Building a Strong Foundation: A University-Wide Learning Technologies Governance Framework

2024-03-29T13:41:05+00:00Digital Learning, Education, Leadership, Management, Strategy|

A well-defined governance structure is essential for the successful implementation and oversight of any university's online learning initiatives. This blog post explores the key components of a university-wide learning technologies governance framework, drawing on the example provided (though it's important to note that specific titles and reporting structures may vary depending on your institution). 1. The Executive Council: Setting the Strategic Direction The Executive Learning Technologies Council provides high-level oversight and strategic direction for the university's learning technologies. This council is likely comprised of senior leaders from various departments across the institution, with a vested interest in online learning. Their focus would be on ensuring that the university's learning technologies strategy aligns with the institution's overall academic goals. 2. The Strategic Team: Guiding Implementation The Strategic Learning Technologies Team translates the broad strategic vision of the Executive Council into actionable plans. This team might consist of learning technology experts, instructional designers, curriculum specialists, and representatives from colleges and departments across the university. Their role would be to develop policies, procedures, and best practices for the use of learning technologies in online courses and programs. 3. College and Departmental Support The framework acknowledges the importance of Classroom Technology Committees within colleges and departments. These committees would likely be responsible for selecting, implementing, and supporting learning technologies specific to the needs of their faculty and students within a particular discipline. The blog post doesn't mention a Media Technology Team, but it could be part of the Strategic Learning Technologies Team, providing expertise in multimedia creation and production for online courses. 4. Collaboration and Communication The overall structure emphasizes collaboration and communication between various stakeholders: The Executive Council provides guidance to the Strategic Team. The Strategic Team supports the work of College and Departmental Technology Committees. Operational staff likely works collaboratively with all levels of the governance structure to ensure the smooth day-to-day operation of learning [...]

The Data-Driven Blueprint for Successful Online Programs

2024-03-29T13:41:35+00:00Business & Leadership, Digital Learning, Education, Innovation, Leadership, Learning Innovation, Management, Marketing, Strategy|

Launching and sustaining a successful online program takes more than just a great idea. It requires careful planning, a solid understanding of the numbers, and a clear vision for the student experience. Three essential tools – the pro forma, enrollment cascades, and course sequence cascades – offer institutions a multi-faceted lens through which to plan, analyze, and make data-powered decisions when establishing and scaling online programs. 1. The Pro Forma: Your Financial Roadmap Think of a pro forma as the financial blueprint for your online program. It's a model that projects your expected multi-year revenue, expenses, and profitability. A well-crafted pro forma helps answer these critical questions: Feasibility: Can this program sustain itself financially? When will it break even? Resource Allocation: Where should I invest most heavily? Where can I optimize resources? Decision-Making: Should we go ahead? Having hard financial data helps avoid costly mistakes Scenario Planning: What happens if enrollment is lower than expected? What if we raise the tuition? Funding: A robust pro forma can attract internal or external funding. 2. Enrollment Cascades: Tracking Your Students' Journey An enrollment cascade charts the progress of student cohorts throughout the program. It reveals where students might be struggling, dropping out, or thriving. Here's what an enrollment cascade tells you: Bottlenecks: Are there high drop-off points? This is a red flag for problems with course design, advising, or support. Targeted Interventions: Pinpointing student attrition allows for customized support to get them back on track. Data, not Guesswork: Enrollments cascades drive investment in the resources that make the biggest impact . Predicting the Future: Enrollment trends help you anticipate how many students you'll need to support each year – forecasting faculty, facilities, and budget needs. 3. Course Sequence Cascades: Ensuring a Smooth Progression A course sequence cascade visualizes how students flow through the series of required courses in your program. It reveals [...]

Building a Culture of Instructional Innovation: Opportunities and Challenges (Presentation)

2024-03-29T13:40:13+00:00Digital Learning, Education, Leadership, Learning Innovation, Management, Strategy|

In today's rapidly evolving educational landscape, fostering a culture of continuous innovation – embracing new ways to enhance the learning experience – is a top priority for many institutions. However, motivating faculty to explore and implement new teaching approaches can be a significant challenge. In 2017, while at William & Mary, I presented at the Online Learning Consortium (OLC). My presentation titled "Building a Culture of Instructional Innovation: Opportunities and Challenges" aimed to ignite a conversation on how institutions can best support and inspire faculty to embrace innovation in their teaching. Presentation Summary The Context of Innovation: My presentation explored the interplay between an institution's mission focused on high-quality teaching and a broader culture embracing innovation. It highlighted the need for alignment between these two objectives. Defining Instructional Innovation: To frame the discussion, I clarified that instructional innovation encompasses any new or creative approach that aims to enhance students' learning. Such innovation can be small-scale, large-scale, and may or may not involve technology. Understanding Faculty Needs: The presentation delved into the fundamental needs of faculty: ongoing development, recognition, rewards, autonomy, and the desire to teach effectively. Motivating Faculty: I highlighted both common incentives (promotion opportunities, compensation, release time) as well as often overlooked intrinsic motivators, such as the desire to improve student learning and a sense of belonging to an innovative institution. Barriers to Innovation: A significant portion of the presentation focused on real-world obstacles that commonly hinder faculty's adoption of new teaching methods: Negative Perceptions: Skepticism towards the effectiveness of new approaches and the training needed to implement them. Lack of Motivation: Even when extensive resources are available, faculty (especially junior faculty focused on tenure) may not prioritize innovation. Time Constraints: Limited time to explore and implement new strategies. Workload Concerns: The additional work required may be a deterrent, especially when development time is [...]

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