Monday, April 16, 2018

Faculty Survey on LMS Usage

As noted in this previous blog post, the Faculty Council is leading an effort to engage faculty in assessing our current LMS (Blackboard) and deciding which product the DCCCD should adopt as the official LMS (which could be Blackboard and or an LMS from another vendor).

As a first step in this effort, the Faculty Council has developed a comprehensive survey of faculty usage of LMS systems. This will help us assess what functionalities and features faculty now use or don't use, what they like and do not like about the current LMS, and what elements they consider to be important elements or would prefer to have in a future LMS.

Please set aside adequate time to complete they survey in one sitting. It is comprehensive, and it should take you approximately 30 minutes to complete.

Please click this link to access the survey: http://webteched.com/LMSSurvey/LMSSurvey.aspx

Your participation with this effort is greatly appreciated. To gather information from as many faculty as possible, the survey will remain open and available until May 4, 2018.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Your Climate Survey Responses Pay Off; Return Week Meetings Modified Based on Faculty Input


The DCCFA Faculty Council takes seriously the input and suggestions received from all members.

One of the most recurring themes from direct input, as well as from answers to questions on the biennial faculty climate survey, is that Return Week leaves faculty feeling worn out rather than invigorated for the new academic year.

While it is extremely unlikely that the District will stop conducting Conference Day during Return Week, we do have some good news to bring to faculty. The annual Wednesday “curriculum workshop” that in recent years had convened at Richland College, for all program coordinators, lead faculty, and deans to attend, has been canceled. Indeed, faculty across the District have told the Council personally, and through the climate survey, that they thought the information presented at the "curriculum workshop" could be shared with faculty both more broadly and in a way that wouldn't require travel to another DCCCD college or location on a second day during Return Week.

Instead, the CTE and general education curriculum meetings will be conducted during the afternoon breakout sessions at the annual District Conference Day on Friday, August 24. Separate sessions tailored for new faculty, and for seasoned faculty, will be offered. In addition, discipline and program committees will be invited to schedule lunch meetings during District Conference Day, for which tables will be reserved and for which faculty may register during the Conference Day registration process.

While the faculty council still will continue pushing for Conference Day to be scheduled on Monday rather than Friday - if it must be scheduled during Return Week at all - we still believe that condensing the curriculum workshop into Conference Day is a much more efficient and effective use of faculty time.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

2018 BOARD OF TRUSTEES ELECTION UPDATE #6: Candidate Charletta Compton Answers DCCFA Questionnaire

Note: The DCCFA Political Information Committee sent questionnaires to both candidates for the District 7 seat on the DCCCD Board of Trustees. What follows are the answers from incumbent Charletta Compton. Answers from challenger Micheal Jackson will be published when they are received.

1. Please provide a brief biography that explains your educational and professional background.

Ms. Charletta Compton, a life-long Dallasite, has two daughters and three granddaughters. She holds a BBA from Dallas Baptist University and is a Certified Contract Compliance Administrator. She is the owner of a small consulting business Rogers & Associates Creative Productions specializing in community and public affairs, and disadvantaged business development. She has been a resident of the Kimball Estates neighborhood for 31 years.

Ms. Compton was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Dallas County Community College District in 2000 representing District 7 that covers southwest through southeast Dallas County. She is currently serving her third term. She is currently Chairman of the board. She is also a member of the Association of Community College Trustees located in Washington, D.C. She was previously employed by Dallas County Adult Basic Education teaching GED and ESL classes. . Ms. Compton has extensive experience working with small, minority and woman owned businesses. She worked for the Dallas County Community College District eight (8) years to managing their Diversity Business Program and was responsible for guiding the college district through a $75 million bond program with total minority participation of over 40 percent. She also worked for the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce for a number of years and headed their Convention and Tourism Department.

She recently received the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 Excellence in Education Award. She is a past board member of the North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency and served two terms as chairman. She is a past president of the Dallas County Heritage Society Board of Directors and in 1996 received their prestigious "Heritage Award". Ms. Compton was selected as one of the "Women Who Mean Business 2000" by Minority Business News D/FW Edition and in 1997 she received a “Helping Hands" Award presented by D/FW Minority Business Development Council & Minority Business News.

Over the years, Ms. Compton has developed a wealth of expertise in the area of minority business development and has an extensive network of working relationships with our key stakeholders in the Dallas community. She has worked with the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce, D/FW Minority Business Development Council, Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Women’s Business Council and Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau in various volunteer capacities.

Ms. Compton’s experience through the years also includes service on the Intel Corporation Management Review Committee for their Business to Business Information System Project; the Dallas Together Forum Private Sector Covenant for Workplace Diversity and Minority Economic Opportunity; the Board of Directors of Arts District Friends, Partnership for Art, Culture & Education and Young Audiences of Dallas Advisory Board. She is a past member of the Dallas County Historical Commission, Martin Luther King, Jr. Center Advisory Board, Shakespeare Festival of Dallas Board of Directors and Black Dallas Remembered, Inc. Board of Directors.

2. What is the role of the elected Board of Trustees from your perspective? How does that role relate to your individual input as an elected trustee? How would you describe the efforts that will be necessary to be effective in your role – and what has prepared you to be successful in that role?

To represent the viewpoints of the citizens of Dallas, assure fiscal responsibility with tax dollars, and as part of the governing board of an institution of higher education provide policy direction for the institution under its management and control providing access to a quality education at affordable prices. I have been prepared for this role by life experiences that have taught me the value of education to my quality of life, and being a concerned tax payer.

3. What is the role of the DCCCD in the educational marketplace in Dallas County? What is your agenda to continue to improve the quality and availability of educational programs to the citizens of Dallas County?

The DCCCD’s role in the marketplace is to offer degrees and training programs that meet the workforce demands of the future. I plan to continue to support forward thinking ideas, fairness and equity. To advocate for quality programming and pathways that remove barriers for those citizens wanting to improve their quality of life through education and assuring affordability.

4. On behalf of what issues and concerns of greatest interest to residents in southern Dallas County generally, and District 7 specifically, do you believe you can most effectively advocate? How will you advocate for those issues?

Southern Dallas has the most at-risk individuals in Dallas County. Issues that are of concern are to instill an understanding of the value of education to shaping lives. Focus on removing barriers and finding ways for citizens to finance going to school. I have lived in the Southern sector all my life and I understand the challenges people cope with each day. My background gives me a unique perspective and as a member of the Board of Trustees a platform for being a strong advocate.

5. If elected, how will you advocate for DCCCD students, employees, and colleges, in your dealings with business, the community, other public servants, and voters? Are you the type that works at 40,000 feet - or do you look more at where we spend $40,000?

I will continue to spread the word about what doors can open for you with an education. I will also continue to fight for and promote equal opportunity for all segments of our community. I want to make sure that taxes are low and an education is affordable for all our citizens. I work at both levels from above and below because in my opinion both are equally important. Understanding what is happening at lower levels helps you understand and focus on what is happening at higher levels and why.

6. What do you see as the biggest assets, challenges, and opportunities, in the DCCCD? How will you strengthen those assets to meet the challenges and opportunities we face? What particular skills and connections do you bring that can benefit the Board as a whole, and by extension the DCCCD?

The biggest assets outside of facilities are the people, their ambitions persistence, sense of responsibility and willingness to embrace all cultures and viewpoints to shape a better future for all people. The challenges we all must face are to dream and make those dreams a reality.
The District is aging and we must all contribute to make sure that our community colleges remain the best in the country. To continue to strive for sound fiscal management while providing the degrees and training for students that lead to good jobs that improve the quality of life at affordable prices. I bring experience and the knowledge I have gained through the years that will lead to solid viable solutions to issues and challenges as we move into the future.

7. In a recent survey of over 400 full-time DCCCD faculty, 53% agreed or strongly agreed that “lack of compensation adjustments to reflect my experience relative to the entering salary of faculty makes me more likely to seek employment outside the DCCCD.” In addition, despite efforts that have culminated in hiring faculty from diverse backgrounds, a disproportionate share of faculty resignations over the past decade have been faculty from historically underrepresented backgrounds, leading to the conclusion that we have a difficult time retaining what diversity we have in our ranks because so many can find better opportunities elsewhere. What efforts would you undertake to improve the opportunities for experienced DCCCD faculty to improve their compensation as they continually improve their efforts to provide top-quality instruction to our students, and thus help retain the diversity we have? How would you address the growing phenomenon of talented and diverse faculty, staff, and administrators leaving DCCCD for higher pay and/or better opportunities with other employers?

I am committed finding a workable solutions to this issue that will lead to policy changes. I am one vote on the Board. To accomplish anything you need at least four votes. I am encouraged by recent discussions between board members and the willingness to embrace other viewpoints. I believe positive change is coming in this regard. When have great ideas, but the challenge we have is to work within legal parameters.

8. Relatedly, how would you increase the hiring of individuals from historically underrepresented backgrounds, in order to diversify DCCCD staff, faculty, and administrative ranks? How would you encourage more individuals from historically underrepresented backgrounds in Dallas County, who lack the credentials to work the middle-class middle-skills jobs we have available here, to come to the DCCCD to gain those skills?

I can only do what I have always done, emphasize the great benefits, exposure to unique people and opportunities. We have great facilities and access to valuable resources that can benefit anyone. Unlimited learning opportunities that contribute to personal growth are available.


Thursday, April 5, 2018

2018 BOARD OF TRUSTEES ELECTION UPDATE #5 - Second District 7 Candidates Forum Scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, April 5, at Mountain View College; Cedar Valley College Candidates Forum Re-Scheduled for Wednesday, April 11

The second of four forums for candidates for the District 7 seat on the DCCCD Board of Trustees, will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 5, in Room B149 at Mountain View College, 4849 W. Illinois Ave. Dallas, 75211.

The candidates forum scheduled for Cedar Valley College been rescheduled and located to a different room on campus. It will convene at 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 11, in Room M233 at Cedar Valley College, 3030 N. Dallas Avenue, Lancaster, 75134.

The fourth forum is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, in Room C100 at El Centro College, 801 Main St., Dallas, 75202.

All DCCCD faculty, staff, and students, and voters and community members, are encouraged and invited to attend. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Faculty Council to Lead Effort to Engage Faculty in Selecting the Next District-Supported LMS


Blackboard Learning Management System (LMS) has been the District-supported environment for online courses since the late 1990s. In addition, many faculty have used other LMS solutions, including those provided by publishers, to support certain courses. The ongoing use of Blackboard as the District-supported LMS has not been reviewed in a comprehensive way in many years, and until recently the District has not in any strategic sense engaged in a conversation about which LMS product might best support the rapidly growing and evolving needs of DCCCD students and faculty.

Bringing a greater sense of urgency to this fundamental issue, increased reliance on the Blackboard Learning Management System – both for online sections as well as to supplement traditional face-to-face sections – has exposed a growing litany of concerns regarding peak usage availability and maintenance down time. Faculty and students have grown increasingly frustrated as a result. When these issues resurfaced in late Fall 2017, District Faculty Council leadership immediately met with Chancellor May, Vice Chancellor Lonon, and Chief Innovation Officer Tim Marshall numerous times starting in December, to discuss these concerns and express our frustrations, which they share.

As a result, the Faculty Council is pleased to announce CIO Marshall has charged the Council to lead an effort to engage faculty in identifying the next LMS for the DCCCD. It is important to note that, whether this process culminates in a recommendation to renew the relationship with Blackboard, or to select another vendor to provide the official District-supported LMS, faculty would still be able to use other LMS environments, including those provided by publishers, to support their courses. 

Of more importance, however, is that other than identifying certain basic technical specifications, District has agreed that faculty will drive the decision to select the product that the District will adopt as the official LMS. As a result, faculty input will be crucial to the next steps in this conversation, both directly, and through the DCCFA Instructional Goals and Academic Freedom Committee, and the DCCCD Instructional Technology Users Committee (ITUC).

Beginning later in April 2018, faculty will be invited to participate in a comprehensive survey to determine what functionalities and features faculty need the DCCCD LMS to provide. That survey is being designed presently, and will be made available as soon as possible. Meanwhile, a Request for Proposal (RFP) is being developed to be sent to all interested LMS providers. It is anticipated that the RFP will be sent to LMS providers in early summer, with their proposals due back later in the summer. Vendors will demonstrate their products in Fall 2018. Finally, faculty would be given an opportunity to test the LMS products from the various vendors during the late summer and early fall. 

Faculty then would be invited to share their thoughts, questions, and concerns, on each of the LMS products under consideration. It is anticipated that a second survey would be sent to all faculty sometime during the fall semester, perhaps in October.

Based on faculty input, the Faculty Council then would make a formal recommendation for a preferred vendor/LMS product, to CIO Marshall in late Fall 2018.

While the membership of the Faculty Council will change June 1, 2018, the current Council is planning to engage significantly during May 2018 with the incoming representatives from Brookhaven, Eastfield, Mountain View, and Richland Colleges, so that the next Council can carry this faculty-driven process to completion.

The Faculty Council encourages all DCCFA members to participate in all facets of this process, beginning with the survey. A subsequent Advance Blog post will announce the survey and provide a link.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

2018 BOARD OF TRUSTEES ELECTION UPDATE #4 - First Forum for District 7 Candidates Scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 28 at EFC Pleasant Grove



The first of four forums for candidates for the District 7 seat on the DCCCD Board of Trustees, will begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, in the Community Room of the Pleasant Grove Campus of Eastfield College, 802 S. Buckner Road, Dallas, 75217.

All DCCCD faculty, staff, and students, and Pleasant Grove community members, are encouraged and invited to attend.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

2018 BOARD OF TRUSTEES ELECTION UPDATE #3 - DCCFA Plans Candidate Forums in March and April at Four DCCCD Colleges

The DCCFA is pleased to announce plans to conduct four forums for the two candidates for the District 7 seat on the DCCCD Board of Trustees, Charletta Rogers Compton and Micheal Jackson, to engage with the community and the issues in advance of the May 5 election.

EDIT: Please note the changes noted below, as of Thursday, March 29:

1. 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, in the Community Room at the Eastfield College Pleasant Grove Campus, 802 S. Buckner Road, Dallas, 75217;

2. 7:00 p.m. 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 5, in Room B149 at Mountain View College, 4849 W. Illinois Ave., Dallas, 75211;

3. 7:00 p.m. 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 18, in Room C100 at El Centro College, 801 Main St., Dallas, 75202;

4. 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 11 Tuesday, April 24 Thursday, April 12, in the Performance Hall Room M233 at Cedar Valley College, 3030 N. Dallas Avenue, Lancaster, 75134.

Faculty, students, staff, and community members all are invited and encouraged to attend.

District 7 has been represented by Charletta Rogers Compton since 2000. Trustee Compton also has served as Chair of the Board since June 2014. Micheal Jackson previously served as vice president of instruction at El Centro College.

This map shows the locations of all seven DCCCD Board Districts. This link can be used to find voting precinct information, and DCCCD Trustee District, for all residents of Dallas County.

Early voting will be available Monday, April 23 through Tuesday, May 1.

Tuesday, April 24, is the last day applications for early voting by mail are accepted by the Dallas County elections department.

You can obtain a voter registration application at this link.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

District Web Services Seeks Faculty Input on New Browsable Class Schedule

District Web Services is working on a new Browsable Class Schedule. They are asking for faculty input, suggestions, and feedback on what we think of the prototype. They have set up a test environment where faculty can explore and formulate suggestions for further improvement.

If you are interested in evaluating the Browsable Class Schedule environment, please see below. We know Spring Break is upon us so the cutoff date is March 28.

The test site is at (https://www1.dcccd.edu/Demos/BCS/) . You are welcome to comment on:
Functionality
Look and Feel
Data Integrity
Anything else

Provide your feedback by using this link:

https://forms.dcccd.edu/WES/Feedback/pages/feedback.aspx

Friday, March 2, 2018

SECOND REMINDER: Please Participate in Part 2 of the DCCFA Climate Survey by Friday, March 9

Every two years the DCCFA gathers feedback from members through a Climate Survey. Many of you took Part 1 of the Climate Survey in Fall 2017 to convey attitudes on controversial issues such as compensation. We thank you for your input, as it has helped inform and shape our ongoing conversations with our college and district leadership in our shared governance model.

Now we are conducting Part 2 of the Climate Survey, which includes the ongoing questions that are asked every two years, in the Spring semester of even numbered years. The questions are adapted from the American Association of Community Colleges “Competencies for Community College Leaders.” The questions should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. Your participation helps us represent your interests. The survey is housed on a web server owned and operated by a DCCCD faculty member, and only the cumulative results are shared, so your responses are anonymous.

As has been practice for each previous administration of the climate survey, your faculty association president will share the quantitative results with you and your College President, and the DCCFA Faculty Council will share the results with the Chancellor.

Please take the time to provide your feedback by clicking on the link below to complete the survey before Friday, March 9, 2018:

http://webteched.com/FacultyEvaluation2018Part2.aspx

Please note that recent rain events and power and internet service outages - including those that may not affect your home or campus, but rather could affect telecommunications equipment somewhere between your computer and where the survey server is located - may sporadically interrupt one's ability to complete the Climate Survey. To minimize possible disruptions, please plan to take the complete survey as soon as you click the survey link.

Monday, February 26, 2018

2018 BOARD OF TRUSTEES ELECTION UPDATE #2 - Sonny Williams Unopposed in District 1; Two Candidates Vie for District 7

With the Feb. 16 filing deadline having passed, the shape of the 2018 DCCCD Board of Trustees races in District 1 and District 7 has been determined.

Incumbent District 1 Trustee Sonny Williams is unopposed in seeking a third term to the seat.

In District 7, incumbent trustee Charletta Rogers Compton will face Micheal Jackson.

Compton has served as Board chair since 2014. Jackson previously served as vice president of instruction at El Centro College.

Filing documents for all three candidates can be found on this link on the DCCCD Board of Trustees web site.

Faculty Council discusses Student Progress Reporting Survey Results with Academic VPs and District Leaders

The Faculty Council received 526 responses on the Student Progress Reporting Survey conducted Feb. 1-15, of which 338 were from full-time faculty, representing over one-third of the DCCCD full-time faculty. An executive summary of the survey results is linked here. (Previous Advance Blog posts on this evolving discussion can be found at this link.) In addition to the quantitative results, many respondents provided comments, which broadly can be summarized as follows:

1. Many respondents noted that progress reporting is an activity they are already engaged in by keeping the grade center up-to-date; they are, therefore, resistant to further reporting in eConnect.

2. Many comments also indicated that faculty widely assumed that the grade center in eCampus was used by all faculty in the same fashion regardless of course and subject area, i.e., frequently updated, kept current and available to students.

3. A number of faculty viewed progress reporting as means of removing more responsibility on the part of students. Some comments indicated that many faculty believe students are responsible for the monitoring of their own progress.

4. Some faculty expressed concern that progress reporting would result in an increased workload for both faculty and student services staff.

5. There is a clear split in preference, among those who want the ability to project an estimated letter grade (ABCDF), and those who prefer to record that the student is making Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory progress.

6. There is a strong preference for the ability to provide comments, including the ability to write custom comments in addition to having preset comments available to select.

In addition, the following observations were noted by those who analyzed the survey data and have been involved on the Student Progress Reporting task force:

1. The problem that Student Progress Reporting is designed to solve is that not all DCCCD students are consistently and equitably receiving information about their progress in the course.

2. Assumptions about the use of eCampus grade center do not reflect the diverse practices of all full-time, adjunct, and dual credit faculty, across a diverse array of learning environments, and the assessment practices they opt to incorporate in their courses. More specifically, even faculty who use eCampus grade center use it in a variety of ways. Many faculty provide their students with assignment and assessment grades in publisher-provided or industry-specific learning environments. A discussion about the consistent use of eCampus generally and eCampus grade center specifically is outside the scope of the Student Progress Reporting project.

3. Addressing the faculty role in Student Progress Reporting is only one step in what is envisioned as a multi-stage, multi-faceted, and complex activity designed that among other things will include intrusive interventions designed to address student challenges that go beyond the scope of what is happening in the classroom (and therefore is outside of the ability of faculty to address). This therefore requires input and participation by a broad array of stakeholders (including student services, business services, and information technology support services, and even outside social service partners), which in turn requires prototyping and collection of data from faculty and students to ensure long-term success.

WHERE ARE WE NOW:

Consequently, the Faculty Council has achieved consensus regarding the following recommendations:

1. Student Progress Reporting will be implemented in the DCCCD beginning in the 2018-2019 academic year.

2. Fall 2018 and Spring 2019 will serve as testing periods for the Student Progress Reporting prototype. The review of data and outcomes will begin as soon as possible, starting in late fall and continuing throughout the spring.

3. The approval of a general LOCAL Board policy on Student Progress Reporting is supported, but REGULATION language (that requires Chancellors Staff approval, but not Board approval) that specifies in detail a Student Progress Reporting approach, should be paused until the end of the prototyping activity (with a view to such policy being developed in early 2019 for the 2019-2020 academic year).

4. Student Progress Reporting is but one step - but the crucial first step - in an intrusive intervention strategy that will involve student services reaching out to students to help them with challenges that faculty are not equipped to address, even as faculty do work with students who are struggling academically with the specific course material.

5. A senior level administrator should be assigned to serve as the accountability lead for the prototype period and implementation of Student Progress Reporting.

6. There will be a single Student Progress Reporting interval for each section - the survey findings indicate that this should occur at between the 25% and 50% point of a section.

7. Student Progress Reporting will be allow faculty to report a letter grade (ABCDF) or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) progress. Should faculty choose to report progress using the Unsatisfactory label or a D or F letter grate, they will also need to supply at least one comment, either selected from a pull-down menu of pre-written comments, or writing their own comment in a text-entry box.


The Council shared these recommendations with The Instructional Leadership Team (TILT), and the Student Progress Reporting Task Force, on Monday, Feb. 19.

NEXT STEPS:

The Council is still gathering stakeholder input on the preferred system(s) for generating Student Progress Reports. There are advantages and disadvantages to both eCampus/Blackboard and eConnect/Colleague. Among the considerations are the extent to which each system is used by faculty, the extent to which each system is user-friendly, the extent to which training would be required on each system, the extent to which each system can be configured to do what Student Progress Reporting is designed to do, and the extent to which each of these issues can be resolved in time for the beginning of the prototype cycle that will commence with the Fall 2018 semester.

As further information is gathered, conversations will continue with the Student Progress Reporting committee, academic vice presidents, and District officials.