Managing institutional change in Higher Education

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In 2011, Dehub funded Charles Sturt University (NSW Australia) and Massey University (NZ) to conduct a partnership research project to explore the following research question:What do the strategies and activities designed to foster change in blended and flexible learning and distance education developed at CSU and MU help us to understand about learning leadership?
This presentation provides an overview of the study and it's findings.

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Managing institutional change in Higher Education

  1. 1. Managing institutional change through distributive leadership approaches: Engaging academics and teaching support staff in blended and flexible learning M. Childs, M Brown, M. Keppell, Z Nicholas, C. Hunter and N. Hard dehub Report Series 2013
  2. 2. Since finalising the report, two of the authors, Associate Professor Merilyn Childs and Professor Mike Keppell have relocated to the Australian Digital Futures Institute, University of Southern Queensland. Contact Associate Professor Merilyn Childs at MerilynChilds [at] gmail.com
  3. 3. In 2011, Dehub funded Charles Sturt University (NSW Australia) and Massey University (NZ) to conduct a partnership research project to explore the following research question: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mcbadger/
  4. 4. What do the strategies and activities designed to foster change in blended and flexible learning and distance education developed at CSU and MU help us to understand about learning leadership? http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpstanley/
  5. 5. http://www.flickr.com/photos/moniharu/ Read the full report Visit the case studies
  6. 6. http://www.flickr.com/photos/keeblerstudios/ The research built on previous studies concerning distributive leadership & learning leadership, through an historic case study approach (see selected references) The study can be thought of as an ‘archaeological dig’ in the context of the lived experiences of two universities fostering change in blended and flexible learning and distance education during 2008-2012.
  7. 7. http://www.flickr.com/photos/rhutch/ Eight case studies were developed
  8. 8. The case studies were understood using three foci: 1. Connections, collegiality and networks 2. Reflective practice and practice experimentation 3. Reflections of learning leadership
  9. 9. http://www.flickr.com/photos/keeblerstudios/ 1. Learning leadership was enabled by the large and small actions of many people (Moncrieff 1999) working individually and collectively in relationship to change 2. The large and small actions of many people working individually and collectively were fostered through a range of different operational models 3. Innovation was fostered through delegated leadership, distributive leadership, faculty scholarship, networked learning and diffusion of innovation Findings
  10. 10. 4. Innovation in blended and flexible learning and DE was aligned to strategic institutional intent through the influences of staff 5. “Innovation”, “influencing others”, “collaborating” and “sharing” had positive connotations Findings
  11. 11. Three key insights 1. Innovation (in BFL and DE) needs to be aligned to institution vision, and the institution needs to manage the tensions that can exist between alignment (to vision); and creativity and innovation. 2. Good practice in BFL and DE needs to be manifested through sustainable, consistent and supported opportunities. 3. Regardless of the strategy or activity, commitment to approaches that enable academics to take time, collaborate, share, network and connect are the key to innovation in BFL and DE. http://www.flickr.com/photos/8525214@N06/
  12. 12. Five take home messages 1. Strategies and activities generated from the centre (of a university) and distributed throughout an institution need to be mapped as a basis for further strategic planning 2. Strategies and activities generated from the centre could be evaluated ‘from the outside’ in order to… 3. Better understand those initiatives that will have maximum impact on a wide range of practices and therefore should be supported 4. “Top down” leadership is important; leadership development strategies need to be in place to assist positional leaders to develop leadership capabilities. 5. “Micro-leadership” and “micro- influencing” is important; further work is needed to better understand the best ways of supporting micro level activities through, for example, networked learning, workloads and resources. http://www.flickr.com/photos/ptrlx/
  13. 13. http://www.flickr.com/photos/postbear/ Selected References Lefoe, G., Parrish, D., Hart, G., Smigiel, H., & Pannan, L. (2008). The GREEN report. University of Wollongong, University of Tasmania, Flinders University & Latrobe University. Retrieved from http://www.uow.edu.au/cedir/DistributiveLeadership/docs/resource/GREEN_Resource.pdf Moncrieff, J. (1999). Is strategy making a difference? Long Range Planning, 32(2), 273-276. Scott, G., Coates, H., & Anderson, M. (2008). Learning leaders in times of change: Academic leadership capabilities for Australian Higher Education. The University of Melbourne. Retrieved from http://research.acer.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1001&context=higher_education Yin, R.K. (1981). Case Study Research, Design and Methods, Thousand Oaks, Ca: Sage. Access the Full Reference List, pp. 61-70.

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