A Mission-Drive Approach to Distance Learning LeadershipPresentation Transcript
Dr. Bernard Bull [email_address]
“ Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life; everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated, thus, everyone's task is unique as his specific opportunity to implement it.”
1990s – First generation of distance learning initiated by University leadership
Courses designed and developed by individual instructors
Above and beyond regular responsibilities
Focus upon readings, papers, and student-centered projects
Late 1990s – First collaborative e-learning program in the health sciences
Office of Distance Learning – focused upon the business operations for distance learning
Individual instructor as designer, developer and instructor still the dominant model
Growing use of adjunct faculty in many programs for design, development, and teaching
2006 – Formation of an Instructional Design Center (this is where my story begins)
Instructional design leadership in support of the University mission and core values.
First priority given to e-learning initiatives and other projects noted by University leadership.
Design and/or facilitate key initiatives related to e-learning, course design, and educational technology.
Mission statements are important.
They should guide the actions and decisions of an organization.
They help organizations decide what not to do.
E-learning and face-to-face will never provide the same learner experience.
E-learning and face-to-face can share and be shaped by a common mission and a common set of core values
Mission statement – “a brief written purpose statement”
Core values – “central guiding principles or standards of behavior for an organization.”
“ In brief: Harvard strives to create knowledge, to open the minds of students to that knowledge, and to enable students to take best advantage of their educational opportunities.” -http://www.harvard.edu/siteguide/faqs/faq110.php
“ The mission of University of Phoenix is to provide access to higher education opportunities that enable students to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve their professional goals, improve the productivity of their organizations, and provide leadership and service to their communities.” - http://www.phoenix.edu/about_us/mission_and_purpose.html
“ Focus on the user and all else will follow.”
“ Fast is better than slow.”
“ Democracy on the web works.”
“ You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer.”
You can make money without doing evil.”
“ The need for information crosses all borders.
“ You can be serious without a suit.”
“ Great just isn’t good enough.” - http://www.google.com/corporate/tenthings.html
“ We act with integrity and honesty.”
“ We are passionate about our customers and partners, and about technology.”
“ We are open and respectful with others and dedicated to making them better.”
“ We are willing to take on big challenges and see them through.”
“ We are self-critical, questioning, and committed to personal excellence and self-improvement.” -http://www.microsoft.com/australia/citizenship/about/mission.mspx
Central IDC Goal
General contentment with the current state of e-learning
Heavy work load of leadership
Limited e-learning dialogue
Heavy reliance upon adjunct faculty
Limited attention span for “mission talk”
The mission of the University is evident in the design of every course.
The mission of the University is evident in the teaching of every course.
The core values of the University are evident in the ethos of every program.
Each program has established a list of non-negotiables for the design of every course.
Program leadership has a vision for mission driven e-learning that is consistent with the University core values.
There is a model for mission driven e-learning
What would it look like if our e-learning programs no longer reflected the mission of our University?
What would you say to someone who claimed that our e-learning programs are just about making money?
How can we make each e-learning program drip with the mission and core values of the University?
How will we know if our vision is becoming reality in e-learning?
Dialogue with stakeholders about what we should be assessing.
Advocate for principles for good teaching and learning.
Course readiness checklist.
“ What we measure is one indication of what we value.”
Good Practice Encourages Student Instructor Contact
Good Practice Encourages Cooperation Among Students
Good Practice Encourages Active Learning
Good Practice Gives Prompt Feedback
Good Practice Emphasizes Time on Task
Good Practice Communicates High Expectations
Good Practice Respects Diverse Talents and Ways of Learning
Good practice reflects the mission and values of Concordia University Wisconsin, especially the Lutheran concept of vocation.
Good practice consistently uses assessment and quality improvement.
Templates with embedded instructions
Course readiness checklist
One on one consultations
Course design workshop
How can we create courses that embody the mission and core values of the University?
Course design workshop (leverage full-time faculty for modeling) One-on-one consultations and course walk through
Templates with embedded instructions
Discontinue face-to-face training - equal training for all faculty (webinar series)
“ We teach who we are”
Customized section on the course readiness checklist.
Move the discussion from course level to program level.
Cast a vision for digital culture as space versus place.
Model - Start my own program.
Initiate a thematic cohort model for e-learning
“ A zealous sense of mission is only possible where there is opposition to it.”