Tag Archives: Leadership

Leveraging the Investment in Online Education: A Workshop for Campus Leaders

Blogging the Online Learning Consortium International Conference 2014

Presenters: Mary Niemic, Dylan Barth, and Laura Pedrick

Interesting Notes


[Photo credit: LendingMemo.com]

New term: Nanodegrees. In the context of the different types of online learning – MOOCs, self-paced, competency based, credit, certificates, degrees, modules, etc.

Report: Online College Students 2014 (from LearningHouse). Reputation, price, credit transferability, and job credibility are important to students. Within 8 weeks of application, students want to be able to start their degree.

Support for Learning: The idea of integrating offices for learning technologies and professional development to one unit that supports all good teaching – online, blended, on campus. Active learning, blended learning, educational technologies, etc.

Resource: Scholarship of Teaching and Learning; UW Milwaukee is building a national database of research on online learning; with grants for others to participate in the research.

University of Nebraska High School – has existed since 1929 (kind of like Andrews University‘s Griggs International Academy that started in 1909). Only 11% of the enrollment in this HS are in Nebraska.

Critical success factors: mission and goals; goals aligned to specific metrics; sustainable resource management strategy, administrative structure, policies, systems, effective communication, comprehensive evaluation plan that drives future efforts.

Favorite quote: It’s not the flashiest thing that determines quality, it’s the thing that helps students learn the best; and the method of allowing for faculty presence.

Interesting Discussions

  • Choices

    Photo Credit: Akuppa John Wigham

    Enrollment Data. Do you count online learning in the fall with a census date, or do you count the full year? How to discuss counting with the rest of campus that is counting in the fall where it makes sense. But online students and coming and going all year long.

  • Honors. Who has honors options for online students? Most everyone in the room doesn’t – discussion of how all students have the right to access to honors programs; but there may be significant resistance on campus to offering honors options online.
  • Educational models that are changing – flipped, blended, competency, self-paced, shrinking semesters, synchronous or asynchronous. What are the benefits and challenges for each and which to choose for the degree? How to work with faculty who start with the idea that we just need to stream what is happening in the classroom? The online student doesn’t want the class on Tuesday at 2:30 pm; but how to assist faculty to realize students want to time-shift, and that is why they have chosen online learning. There isn’t really a huge market for synchronous learning.
  • Misunderstandings about what teaching is; what online learning is. The idea of “shrink-wrapping” a course by recording it and sending it to the student, with no other teaching included. A faculty member who wanted to be recorded so that when he died, his course could still be taught and his family could get the income. Misunderstandings about where the “teaching” happens in online learning, or even in f2f classes.
  • Revenue. Planning to do online learning just for the revenue tends to fail. Funding models: 5% of tuition to the central support of distance. Or 10% of the distance fees. Seed funding for new programs; and tuition/fee distribution to encourage continuity of offerings. Centralized vs decentralized, and how the funding models follow that. What the costs are for U Nebraska.
  • Traditional students. Traditional students who take online courses have a faster time to complete their degree; they are taking online courses to supplement during clinicals and practicums. Traditional students are interested in supplementing their on campus experience with online. Resources created to support online students can end up supporting the on campus as well – i.e. one stop shopping for all your university needs and records, etc. Lots of swirling among institutions and even between online and on campus enrollment.
  • Change. Supporting online learning can create additional capacity in the university for change. Course redesign, support services adjustments, all have benefits for the university as a whole for dealing with change and becoming more flexible.
  • Systems. For universities part of a system, do you have competing programs? or not? Using funding and marketing as carrot/stick to keep universities in the same system from offering competing programs. Using market research to determine what the students are interested in? Restricting online competition vs. allowing competition within the system face to face. System thinking – you aren’t stealing each other’s students, the community colleges are stealing your students.
  • Summer. High demand courses, high interest, finish in four, online courses for the summer.
  • Market saturation. The market is getting saturated for online learning – and it’s important to think about the market and what is already out there. The MBA is the most saturated online degree.
  • Definitions. What is blended? what about percentages? Recommendation to review UWM’s definition.
  • MOOCs. What are they good for? Brand recognition, fodder for research projects, service to the global community.

Interesting Companies and Resources

  • NetTutor for outsourcing or supplementing tutoring
  • LTI intergrations – there may be legal issues depending on the student data you are sending to the LTI integration sites
  • OER resources – contributing, using, participating
  • MapWorks – early intervention and student success
  • U of Texas Productivity Dashboard – how are students of various degrees doing after they graduate? what are the trends for employment?
  • LibGuides – libraries using a libguide to support the learning, courses, and programs
  • Toggl – a tool for time tracking to work on faculty work load issues

Good Ideas to Apply

  • Online orientations; including for on campus students who missed the on campus orientation
  • A short certificate for online and blended teaching, and then create a community of those participating. The course is evaluated the first time it’s taught online or blended, and then the faculty member receives a certificate.
  • Accountability metrics: target demographics, capacity , growth, graduate job placement, not too many metrics. Consistent follow through on reporting the metrics. Need to think more about our metrics & goals in the various areas. Is it possible to do across the university or only by program and degree? Use this to manage expectations – have a metric that is challenging and achievable.
  • Have a librarian dedicated to OER
  • Have a librarian dedicated to distance education
  • Have a librarian create a LibGuide for each online course (or maybe program)
  • Create a guide for department chairs on developing an Online or Blended program
  • Online Program Council – or peer groups for program-level peer-to-peer best practice sharing
  • Evaluation plan: course surveys, designing surveys at the course level, evaluation of support systems, data consistency across programs, continuous assessment; system/campus wide, monitoring what you have built

Final advice

  • Keep the principles forefront – why are we doing it? it’s really about the students – access and flexibility – we are trying to do what is in the best interest of the students

Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy

Bill Colwell shared this Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy video in a worship/inspiration today in our Leadership and Learning Group meeting. I thought you might find it interesting as well!

A leader needs the guts to stand alone and look ridiculous. But what he’s doing is so simple, it’s almost instructional. This is key. You must be easy to follow!

Now comes the first follower with a crucial role: he publicly shows everyone how to follow.

Trickle-Up Leadership

Here’s an interesting article about leading up. I’m posting it here so I can find it again.

Trickle Up Leadership published in Fast Company

“If people are too intimidated or too reluctant to help their leaders lead, their leaders will fail,” says Michael Useem, the author of a new book about how you can take control — even when you’re not in command.

In a tough business climate — and even in boom times, for that matter — it’s only natural to want to trust the people in the executive suite. After all, they know what they’re doing, right? Not so fast, says Michael Useem in Leading Up: How to Lead Your Boss So You Both Win, due out this month from Crown Business. Sometimes, even the people upstairs need help. “If people are afraid to help their leaders lead, their leaders will fail,” says Useem, a professor of management at the Wharton School and the director of its Center for Leadership and Change Management. In an interview with Fast Company, Useem talked about how to take control even when you’re not in command.

The Logic of Theoretical Frameworks

Last week I attended some sessions by Gary Stager at the MACUL Conference. I blogged them both: 10 Things to Do with Laptops and Digital Democracy. While listening to the closing keynote, I also skimmed some of the articles on Stager’s website: particularly his critiques of Daniel Pink and Thomas Friedman‘s popular books.

These ideas simmered in my brain over the weekend. This was my first experience hearing Stager speak, and his thoughts are challenging and require processing. I’m still processing the new ideas.

But one piece of logic really struck me. The Andrews Leadership program focuses on laying a theoretical framework for each competency and for our research. The professors keep pushing us to deeper levels of understanding and the ability to compare, synthesis and select theoretical frameworks for our work.  I’m still learning what that really means. But Stager helped me realize why it matters.

Theoretical frameworks ground us in the knowledge by those who have gone before. It lays the foundation. Gives us shoulders to stand on. Builds on the body of knowledge already there.

As I’ve worked on the beginnings of my literature review, I’ve realized the importance of really understanding what others have done.

Stager’s critique of those popular books showed me that often best-selling books are someone sharing their ideas, with little connection to previous works and theory. Therefore they should be viewed carefully and thoughtfully, without swallowing the whole idea hook, line, and sinker.

I understand better now, why it’s important that the books that we reference for our reflection papers for each competency need to be books of substance, grounded in research.

Leadership Practice

Today’s inventory is the Leadership Practice Inventory. There are five areas of a good leader. The results help us know how we need to improve.

Model the Way
Book suggestion: Let My People Go Surfing

  • Find your voice by clarifying your personal values
  • Set the example by aligning actions with shared values

Inspire a Shared Vision

  • Envision the future by imagining exciting and ennobling possibilities
  • Enlist others in a common vision by appealing to shared aspirations

Enable Others to Act

  • Foster collaboration by promoting cooperative goals and building trust
  • Strengthen others by sharing power and discretion

Encourage the Heart

  •  Recognize contributions by showing appreciation for individual excellence
  • Celebrate the values and the victories by creating a spirit of community

Challenge the Process

  • Search for opportunities by seeking innovative ways to change, grow, and improve
  • Experiment and take risks by constantly generating small wins and learning from mistakes

Why I’m in the Leadership Program Part 2

This morning we learned about the philosophy of the Leadership and Educational Administration department. These are the main concepts and they fit my own core values very well.

  • A Christian worldview is fundamental
  • Human dignity and moral well-being must be protected
  • Knowledge is socially constructed
  • Learning is not hierarchical
  • Change is inevitable
  • Servant-leadership is the leadership concept of choice
  • Life is often ambiguous

Therefore the program is dynamic, life-related, job-embedded, builds competencies, builds a learning community, and is individualized.

This morning’s inspiration focused on the department value of human dignity.

  • God loves us.
  • We are unique.
  • God loves us uniquely.

We also thought about these rules (patterns).

  • Golden Rule: Do to others as you would have them do to you.
  • Platinum Rule (Gold Shined): Do to others what they need done to them to experience is love and meet their love needs.
  • Silver Rule: Do to others what you want.
  • Bronze Rule: Do to others what they do to you and more.
  • Iron Rule: Do to others BEFORE they to do you.

Competency, the foundation of our learning plan, is made up of knowledge, skills/performances, and beliefs/attitudes.

The professors are experts in setting up experiences that allow us to demonstrate or show our expertise. They believe that we have expertise and valuable past experiences and honor that in the learning experiences.

For these reasons and more, I know that this program is right where I belong.

Leadership and the New Science

Here are some notes & thoughts on reading Leadership and the New Science. Google has this book in it’s Books feature, so you can skim through it if you want to check it out before buying it or getting it from your local library.

Social Networking & Blogging
It’s amazing to me how much this book made me think of the organic, non-linear, unstructured blogosphere community! Here’s some quotes to tease your brain:

A living system is a network of processes in which every process contributes to all other processes. The entire network is engaged together in producing itself. p. 20.

There are no familiar ways to think about the levels of interconnectedness that seem to characterize the quantum universe. Instead of a lonely void, with isolated particles moving through it, space appears filled with connections. p. 45

Sound like social networking and Web 2.0 to you? Flickr, Del.icio.us, blogging, etc?

I have learned that great things are possible when we increase participation. I always want more people, from more diverse functions and places, to be there. I am always surprised by what people can create as they explore the webs of relation and caring that connect them. Finally, I no longer argue about what is real. We each construct reality, and when I become curious about this, I learn a great deal from other people. I expect them to see things differently from me, to surprise me. p. 46

Yes!! This is why I want others (in my field) blogging so I can learn from them!

We all have to learn how to support the workings of each other, to realize that intelligence is distributed and that it is our role to nourish others with truthful, meaningful information. Fed by such information, everyone can more capably deal with issues and dilemmas that appear in their area. p. 102

Yes, I have a drive to share information, and want others to also share so we can all learn together.

The organization then needs to support people to reflect on this unsettling or disconfirming information, providing them with the resources of time, colleagues, and reflection. p. 108

Do you have colleagues and time so that you can reflect on the influx of information you are bombarded with daily?

State Testing
Another thing that tickled my brain was the comments about measurement that made me think of implications for state testing and No Child Left Behind.

Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle (quantum physics). We can measure the particle aspect, or the wave aspect — either location or movement — but we can never measure both at the same time.p. 36

Once the observer chooses what to perceive, “the effect of perception is immediate and dramatic. All of the wave function representing the observed system collapases, excpet the one part, which actualizes into reality” (Zukav 1979, 79). p. 37.

Since fractals resist definitive assessment by familiar tools, they require a new approach to observation and measurement. What is important in a fractal landscape is to note not quantity but quality. How complex is the system? What are its distinguishing shapes? How do it’s patterns differ from those of other systems? In a fractal world, if we ignore qualitative factors and focus on quantitative measures, we doom ourselves only to frustration. p. 125.

The 123VC workshop I’m involved in is also affectionately called “Jazz.” We probably need to think more deeply about how that metaphor truly captures the way the workshop evolved and is collaboratively presented. Listen to this….

Those who have used music metaphors to describe working together, especially jazz metaphors, are sensing the nature of this quantum world. This world demands that we be present together, and be willing to improvise. We agree on the melody, tempo, and key, and then we play. We listen carefully, we communicate constantly, and suddenly, there is music, possibilities beyond anything we imagined. The music comes from somewhere else, from a unified whole we have accessed among ourselves, a relationship that transcends our false sense of separateness. When the music appears, we can’t help but be amazed and grateful.

Maybe more thoughts later….