Innovations 2018

Wow! What an honor it was to attend Innovations 2018 with my colleagues (aka partners in crime) Steve Sosa and Jennifer McGuire and represent Mountain View College in the process. It was an amazing experience and one we were able to share with a few MVC faculty members as well.

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This Innovations conference is designed to foster innovation in teaching and learning and enhance the higher education experience for students, faculty, and staff. This international event provided a forum for collaboration amongst academic experts and thought leaders in sessions dedicated to teaching and learning, leadership and organization, workforce preparation and development, student success, basic skills, and developmental education. There was truly something for everyone.

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The session we presented focused on professional development and employee engagement. Officially, “Professional Development for the Selfie Generation (and Everyone Else Too)” provided insight into the efforts taken during the past 1.5 years at Mountain View College to increase awareness, engagement, and participation in all-employee events.

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During the session, participants learned the state of professional development as a whole, the challenge of providing a variety of workshops, scheduling all-day events, employee engagement strategies, and ways in which MVC has set out to do things differently. We showcased how professional development could provide a fun and engaging experience at any college (full presentation below).

Attendees walked away with knowledge of social media engagement strategies they could utilize in their own institutions. To say our session was well received was an understatement. Days after our session was presented we still had attendees coming up to us sharing how much they loved our key message and that it was the best session they attended.

It’s a beautiful thing to see others so impressed by what we are doing at MVC and a great assurance that we’re doing some things right. 

For more information on the League of Innovations please visit www.league.org. The next conference is scheduled for February 24-27, 2019 in New York City!

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2018 Employee Dev Days: Photo Gallery Live!

Need proof that Mountain View College had the best Employee Development Days ever? Look no further than our very own photo gallery, which represents just some of what makes MVC a “Promising Place to Work” (as recognized by NISOD three years in a row!).

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Employee Development Days kicked off with a variety of sessions focused on the overall theme of “Shaping Our Future: Team Impact” and focused on key elements of Guided Pathways to Success (GPS) (Connection, Entry, Progress, Completion, and Employment). With multiple professional development sessions led by MVC family members, there was something for everyone to participate in.

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Thursday kicked off with an engaging campus forum on DCCCD Guided Pathways to Success, led by Dr. Lori Doddy and Reginald Gray. This provided an opportunity for all to stay informed on this important initiative.

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Immediately following the GPS forum were a variety of workshops and employees had the difficult task of choosing which session to attend.

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The best part of any development day is the chance to reconnect with employees we don’t get to see that often. It’s an opportunity for the entire MVC family to learn, laugh, and love what we do.

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Of course an employee engagement event wouldn’t be complete with a dedicated selfie station! Be sure to check out the complete gallery to see all selfie images and to spot your colleagues in action.

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Even lunch was an opportunity to learn as GPS-focused word puzzles added a competitive element to table conversations.

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Afternoon sessions continued to inform and engage MVC employees.

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None of this would have possible of course without all the volunteers who worked behind-the-scenes and led professional development workshops.

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Thank you for taking a few moments to review the 2018 Employee Development Days and the many opportunities employees had to participate and engage in meaningful ways. We’ll see you at the next employee event!

View the Complete Photo Gallery

April 2018 Workshops

The Office of Professional Development has helped coordinate and promote various workshops throughout the month. There’s even a conference opportunity in October (register ASAP if interested). Below, you can view, download, and print the entire schedule of upcoming workshops.

Lynda.com Training Courses

  1. Log into myPortal
  2. Click on Lynda Training (right hand side of screen)
  3. Select course of interest and begin viewing tutorial videos
  4. Upon completion, print out certificate of completion to keep in your records

eConnect Registration Information

  1. Log on to eConnect as an employee and choose “Register for Staff Enrichment” from Employee menu.
  2. Select the current term, choose Mountain View College as the location, and click Submit (or choose another location to see all available training across the district and online).
  3. Select course(s) by checking the selection box(es) to the left and click “Submit.”
  4. Questions? Call the Software Training Support Hotline at 972‐669‐6452 (between the hours of 8AM – 5PM, Monday – Friday).

Hosting Your Own Workshop?

Interested in hosting your own workshop to share your knowledge, expertise, or passion for teaching and learning? Simply contact the Office of Professional Development (email mvcprofdev@dcccd.edu) and we’ll help coordinate logistics and raise awareness for your event. Our goal is to connect faculty, staff, and administrators across the institution in discipline specific, teaching pedagogy, and leadership opportunities. As a reminder, all requests must be submitted by the 15th of the month prior to the workshop scheduled.

I Am A Woo…What Are You?

Woo. Woo, who? No, that’s not a knock-knock joke. Woo is a strength identified by the Gallup StrengthsFinder assessment tool.

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My top 5 signature themes/strengths are: Responsibility, Strategic, WOO (Winning Others Over), Communication, and Self-Assurance. These top 5 signature themes make up who I am as a person. What makes me unique and why I do the things I do.

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During 2018 Spring Return Week, I led a professional development session called Know Your Strengths, Make An Impact. During this training session, all participants obtained an understanding about relationships to teams, strengths philosophy and how to apply it, personal insight through self discovery, and the difference between natural talent and strengths using scenario-based learning. We also reviewed the top 34 signature themes through game-based activities involving story cubes. By the end of the training session, the entire group learned about each other’s talents and strengths, the purpose of working within one’s strength zone, and the value of creating relationships through team engagement.  

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In the coming months you will continue to hear more about this unique program and ways in which MVC will integrate it on campus. The Gallup StrengthsQuest Departmental Training program is designed to help understand talents, reach goals, overcome obstacles, educate others about how to use strengths, and teaching teams to discover unique talents for team engagement and productivity. Stay tuned!

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For questions please contact the Office of Professional Development at (972) 860-5614 or email me (Rebecca McDowell) directly.

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Strength-Based Resources

My First Presentation (as Yoda)

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away (a.k.a. Mountain View College)…

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My new role at the college still seems to be a mystery to most faculty and staff. The District has given me this enormous title that leaves people scratching their head. Our wonderful VP of Instruction, Dr. Doddy, even gets a confused look on her face when trying to remember the lengthy title. She graciously dubbed me Yoda to the entire campus during convocation last month. I think it is time to embrace the force and my unofficial title of Yoda (a.k.a. Distance Education Instructional Applications Integration Specialist).

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My first endeavor as the campus Yoda (please feel free to call me an Instructional Technologist by the way) was to lead a session on Effective and Engaging Presentations. I am terrified when it comes to speaking in front of a group of people (a secret shared by many I’m sure). This Yoda is better imparting her knowledge one-on-one. I was outside of my comfort zone to say the least. The great thing about this presentation, it gave me the tools to build my confidence to present to a large group. See, sometimes you do just need to embrace the force (wink, wink).

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There are three factors I covered that are to key a successful presentation, acknowledging common mistakes, designing more effective presentations, and finally ensuring you engages with your audience.

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Common Mistakes

  • Lack of enthusiasm
    • monotone voice
    • reading the slides
    • back to the audience
  • Text travesty – your font is so bad it can’t be read
  • Bad theme – each slide has a different color and font design
  • Cluttered slides
  • Over animated slides

Designing More Effective Presentations

The next step is to make your presentation more effective. Your presentation can make a bigger impact by following these guidelines:

  • Have one idea per slide.
  • Use a template or theme to keep your slide appearance consistent.
  • Be sure your font is easy to read. This includes, style, color, and size.
  • Use content layout to enhance the slide:
    • Content flow – should flow left to right and top to bottom.
    • Condense content – no more than 6 lines per slide.
    • Don’t clutter the slide – use white space to focus attention on key elements.
    • Transition slides – use transition slides to move from one idea to another.

Engaging with Your Audience

Now that you are avoiding the bad habits that make presentations bad and you have made your presentation more effective, here are four tips to make your presentations more engaging.

  • Break the ice – have your audience interact by participating in a poll. If you will be doing group activities, have them turn to their neighbors and introduce themselves.
  • Tell stories – nothing makes a topic more interesting than a personal story relating to the topic. This lets the audience know that you are invested in the topic enough to share a story.
  • Polls and live questions – don’t just use this as an icebreaker. Use polls and questions throughout the presentation to reset your audienc’s mindset and refocus on the topic.
  • Increase audience participation – one way to achieve this is to the the audience be proactive in choosing the direction of your presentation. Layout your main points and use a live poll to let the audience choose the first point to discuss.

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After researching, designing, and presenting on this topic, I am honestly say that I’m much more confident in giving a presentation to a large group. It is possible to overcome initial fears and help others by doing so…or as the real Yoda would say, “Help others, overcome fears you must.”

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Now it’s your turn to use these tips to go out into the world and give your next amazing presentation. Don’t worry, you can always reach out to me to help point you in the right direction or towards a tutorial that will help you along your journey. After all, that’s what a Yoda does.

Thank You Volunteers

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Thank you to all volunteers that made 2018 Spring Return Week a memorable experience. Over 60 people, including faculty, staff, administrators, and even our very own Student Ambassadors volunteered!

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We are also proud of employees who came together to make Return Week possible. Many volunteered to lead workshops, share their knowledge and passion, and provide insight into the meaning behind the work we all do.

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A huge thank you goes out to the following departments and employees: administrative suite, facilities, marketing, media, office of student life, IT,  individual presenters including Chancellor, Dr. Joe May, employee, and the best Student Ambassadors on earth!

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We could not have gotten through Return Week without each of your support. You make us MVC Proud and we are so very lucky to have you as part of the MVC family!

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February 2018 Workshops

February 2018 Workshops

The Office of Professional Development has helped coordinate and promote various workshops throughout the month. There’s even a conference opportunity in October (register ASAP if interested). Below, you can view, download, and print the entire schedule of upcoming workshops.

Lynda.com Training Courses

  1. Log into myPortal
  2. Click on Lynda Training (right hand side of screen)
  3. Select course of interest and begin viewing tutorial videos
  4. Upon completion, print out certificate of completion to keep in your records

eConnect Registration Information

  1. Log on to eConnect as an employee and choose “Register for Staff Enrichment” from Employee menu.
  2. Select the current term, choose Mountain View College as the location, and click Submit (or choose another location to see all available training across the district and online).
  3. Select course(s) by checking the selection box(es) to the left and click “Submit.”
  4. Questions? Call the Software Training Support Hotline at 972‐669‐6452 (between the hours of 8AM – 5PM, Monday – Friday).

Hosting Your Own Workshop?

Interested in hosting your own workshop to share your knowledge, expertise, or passion for teaching and learning? Simply contact the Office of Professional Development (email mvcprofdev@dcccd.edu) and we’ll help coordinate logistics and raise awareness for your event. Our goal is to connect faculty, staff, and administrators across the institution in discipline specific, teaching pedagogy, and leadership opportunities. As a reminder, all requests must be submitted by the 15th of the month prior to the workshop scheduled.