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Meeting the Challenge of a Changing Institutional Environment


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Presentation given by Gail Matthews-DeNatale at the 2009 Sloan-C conference. Meeting the Challenge of a Changing Institutional Environment: In the face of budgetary and organizational challenges, …

Presentation given by Gail Matthews-DeNatale at the 2009 Sloan-C conference. Meeting the Challenge of a Changing Institutional Environment: In the face of budgetary and organizational challenges, what strategies are effective in advancing the causes of pedagogical innovation and high quality online teaching? Hear results from a qualitative survey of Sloan-funded institutions and Simmons College case study specifics. Participants are encouraged to contribute ideas and lessons learned.

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  • 1. Meeting the Challenge
    of a Changing Institutional
    EnvironmentGail Matthews-DeNatale, Ph.D.Interim Director, Academic Technology
    2009 Sloan-C International Conference on Online Learning
  • 2. Challenges Affecting All of Higher Education
    • Shrinking Endowments (particularly problematic if used for operating costs)
    • 3. Debt (e.g., pre-September 2008 financing for construction)
    • 4. Increasing Student Cost-Consciousness
    • Call to Be More Data-Driven inResource Allocation Decision-Making
  • What’s EssentialTo Ongoing Success?
    • Positions?
    • 5. Programming?
    • 6. Faculty Support?
    • 7. Strategic Support for Effectiveness/Quality?
    • 8. Purchasing Priorities (e.g. software)?
  • What’s Your Take?
  • 9. About The Survey
    • Many Questions Deliberately Open-Ended
    • 10. Folksonomy:(Externalize internal knowledge structures)
    • 11. Some Questions Overlapped – Intentionally
    • 12. More than one perspective = stereo view
    • 13. Recurring Mandate to Select the Top Three
    • 14. Force respondents to make choices
  • Q1 Results: Staffing for Institution-Wide Support
    You have been told that, moving forward, there will be only three staff positions at your institution in support of blended and online learning. You have been asked to define these positions, including job titles.
    What three job titles best describe the staffing essential to successful institution-wide support of blended and online learning?
  • 15. Job Titles
    Coordinator of Academic Technology
    Director of Academic Computing
    Instructional Designer
    Online-Blended Integration Specialist
    Instructional Technologist
    Web Media Specialist
    Director of Online Education
    LMS Administrator
    Director of Distance Learning
    Media Specialist
    Course Designer
    Multimedia Designer
    Learning Technology Support
    Learning Technology Consultant
    Blended Learning Facilitator
    Blended Learning Coordinator
    Director of Curriculum Innovation
    Educational Technology Specialist
    Technical Disruptive Innovation Specialist
    Learning Technology Center Director
    eLearning Multimedia Manager
    Director of E-learning
    Courseware Web Designer
  • 16. Job Titles:One at a Time, Please
    Some people cheated!
    • Senior Instructional Designer or Director, Learning Technology Support
    • 17. Manager of learning technologies/academic support”
    • 18. Blended/OL Faculty Support Generalist with Web and Information design Specialty
  • Leadership: What Is Our Primary Focus?
    Director of [the]
    • Learning Technology Center
    • 19. Academic Computing
    • 20. Academic Technology
    • 21. E-learning
    • 22. Academic Technology
    • 23. Online Teaching and Learning
    • 24. Learning Center
    • 25. Curriculum Innovation
    • 26. Distance Learning
    • 27. Blended and Online Learning
    • 28. Learning Technology Support
    • 29. Online Education
    Question of Emphasis: Technology vs. Pedagogy, Service vs. Support … Does Scope Include Improvement and Innovation?
  • 30. Job Titles:What’s in a Name?
    • Instructional designer at one institution may equal an instructional technologist at another
    • 31. Title variations may make benchmarking difficult, complicating staffing justifications
    • 32. What are our expectations for these positions?
    • 33. What kinds of qualifications/experience, skills, and abilities do we expect for people working in these roles?
    See also “Rethinking Academic Technology Leadership in an Era of Change,” Educause Quarterly 2008,
  • 34. Staffing: First Priority
  • 35. Staffing: Second Priority
  • 36. Staffing: Third Priority
  • 37. Staffing: Priorities Compared
  • 38. Staffing: Total Tally
  • 39. Q2 Results:Programmatic Priorities
    The person who approves your institution's budget has told you that you can only do three things this year in support of blended and online learning at your institution. What are your top three programmatic priorities?
  • 40. Q2 Results:Programmatic Priorities
    Answers to this question were incredibly diffuse
    Professional development for faculty?
    Professional development for support staff?
    Support current faculty?
    Recruit new faculty?
    Improve existing BL/OL degreeprogram offerings?
    Develop new BL/OL degree programs?
    Course buy-outs?
    Financial incentives?
    Support existing infrastructure(e.g., LMS/CMS)?
    Invest in new infrastructure(e.g., hardware and software)?
    Reduce redundant infrastructure
  • 41. Q3 Results:Faculty Support
    You are in charge of faculty support for blended and online learning at your institution. What three forms of support are essential to faculty success in blended and online teaching?
  • 42. Support: First Priority
  • 43. Support: Second Priority
  • 44. Support: Third Priority
    Different response pattern, with some new ideas. Perhaps brainstorming?
    “Changes in student support strategies”
    “Fully populated online resource for instructional documents and links to tutorials and other training support mechanisms”
    “Realistic loading (numbers in the sections/courses)”
  • 45. Support: Third Priority
  • 46. Support: Priorities Compared
  • 47. Support: Total Tally
  • 48. Q4 Results: Strategies to Ensure Innovation & Quality
    Despite fewer resources, you want to ensure that your institution offers blended and online courses that are both innovative and pedagogically effective. What are the TOP THREE most important strategies for ensuring innovation and quality? (Please pick only three)
  • 49. Support: Total Tally
  • 50. Q5 Results: Software
    You are in charge of software purchasing for your institution. What the TOP THREE most important technologies for successful blended and online learning?
  • 51. Support: Total Tally
  • 52. Thank YouGail Matthews-DeNatale
    2009 Sloan-C International Conference on Online Learning