how you wish to donate – either with a credit card which allows your donation to immediately begin working for your chosen designation or by selecting to make a tax-deductible donation with a payroll deduction.  If you select “Payroll Deduction”, your gift will be deducted in equal installments for 12 or 9 months beginning January 2017.

675x375-givingcampaign-05

“I am honoring the memory of my son, Jason.”

What is the proposed timeline or important dates everyone should be aware of?  

While you can donate to any existing fund or scholarship at any time throughout the calendar year via the “Donate Now” button on MVCs website (upper right corner), to participate in the Employee Giving program (and to take advantage of the opportunity for ‘payroll deduction’), you have until October 31st.

If interested in finding out more information, where would you point employees towards?

  1. Visit the DCCCD Foundation website at:
    http://www.foundation.dcccd.edu/employee-giving.
  2. See attached for a three-page hand-out that is being distributed around the campus.
  3. Call Heather Marsh at 214-860-3611, email her at ‘hmarsh@dcccd.edu’, or visit her in E111c.
675x375-givingcampaign-04

“Students Rock!”

What is the reason you personally contribute?

We work at Mountain View College because we care – we care about the students, we care about our community, and we care deeply about the mission of Mountain View College.  I consider it an honor to support our college and join with my fellow colleagues in helping us all – TOGETHER – Empower People and Transform Communities!

Campus Project: Classroom Renovations

We’d like to take the time to learn more about departments, campus initiatives, and why projects such as these matter to the Mountain View College family. Please take a moment to learn about more them, in their own words.

classrooms-01

Can you tell us a little bit about what is happening in your area?

Media Services is doing a massive renovation of classroom equipment in rooms W60, W67, W122, W165, W167 and the large group instruction rooms W168 and W171.

What can Mountain View College (MVC) expect regarding this project?

We are very excited about the renovations because MVC can expect a better equipment experience for classroom instruction and meetings, depending on the individual room’s needs, we have installed new overhead projectors, instructor stations, screens, document cameras and fire-resistant wiring. Most importantly, W168 and W171 will have new microphones in each room.

classrooms-02

What is the planned timeline for this project?

We started this project in June of this year and anticipate that our vendors will finish by October 1, 2016.

What is a secret tip to keeping calm during such a process?

The absolute essential component of staying calm in a massive project like this is COMMUNICATION: communication with administration, faculty, MVC business offices, district business offices and the vendors contracted to do the installations.

classrooms-03

What does finishing this project mean to the MVC?

We are very proud that Mountain View College will enjoy current state-of-the art instructional technology across campus. When Dr. Valencia started working with Media Services, there were only three smart classrooms on MVC campus. Now, with the dedication and hard work of Nathan Albers, Jason Jordan, Ella Barton, Julie Chin and Randy Clower, and with funding assistance from MVC and the STEM grant, almost every classroom, with the exception of those with original construction issues, has smart technology.