The Story is in the Structure: A Multi-Case Study of Instructional Design Teams — from the Online Learning Consortium by Jason Drysdale (other articles here)

Excerpt:

Given the results of this study, it is recommended that institutions that are restructuring or building new instructional design teams implement centralized structures with academic reporting lines for their teams. The benefits of both centralization and academic reporting lines are clear: better advocacy and empowerment, better alignment with the pedagogical work of both designers and faculty, and less role misperception for instructional designers. Structuring these teams toward empowerment and better definitions of their roles as pedagogy experts may help them sustain their leadership on the initiatives they led, to great effect, during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study also revealed the importance of three additional structural elements: appropriate instructional design staffing for the size and scale of the institution, leadership experience with instructional design, and positional parity with faculty.

Also see:

A Practitioner's Guide to Instructional Design in Higher Education

 

A LIFETIME OF LEARNING — from continuum.uw.edu

Excerpts:

The 60-year curriculum is the modern approach to a lifetime of learning. Getting a degree, getting a job and never setting foot in a classroom again are not today’s reality.

A discussion paper from the McKinsey Global Institute predicts that in the next 10 to 15 years, the need for new tech skills will accelerate. We will also need people who will develop, innovate and adapt those technologies. The paper asserts that, right now, 80% of the workforce doesn’t have the skills for most of the jobs that will be available in the next five to 10 years.

The 60-year curriculum. Lifetime learning is now a requirement.

From DSC:
It would be good to integrate more vocational types of pathways/items in here as well.

 

Move over, blue- and white-collar jobs: The workforce color spectrum is expanding — from chieflearningofficer.com by Frank F. Britt
Here’s how gray-, green- and pink-collar jobs will define the post-COVID future of work.

Excerpt:

In 2015, a report from Burning Glass and General Assembly called attention to the rise of a new type of occupation. These roles combine technology skills with positions that haven’t historically required them, like analysis, design or marketing. Burning Glass called those positions “hybrid jobs.” Today, in a rapidly digitizing labor market where tech skills are fast becoming table stakes, we might just call them “jobs.”

Back when that report came out, so-called hybrid jobs were largely a white-collar phenomenon. But today, we’re witnessing a rise in demand for digital skills that is transcending desk work — and, in fact, may be transforming the entire “color spectrum” of the American workforce.

None of these are really white- or blue-collar jobs. We might think of them, instead, as gray-collar (at the intersection of manufacturing and technology), pink-collar (allied health and the care economy) and green-collar (clean energy). These are the jobs that will define the future of work. And they’ll be the majority of jobs in the U.S. before we know it.

 

 

The day Jason T. Smith liberated his people from the tyranny of hierarchy to collaborate and grow — from linkedin.com by Jeremy Scrivens

Excerpt:

I have been writing how 2nd stream future of work leaders will create an organisation design where their people don’t get hard wired to obsolete 1st stream job descriptions but are freed up to join collaboration of strengths. They sign up to #We based Charters of Collaboration.

A 2nd stream future of work leader disrupts the prevailing vertical and siloed design of organisations where people are bolted to individual managers. Instead, they join ecosystems of work, where people collaborate to a shared purpose. The configuration of teams is not based on job title or function but on the nature of the projects and the strengths required from the shared one talent pool.

That day, in sharing their stories, every person in the room experienced exceptional thriving because they were treated as equal partners in the work to imagine and co-create the future.

The two streams in the future of work -- reflections by Jeremy Scrivens by comparing first streams with second streams

 

Today’s Teens Questioning the Status Quo When It Comes to College — from prnewswire.com by with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource
National survey finds high schoolers want lower-cost, quicker paths to careers: 50 percent are open to something other than a four-year degree

Excerpt:

For those who have been following the discussion, it will not come as a shock that this demographic is extremely concerned about the cost of higher education. In fact, the number one thing teens would change about college is the price tag. Their second top concern is making sure the path they take directly connects them to a future career. Specifically, the top three things Gen Z teens are most concerned about:

  • 50 percent—graduating with a high amount of debt
  • 44 percent—not getting a job after they graduate
  • 40 percent—not being prepared for a job after school ends

From DSC:
I sometimes use the tag “surviving” and it often has to do with individuals and families. But over the last few years, I have found myself using it for institutions of traditional higher education (as I did for this posting).

It’s time for reinvention if we want those institutions to survive. Those who can’t wait until the status quo returns are likely in for a disappointment, if not outright shock. Over the last several years, many people have already lost their jobs throughout higher ed, positions have gone unfilled, and early retirement offers were made (and often snatched up). The headcounts have been decreasing for years and the workloads have increased for the survivors of such cuts. The use of adjunct faculty members has been on the increase for many years now. 

Those institutions that have cultures that support experimentation, innovation, and support strategic, nimble, entrepreneurial thinking have a better chance of surviving.

 

From DSC:
This is what we’re up against –> Reskilling 1 billion people by 2030” — from saffroninteractive.com by Jessica Anderson

Excerpts:

According to the World Economic Forum, this statistic is a critical economic imperative.

Does this shock or scare you? Perhaps you’re completely unflappable? Whatever your reaction, this situation will undoubtedly impact your organisation and the way you tackle skills development.

What are the roadblocks?

So, we’ve laid down the gauntlet; an adaptable, agile, multi-skilled workforce. What stands in the way of achieving this? A recent survey of the top 5 challenges facing learning leaders sheds some light:

1. Building a learning culture
2. Learning in the flow of work
3. Digital transformation
4. Learner engagement and ownership
5. Keeping informed of best practices

From DSC:
The article mentions that nations could lose billions in potential GDP growth. And while that is likely very true, I think a far bigger concern is the very peace and fabric of our societies — the way of living that billions of people will either enjoy or have to endure. Civil unrest, increased inequality, warfare, mass incarcerations, etc. are huge concerns.

The need for a next-gen learning platform is now! The time for innovation and real change is now. It can’t come too soon. The private and public sectors need to collaborate to create “an Internet for learning” (in the sense that everyone can contribute items to the platform and that the platform is standards based). Governments, corporations, individuals, etc. need to come together. We’re all in the same boat here. It benefits everyone to come together. 

Learning from the living class room -- a next generation, global learning platform is needed ASAP

 

Progress in the time of COVID-19: Reconsidering gender equity in the legal profession — from abovethelaw.com by Amanda M. Fisher
Here are five ideas to advance gender equity in the profession.

Excerpt:

Law is steeped in tradition, but COVID-19 ravaged several pillars to which the legal profession was moored. For example, time at the office was the highest currency before the pandemic, despite many lawyers, often parents — usually mothers — requesting flexible schedules and remote options. Yet during COVID-19, employers were forced to reassess whether time in the office is worth more than the safety of their employees. So, if we can make changes to keep the profession running during a pandemic, we can also reimagine the profession in a less-gendered way. Here are five ideas to advance gender equity in the profession:

 

Staff get little to no say in campus governance. That must change. — from chronicle.com by Lee Skallerup Bessette
As professors and administrators debate how to reimagine academe after Covid-19, that reform must include a greater voice for staff members.

Excerpts:

Why, then, in all of this recent (and needed) hand-wringing and speculating about the future of the university, post-pandemic, have we not heard many (if any) staff voices? Or for that matter, any calls for our voices to be included in any planning and restructuring?

Faculty members are the experts in their disciplines, but they do not have a monopoly of knowledge around pedagogy, programming, student success, inclusivity, equity, accessibility, among other things. We shouldn’t expect already overtaxed faculty members to be experts in everything and anything. In fact, the intense pressure that many of them are feeling lately is largely because of structures and traditions that discourage professors from collaborating with staff members who are experts in those areas.

With college campuses selling themselves as an entire “experience,” not just a set of courses, it’s high time for those of us responsible for that campus experience to be included in the larger conversation.

 

Digital transformation: 5 ways the pandemic forced change — from enterprisersproject.com by Gordon Haff
The pandemic has reshaped consumer behavior and team expectations. At a recent MIT Sloan CIO Symposium event, CIOs detailed what it means for organizations, IT, and the CIO role

Excerpt:

The new CIO role: Chief Influencing Officer
Zemmel says that the evolution of the role of the CIO has been accelerated as well. He sees CIOs increasingly reporting to the CEO because they increasingly have a dual mandate. In addition to their historical operational role running the IT department, they now are also customer-facing and driving revenue. That mandate is not new for forward-looking IT organizations, but the pandemic has made other organizations hyper-aware of IT’s role in driving change quickly. CIOs are becoming a sort of “chief influencing officer who is breaking down silos and driving adoption of digital products,” Zemmel adds.

Experian’s Libenson puts it this way: “The pandemic has forced us to be closer to the business than before. We had a seat at the table before. But I think we will be a better organization after this.”

 

Are universities going the way of CDs and cable TV? [Smith]

Are universities going the way of CDs and cable TV? — from theatlantic.com by Michael Smith; with thanks to Homa Tavangar & Will Richardson for this resource
Like the entertainment industry, colleges will need to embrace digital services in order to survive.

Excerpts:

We all know how that worked out: From 1999 to 2009, the music industry lost 50 percent of its sales. From 2014 to 2019, roughly 16 million American households canceled their cable subscriptions.

Similar dynamics are at play in higher education today. Universities have long been remarkably stable institutions—so stable that in 2001, by one account, they comprised an astonishing 70 of the 85 institutions in the West that have endured in recognizable form since the 1520s.

That stability has again bred overconfidence, overpricing, and an overreliance on business models tailored to a physical world. Like those entertainment executives, many of us in higher education dismiss the threats that digital technologies pose to the way we work.

Information technology transforms industries by making scarce resources plentiful, forcing customers to rethink the value of established products.

Paul Krugman, Economist, teaching on Masterclass.com

 

Learning from the Living Class Room

From DSC:
I can’t help but hear Clayton Christenson’s voice in the following quote:

An analogous situation prevails in higher education, where access to classroom seats, faculty experts, and university diplomas have been scarce for half a millennium. When massively open online courses first appeared, making free classes available to anyone with internet access, universities reflexively dismissed the threat. At the time, MOOCs were amateuristic, low-quality, and far removed from our degree-granting programs. But over the past 10 years, the technology has improved greatly.

 

Team-based content creation/delivery | We need this & other paradigm shifts to help people survive & thrive [Christian]

From DSC:
If the first wave of the Coronavirus continues — and is joined by a second wave later this year or early next year — I think a more permanent, game-changing situation is inevitable. As such, now’s the time to change the paradigms that we’ve been operating under.

It’s time to move to *a team-based approach.* To build up the set of skills an organization needs to pivot and adapt — regardless of what comes their way.

Let’s stop asking one faculty member to do it all! Consider this:

  • Would you fly in a plane that was engineered/designed/built by one person?
  • Would you drive a car that was engineered/designed/built by one person?
  • Would you go into brain surgery with only one other person in the operating room?
  • Are you, like me, amazed at the long list of people (and their specialties) who contributed to a major motion picture?!? The credits go on for several minutes — even when moving at a fast pace! Would you watch a major motion picture that was written, acted, produced, directed by — and had all of the music, special effects, and audio-related work done by — only one person? 

With the move to online learning, one person can’t do it all anymore — at least not at the level that the newer generations are coming to expect. They have grown accustomed to amazing, team-based/built content and products.

Plus, newer generations are going to know and experience much more telehealth-related services…then much more telelegal-related services. They will come to experience/expect high-quality learning-related products and services that way as well. Going forward, there are too many skillsets required by the creation and production of high-quality, online-based learning — not to mention the continued hard work of staying up-to-date on the main subject matter expertise at hand.

So if the kind of perspective continues as found in this piece — SURVEY: Students say they shouldn’t have to pay full price for online classes — then colleges and universities would do well to invest money in new Research & Development efforts, in team-based content creation, and in reimagining what online-learning could act/be like. Same for the vendors out there. And faculty members would be wise to invest the time and energy it takes to be able to teach online as well as in a face-to-face setting. Not only are they more marketable once they’ve done this, but they are then also more prepared to find their place within an uncertain future.

All of this will likely be an expensive process. Also, greater collaboration will be needed within a department (as we can’t be building a course per professor) as well as between organizations.  Perhaps the use of consortiums will increase…I’m not sure.

Perhaps a new platform will develop — similar to what’s contained in this vision. Such a platform will feature content that was designed and built by a team. Such a learning-related platform will offer streams of highly-relevant content — while providing continuous, affordable, up-to-date, convenient, and very well done means of staying marketable/employed. 

We will likely be seeing this vision come to reality in the future.

For another paradigm shift, accreditation bodies/practices are going to have to also change, adapt, pivot, and help innovative ideas come to fruition. But that’s another posting for another day.

 

RESEARCH REPORT: Shaping the Future of Post-Secondary Education — from cherrytree.com; with thanks to Ryan Craig for this resource
A Time of Transformation in Post-Secondary Education and the American Workforce.

Excerpts:
The objective of this paper is to:

  1. Analyze the current “forever changed” moment for both the post-secondary sector and American workforce; and
  2. Provide insights and ideas for post-secondary education leaders, employers, policymakers and investors based on my analysis.


First and foremost, only growth mindsets will work in this environment.

Online programs will continue to grow.

Higher education institutions must permanently reduce their fixed costs.

Accreditors are going to have to become more tolerant of new models. Accreditors were created to provide self-regulation and a system of peer-review that leads to continuous improvement. Along the way, they were asked to become arbiters of quality in higher education as a condition for federal financial aid eligibility. The structural incentives for accreditors create conditions for them to avoid risk and be conservative. This will not serve society well in the months and years ahead. They will have to embrace innovation or alternatives to traditional accreditation needed.

Faster, less expensive programs with easily understood learning outcomes which are directly tied to employment will be in increasing demand.


From DSC:
Some graphics come to mind — yet again.

Learning from the living class room

 

But this time, those folks who haven’t been listening or who thought *they* were in control all along, are finally being forced to wake up and look around at the world and the new landscapes. They are finally coming to the realization that they are not in control.

Innovation. Speed. Responsiveness. Quick decision making. These things are tough for many institutions of traditional higher education; there will have to be massive cultural changes. Bringing down the cost of obtaining a degree has to occur...or the backlash against higher ed will continue to build momentum. Consider just a couple of recent lawsuits.

Several new lawsuits filed recently against institutions of higher education

 

Dawn of the Age of Digital Learning [Moe & Rajendran]

Dawn of the Age of Digital Learning — from medium.com by Michael Moe and Vignesh Rajendran
An Acceleration of Trends That Have Been Building for Years

Excerpts:

Some of these new online learners will sink. Some will crawl out of the pool and never go back in. But we believe most will get the hang of it, like it, and will no longer be confined to the shore. Effectively, the genie is not going back in the bottle… digital learning has come of age. We have a B.C. (Before Coronavirus) world transitioning to A.D. (After Disease).

The Coronavirus has brought forth the Dawn of the Age of Digital Learning — a time for builders to create the platforms, tools, and technology to propel society forward.

We now believe Digital Learning will reach 11% of the education market by 2026, representing a ~$1 Trillion market and a 30% CAGR, close to double the rate of growth projected in Before Covid-19

 

From DSC:
So many of the things in this article reminded me of the things, developments, trends, needs, and possibilities that I have been tracking for years in this vision of a next-generation, global learning platform that I have entitled:

We need a next gen learning platform -- I call this vision Learning from the Living Class Room

My guess is that the large, primarily online institutions/organizations will come out of this ordeal in much better shape than the majority of the traditional institutions of higher education. It won’t matter what faculty members at liberal arts institutions think about online learning. And as much as some faculty members won’t like to see or hear about it, students will no longer need for such faculty members to be sold on it. Students will come to realize that it was under those faculty members watch that their own enormous gorillas of debt were created. And they are beginning to witness and hear that it’s taking (or will take) older family members decades to pay down their debt.

So, I think that the market will decide the fate of many traditional institutions of higher education. Lifelong learners will vote with their feet — and fingers actually, by typing in a new URL — and simply move to the SNHU’s, ASU’s, UMass Online’s, WGU’s, and Liberty University’s of the world. After 5-10 years of investments in online learning, there will likely be some pretty amazing learning experiences out there.

 

EDUCAUSE COVID-19 QuickPoll Results: The Technology Workforce — from er.educause.edu by Susan Grajek

Excerpts:

Most of the survey respondents are working remotely and getting their work done. Although the work itself hasn’t changed much, workloads have increased, especially for IT leaders and people supporting teaching and learning. Most people have the technologies they need to work and to handle sensitive data, but many are struggling to maintain their physical, social, and emotional health. On the other hand, the newfound widespread ability to work productively from home is a silver lining, and respondents hope it can continue after the severe isolation of the pandemic eases.

Higher education institutions have had to change their cultures abruptly. Many respondents observed faster decision-making, greater focus, more collaboration, and more willingness to experiment and innovate.

The toothpaste is out of the tube: remote work works and should continue.

Greater compassion and support for work-life balance increases workforce engagement.

Values to keep: focus, communication, collaboration, and transparency.

The pandemic is accelerating digital transformation.

From DSC:
My health and work/family balance has been impacted, big time. A double whammy for me was that our local YMCA’s all closed down while the workloads increased even more. But as someone said, our ancestors had to deal with a lot worse than this with WWI and WWII, other wars/societal impacts, etc.

I, too, hope to be able to work more from home even after our workplaces are no longer off-limits. I get a lot done, my energy is better (not having to commute 2+ hours a day), my productivity to my employer has increased due to not having to commute –> the time I was in the car is time they get productivity-wise.

 

Shared Responsibilities: What It Will Take to Deliver a True National Lifelong Learning Ecosystem — from evoLLLution.com by Denise Amyot | President and CEO, Colleges and Institutes Canada

Building a more flexible and accessible postsecondary sector will require concerted efforts from postsecondary institutions, governments, and employers, all of whom have a role to play in making the culture of lifelong learning a reality. 

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian