Gary W. Matkin, Ph.D.<br />Dean, Continuing Education, UC Irvine<br />UCEA 95th Annual Conference<br />April 8, 2010<br />...
The Challenge and Context for Leadership<br />The Iron Triangle<br />ACCESS<br />QUALITY<br />COST<br />
The Challenge and Context for Leadership<br />ACCESS<br />QUALITY<br />COST<br />
The Form of Accreditation Demands:  Desired Student Outcomes (DSOs)<br />WASC Statement Regarding Desired Student Outcomes...
The Form of Accreditation Demands:  Desired Student Outcomes (DSOs)<br />Students will demonstrate:<br />Advanced knowledg...
The Form of Accreditation Standards:  Mapping Course DSOs to Program DSOs<br />WASC Statement Regarding Desired Student Ou...
The Form of Accreditation Standards:  Improvement Process<br />WASC Statement Regarding Continuous Improvement Processes<b...
The Form of Accreditation Standards:  External Assessment<br />WASC Statement Regarding External Assessment<br />All progr...
Sources of Content<br />Material from Content Management System<br />Teacher Created<br /><ul><li>VOP
Flash
Print</li></ul>Open Material<br />Proprietary Material<br />University Owned Material<br />Students<br />Course<br />(Lear...
OIT<br />TLTC<br />DLC<br />
Distance Educator LeadershipOpportunities<br />Increased Demand for Transparency, Accountability<br />Increasing Competiti...
Distance Education LeadershipAdvantages<br /> Tradition of Learner Centeredness<br />Market Orientation<br />Technological...
What You Can Do<br />Practical Suggestions about How to Seize the Day<br />Establish Continuous Improvement Processes<br /...
Establish Continuous Improvement Processes<br />Capture Learning Data<br />Create A Learning Asset Database<br />Use Data ...
Be a Leader in the Use of New Instructional Technologies<br /> Stay Aware of New Developments in the Field<br />Copy Other...
Develop an “Open” Web Site<br />Public Service <br />Showcase for Institutional Programs<br />Attract Prospective Students...
Develop an “Open” Web Site<br />Funding Target<br />Save Current Students<br />Staff Training and Development<br />OCW-in<...
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Beyond Accreditation and Standards: The Distance Educator’s Opportunity for Leadership

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This presentation will provide practical suggestions for distance educators to take a leadership position amidst the call from accrediting bodies for institutions of higher education to become more accountable and transparent. Presentation will address content management, learner feedback, “openness”, and the establishment of infrastructure to meet these new requirements.

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  • This presentation will provide practical suggestions for distance educators to take a leadership position amidst the call from accrediting bodies for institutions of higher education to become more accountable and transparent. The presentation will provide practical suggestions for distance educators to seize opportunities for institutional leadership through the use of content management, learner feedback, “openness”, and the establishment of infrastructure to meet these new requirements.
  • Sir John Daniel, president and CEO of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL),illustrates the world-wide challenge as an “Iron Triangle” in which educational quality, access, and costs are arranged in an immutable relationship. “Pick any two” he will say. This represents the first order challenge: how to bring down the cost of education while at the same time maintaining and increasing quality and access to education.
  • Supporting and adding to this challenge are the related demands upon institutions to meet higher standards through increased competition and the accreditation process all institutions are subject to. To remain competitive, especially within the for-profit higher education community and between the non-profit and for profit sectors, quality must not only steadily increase but must be demonstrated, proven, and publicized. This combination of the factors in the “Iron Triangle” and the calls for greater accountability represents a large challenge to higher education but also a giant opportunity for distance educators.
  • WASC Statement Regarding Desired Student Outcomes: The institution’s student learning outcomes and expectations for student attainment are clearly stated at the course, program and, as appropriate, institutional level.  These outcomes and expectations are reflected in academic programs and policies; curriculum; advisement; library and information resources; and the wider learning environment.
  • The foundation of the new demands of regional accrediting bodies is the DSOs for each degree program. Note that these are programmatic goals—goals for the degree program as a whole and not for individual courses. Here is a typical statement of DSO for a degree program:Students will demonstrate:Advanced knowledge, skills, and values appropriate to the discipline;The ability to be creative, analytical, and critical thinkers;The ability to work as individual researchers/scholars as well as in collaboration with others in contributing to the scholarship of their disciplines, as appropriate;Relevant knowledge of the global perspectives appropriate to the discipline;Knowledge of new and various methods and technologies as appropriate to the discipline;Advanced oral and written communication skills, complemented, as appropriate to the discipline, by the ability to access and analyze information from a myriad of primary, print, and technological sources.
  • Once the programmatic DSOs have been defined, the next task for an institution is to illustrate how the individual courses in the degree program “map” to the program DSOs. In other words, how do the program DSOs relate to the individual course DSOs? Here is a typical statement for mapping course DSOs to program DSOs.
  • Once DSOs have been established, accrediting agencies demand to see how these will be used to increase quality and effectiveness. This WASC statement references a process of continuous improvement.
  • The emphasis is on “external” or “third party” based measures. Institutional assessments (grades, GPA) are not enough. Employment rates, entering salaries, acceptance to graduate schools, professional achievements after graduation—all these are persuasive measures, but, of course, hard to collect. This WASC statement references external evaluations.
  • This chart illustrates one conception of the continuous improvement process. One of the premises of the online learning movement is that the investment in the production of learning/teaching materials can be captured and leveraged through re-use and (as we will see) continuous improvement. So a core technology of any serious and large scale technology-assisted learning organization is a content management system.What is content: it is really anything that can be digitally recorded and filed. For our purposes, of course, we are concentrating on content that will be used in the teaching/learning process. Examples: printed materials, video and audio recordings, charts, simulations, PowerPoint slides.Any content management system must include the capacity to manage the intellectual property rights of contributors to the system. This is known as digital rights management (DRM).Again, for our purposes, any content management system must serve the course authoring system in an efficient manner. The content management system should be capable of accepting and managing content from a wide variety of sources, not only from an internal content management system, but also from any digital material created by instructors, from the huge inventory of open material now available and also from material owned and controlled by others, including the University.The content management system should be able to handle almost any digitized material, text of course, but also video, audio, PowerPoint, flash files, and any combination. By “handle” I mean not only be able to file, but also find and manipulate.Following this logic, a course (or any “learning object”) can be produced from the content in the content management system with the course authoring tool.Students can then take the course. As they proceed through the course, their use of course material and particularly their successin achieving learning objectives, can be collected and analyzed.The data can then be used to modify the content (learning object) to improve it for the next offering.
  • I call this slide the “functional” view of the continuous improvement process because it breaks the process down to its functional stages.  We begin, of course with academic standards, which are most prominently and importantly expressed in the kind of accrediting standards we have just visited and in any institutional standards that have been adopted.  Then, with these standards in view, we start with the creation of the curriculum (degree program) which involves defining the DSOs for the program, defining the body of knowledge to be covered and the learning pathway, usually expressed first in course titles, to take students in a logical sequence from defined point A on the learning curve to point B as defined by the DSOs.  The curriculum planning process should also consider right from the start how the DSOs will be assessed and the degree of educational intervention that will be required.  For instance, for some programs a highly self-paced non-instructor led intensive design might be specified while for other projects the interaction between the instructor and student might be emphasized.   Once the learning pathway, expressed with the selection and sequencing of courses has been defined, then the course creation process can begin.  There are established best practices in course development which tie to instructional design principles.  The programmatic DSOs defined in the curriculum development process should be carried out through the course design.  Technologies appropriate not only for the creation of learning assets but also for the storage and future adjustment of learning assets are important if continuous improvement is to be emphasized.  And, the course development process must always honor the digital rights of the various contributors to the development process.Course initiation is mentioned here because it is sometimes forgotten.  Establishing the course within any institutional system and technological framework is an important part of the process and is covered by accreditation standards.  The course must be adequately described for students, easily accessible to them, and internally “navigational” with, for instance, bookmarks to indicate where students logged out the last time.  These same utilities should also be available for instructors.Course delivery is closely associated with the prior two steps and with instructional design.  It needs appropriate support both for students and instructors and in both technical and pedagogical dimensions.  Finally, learning assessment becomes the capstone element as DSOs are assessed both within the institution and from without by what are called “third party” measures. 
  • By this point in the presentation, I have tried to sketch the context for increased leadership by distance educators in institutions of higher education.  Now let me outline more specifically how that context works to our advantage.  The combination of the listed factors presents distance educators with an unprecedented opportunity to assume leadership positions within their institutions.  We have already clearly established that there are sharply increasing demands for colleges and universities to be more transparent and accountable in their operations, educational processes, and results.  This increase is partly caused and certainly sharpened by the fact that the higher education marketplace is being characterized by much greater competitiveness among institutions, and this competitiveness is spreading around the world.  It is not at all just hypothetical that UC Berkeley or Harvard are now competing directly for top students and faculty with the top Chinese universities.  Also, over the past ten years even the most traditional universities are beginning to become “open” and are actually using new instructional technologies in their educational programs, first in the classroom and then very quickly extended through Web technologies to students outside the classroom and often even remote from a campus.  Another opportunity for us arises from the rapid and sometimes confusing advances in learning technologies. 
  • This list of opportunities suggests some clear advantages that distance educators have over their colleagues on campus.  We do have a tradition of being learner centered, and in clearly understanding learner motivations,  and in structuring our programs to mesh with those motivations.  Many of us are either fully or partially self supporting, so we have to be sensitive to the needs of our market, including being open with students about our programs, able to provide them information of the benefits they will receive from their time and effort with us, able to provide them educational treatments at convenient times and places and in user-friendly formats which are sensitive to their busy life-styles.  In this context we have also freed ourselves from the traditional distractions and abstractions of “academic freedom” which seem to characterize more traditional forms of higher education, raising barriers to openness (no one should know how I teach my class because they might intrude on me) and accountability (I have tenure, so don’t bother me).  Also, we have been very willing to adopt new instructional technologies when they have proven themselves effective and usually have an internal reputation for technologically based innovation.  So we have some internal legitimacy in this realm.  Finally, although this will vary considerably from institution to institution, we usually have enough institutional autonomy to experiment with and purchase new technology.
  • We have identified four actions or practices you can do to help you position yourself as an institutional leader in the dawning era of higher education.
  • At the heart of leadership in the new era is the institutionalization of the continuous improvement process.  While individual faculty will continue to be able to consistently produce high quality educational treatments, those individuals and institutions that do not take advantage of continuous improvement will risk falling behind those that do.  A key step in the process is to capture learning data.  Fortunately, most course management systems (Moodle, Blackboard, etc) make this possible and reasonably easy.  In fact, often the data is overwhelming and needs to be sorted out.  Creating a process to mine this data and relate it to specific parts of the learning process is the challenge.  Institutionalizing this process, that is, embedding it automatically in the day-to-day operations of an institution is a significant advancement.  No continuous improvement process can work unless there is something to improve.  That is, the learning data must refer back to some “thing” (learning asset) that can be changed.  This part of the process in any operation of scale is impossible without some form of database in which to store these assets.  In addition to the capacity for storage, the assets must be easily identifiable, retrievable, and modifiable.  Establishing a database is thus indispensible for the process.  Of course, the database exists to be operated upon so the process must result in actual and measurable changes to the assets. This again involves an institutionally sponsored work flow process that results in improvement.In Slide #10, constant reference is made to “best practices.”  Learning about such practices is a constant demand on distance educators, and knowledge of best practices is often acquired through professional associations and constant contact with colleagues in the field.  Later in this session you will learn about one such organization/movement, the “Transparency by Design” movement. For more information about the Transparency by Design initiative, visit: http://presidentsforum.excelsior.edu/projects/transparency.htmlFinally, all this hard work in creating continuous improvement will contribute very little to your stature as a leader unless people know about it.  So, make sure you get the word out, especially inside the institution.  Involve faculty, invite review by the Academic Senate, celebrate success, gain faculty and student testimonials.  But don’t ignore the value of external recognition.  Apply for awards and consider publishing articles in this field.
  • Using new instructional technologies effectively is clear evidence that you are a leader in the field and has a symbolic meaning well beyond the actual effect of the technology adapted.  The first requirement of this suggestion is that you stay alert for new developments in the field.  You can learn this from your colleagues at conferences such as this one, both in formal sessions and in the hallways or exhibitor booths, and you can stay abreast of the literature in the field.  One very good annual report, called the “Horizon Report,” http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2009-Horizon-Report.pdf, is particularly aggressive in predicting new developments.  For instance it has predicted for several years that social networking technology and mobile devices will be important very soon.  When you learn of a new technology in use look for others who are the early adopters and benefit from their experience.  Usually the best place to be is the “almost early adopter” so that you, in fact, can take advantage of the experience of others and perhaps dodge some of the pitfalls.  As you introduce new technology you inevitably will be asked to justify its use and expense. It is therefore a good idea right from the start to consider how you will measure the effectiveness of a particular technology.  Obviously user satisfaction and scale of use is one metric, but the kind of learning assessment for continuous improvement is another.  One caveat: do not get forced into the comparison game—comparing one technology or delivery system with another almost always leads to confusion and controversy.  The question should be, is the new technology effective in its own right.One way to limit exposure on the adoption of new technologies is to use the limited, pilot project approach.  Using this experimental approach meshes well with the evidence-based approach prescribed above.Obviously, introducing new technologies will require some investment and it is prudent to put some money aside for such introductions.  Budgetary resources are very constrained these days but it is better not to introduce new technologies than to condemn such introductions to failure by not providing enough to get them started.  Again, telling the story of the adoption of new technologies is important and confirms and exposes your role as a leader.
  • These are the top-ten reasons to develop an open Web site:Public service. Institutions are seeking to stake out some of the high ground that MIT claimed in starting the movement. Clearly, underserved populations, including those in developing countries, are desperately in need of educational materials. Most universities see that providing OCW is consistent with their traditions of public service. Showcase for institutional programs. Universities view OCW as a way to attract favorable scholarly attention to their schools and colleges by showcasing their high quality instructional programs, offering them for adoption by institutions around the world. Attract prospective students. Students use OCW to seek information about the format, content, and pedagogical approaches used by an institution.Repository for instructional material. An institutional Web site can be a repository for high quality instructional material, either identified or created by faculty. Such a repository allows the sharing and reuse of material and, when open to the wider public, can be the basis for a teaching/learning community. The sharing and reuse can occur between faculty colleagues or between an institution in the U.S. and another, say, in Ethiopia. Dissemination of research results. A common feature of many research grants is the requirement for the dissemination of results. An active OCW site can be a very attractive and effective way of organizing research results for inclusion into the instructional process. OCW’s capacity for large scale, free instruction can be a highly valued dissemination technique.
  • These are the top-ten reasons to develop an open Web site continued:Funding target. While the “MIT model” focused on degree courses designed for MIT undergraduate and graduate students, the potential for OCW to serve selected and deserving target populations can attract funding from extramural sources. Save current students. Currently enrolled students of an OCW participating institution can view open courses to decide whether to include them in their courses of study and can refer to them for help in other courses. Staff training and development. An OCW Web site is a logical place for courses designed to train institutional staff. Institutions can save time and money by creating training courses and making them highly visible and instantly available on an OCW site. However, even more important are those training programs which may not be mandatory, but are highly desirable, such as training in institutional policies (copyright, research administration, consulting) that are often considered too expensive and inconvenient to conduct in face-to-face settings. Receptivity to OCW-in. The OCW-in movement is based on the fact that offering OCW courses may make the institution and its faculty more receptive to using OCW created in other institutions, thereby increasing quality and reducing costs. This trend is largely overlooked by U.S. institutions. Membership in a world-wide community. By becoming a contributor to the OCW movement, institutions and their faculty become members in a world-wide community of like-minded professionals willing to share their experiences and increasingly organized for their mutual benefit.
  • You will note that each of the methods above mentions the value of publicity.  Your status as a leader in this area must be communicated and reinforced as frequently as is possible (within certain bounds, of course).  If nobody knows you  are a leader, you aren’t a leader.The first principle in publicizing is to make sure you have the most strategic internal relationships managed.  Usually most important are the relationships with any campus unit that might see you as a threat such as the unit charged with aiding formerly classroom instruction on campus.  Also, it is important that the faculty governance structure (Academic Senate) be involved and informed of your projects.  And, of course it does not hurt to have faculty champions along the way, not to mention the senior management of the institution.  Internal newsletters, announcements, and  regularly scheduled meetings can be used to get the word out internally.  With the internal situation covered you should consider the strategic placement of information and stories about your successes in external publications.  Often these help confirm the importance and impact of what you are doing internally.Finally, don’t be afraid to toot your own horn and to be a personal representative of all the good things that are going on in your units. 
  • Beyond Accreditation and Standards: The Distance Educator’s Opportunity for Leadership

    1. 1. Gary W. Matkin, Ph.D.<br />Dean, Continuing Education, UC Irvine<br />UCEA 95th Annual Conference<br />April 8, 2010<br />Beyond Accreditation Standards: The Distance Educators Opportunity for Leadership<br />
    2. 2. The Challenge and Context for Leadership<br />The Iron Triangle<br />ACCESS<br />QUALITY<br />COST<br />
    3. 3. The Challenge and Context for Leadership<br />ACCESS<br />QUALITY<br />COST<br />
    4. 4. The Form of Accreditation Demands: Desired Student Outcomes (DSOs)<br />WASC Statement Regarding Desired Student Outcomes: <br />The institution’s student learning outcomes and expectations for student attainment are clearly stated at the course, program and, as appropriate, institutional level.  These outcomes and expectations are reflected in academic programs and policies; curriculum; advisement; library and information resources; and the wider learning environment.<br />
    5. 5. The Form of Accreditation Demands: Desired Student Outcomes (DSOs)<br />Students will demonstrate:<br />Advanced knowledge, skills, and values appropriate to the discipline;<br />The ability to be creative, analytical, and critical thinkers;<br />The ability to work as individual researchers/scholars as well as in collaboration with others in contributing to the scholarship of their disciplines, as appropriate;<br />Relevant knowledge of the global perspectives appropriate to the discipline;<br />Knowledge of new and various methods and technologies as appropriate to the discipline;<br />Advanced oral and written communication skills, complemented, as appropriate to the discipline, by the ability to access and analyze information from a myriad of primary, print, and technological sources.<br />
    6. 6. The Form of Accreditation Standards: Mapping Course DSOs to Program DSOs<br />WASC Statement Regarding Desired Student Outcomes at the Course Level:<br />The institution’s student learning outcomes and expectations for student attainment are clearly stated at the course, program and, as appropriate, institutional level.  These outcomes and expectations are reflected in academic programs and policies; curriculum; advisement; library and information resources; and the wider learning environment.<br />
    7. 7. The Form of Accreditation Standards: Improvement Process<br />WASC Statement Regarding Continuous Improvement Processes<br />The institution employs a deliberate set of quality assurance processes at each level of institutional functioning, including new curriculum and program approval processes, periodic program review, ongoing evaluation, and data collection.  These processes include assessing effectiveness, tracking results over time, using comparative data from external sources, and improving structures, processes, curricula, and pedagogy.<br />
    8. 8. The Form of Accreditation Standards: External Assessment<br />WASC Statement Regarding External Assessment<br />All programs offered by the institution are subject to systematic program review.  The program review process includes analyses of the achievement of the program’s learning objectives and outcomes, program retention and completion, and, where appropriate, results of licensing examination and placement and evidence from external constituencies such as employers and professional organizations.<br />
    9. 9. Sources of Content<br />Material from Content Management System<br />Teacher Created<br /><ul><li>VOP
    10. 10. Flash
    11. 11. Print</li></ul>Open Material<br />Proprietary Material<br />University Owned Material<br />Students<br />Course<br />(Learning Object)<br />Continuous Improvement Cycle<br />
    12. 12. OIT<br />TLTC<br />DLC<br />
    13. 13. Distance Educator LeadershipOpportunities<br />Increased Demand for Transparency, Accountability<br />Increasing Competition in Higher Education<br />Increased Acceptance of New Instructional Technologies<br />Rapid Introduction of New Instructional Technologies<br />
    14. 14. Distance Education LeadershipAdvantages<br /> Tradition of Learner Centeredness<br />Market Orientation<br />Technological Orientation<br />Institutional Autonomy<br />
    15. 15. What You Can Do<br />Practical Suggestions about How to Seize the Day<br />Establish Continuous Improvement Processes<br />Be a Leader in the Use of New Instructional Technologies<br />Develop an “Open” Web site<br />Publicize<br />
    16. 16. Establish Continuous Improvement Processes<br />Capture Learning Data<br />Create A Learning Asset Database<br />Use Data to Improve<br />Consider Joining the “Transparency By Design” Movement <br />Publicize<br />
    17. 17. Be a Leader in the Use of New Instructional Technologies<br /> Stay Aware of New Developments in the Field<br />Copy Others—Quickly<br />Adopt an “Evidence-Based” Approach<br />Perform Limited Pilot Projects<br />Make Budgetary Provisions<br />Publicize<br />
    18. 18. Develop an “Open” Web Site<br />Public Service <br />Showcase for Institutional Programs<br />Attract Prospective Students<br />Repository for Instructional Material<br />Dissemination for Research Results<br />
    19. 19. Develop an “Open” Web Site<br />Funding Target<br />Save Current Students<br />Staff Training and Development<br />OCW-in<br />Membership in a World-Wide Community<br />
    20. 20. Publicize<br />Create Strategic Relationships<br />Use Internal Communication Methods<br />Go External<br />Use Yourself as Symbol<br />
    21. 21. Gary W. Matkin, Ph.D.Dean, Continuing Education<br />gmatkin@uci.edu<br />http://unex.uci.edu/garymatkin/<br />http://ocw.uci.edu/<br />Download Presentation at http://www.slideshare.net/garymatkin<br />

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