Using a Systems Approach to Build a World-Class Online Program — from onlinelearningconsortium.org by Dr. Michele Norton and Dr. Ben Zoghi, Texas A&M University
In this blog, we unpack some of our insights and capitalize on them as we take a systems approach to continue building a world-class online program.

Excerpt:

Insight 1: Shifting from Assigning Tasks to Developing Collaborative Partnerships
We often create to-do lists for all the aspects of our online course: the videos, the articles, the quizzes, putting it on the LMS, etc. We forget that they all go together to create one learning experience for our students.

The person who edits the videos has ideas you may never have thought of, even if they are not experts in your content. Thoughts are everywhere; you have to value each person that has a hand in the process and be open to building a collaborative partnership instead of navigating a transactional checklist.

 

5 Ideas to Soothe IT Staff Burnout — from campustechnology.com by David Raths
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on the mental health of students, faculty and staff alike. But IT in particular has borne the brunt of keeping institutions’ technology infrastructure afloat through relentless change, often in the face of budget cuts and staffing shortages. Here are ways to help mitigate stress and better support IT teams during this challenging time.

Excerpt:

Faced with an increasingly stressed-out IT workforce, CIOs are trying to find innovative ways to boost morale, maintain work/life balance and enhance communication among teams. We spoke to three IT leaders who offered the following five suggestions, based on their own experiences over the past year and a half.

 

For College Finances, There’s No ‘Return to Normal’ — from chronicle.com by Mark S. LeClair
The critical problems facing higher education won’t end with the pandemic.

Excerpt:

Higher ed is in trouble. It faces a demographic crunch in 2026, when smaller high-school graduating classes will mean greater competition for students. That will lead to tuition discounting and underenrolled classes for many colleges. And yet that demographic crisis is only one of many significant challenges the sector faces. As noted by Forbes in its annual review of college and university financials, approximately 20 percent of all institutions now warrant a “D” ranking (its lowest). Many are under serious financial strain and may not survive.

The Forbes financial analyses have been warning of a worsening situation for years. The added stresses from the Covid-19 pandemic will further aggravate the untenable circumstances facing hundreds of institutions. There is now a very short window within which we must carry out significant reforms.

 

Planning for a blended future: A research-driven guide for educators — from everylearnereverywhere.org by Every Learner Everywhere in partnership with Online Learning Consortium (OLC) & National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements (DETA)

Excerpt:

The purpose of this guide
This resource is a collaboration among the National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advances (DETA), the Online Learning Consortium (OLC), and the Every Learner Everywhere Network. It is designed to serve as a resource for educators — faculty, instructors, instructional staff, instructional improvement staff, instructional designers, learning experience designers and developers, technological support staff, and other stakeholders — to guide strategic planning for blended learning courses and programs.

Therefore, blended learning is instruction that blends technological, temporal, spatial, and pedagogical dimensions to create actualized learning. Students feel they are successful when they actually learn and that does not always equate to grade and course completion.

Blended learning is instruction that blends technological, temporal, spatial, and pedagogical dimensions to create actualized learning.

KEY IDEAS

  1. Designing courses to meaningfully integrate the different environments and temporal cadence (online and onsite, live and overtime) while incorporating an active learning approach can improve student outcomes in blended and hybrid courses.
  2. Faculty must become guides for students and their engagement by intentionally and strategically using a variety of modalities to scaffold learning.
  3. By designing and scaffolding blended courses effectively, faculty can avoid the common pitfall of course and-a-half-syndrome, which occurs when the online portion of a course is tacked on, creating busywork for students.
 

Student Experiences Learning with Technology in the Pandemic — from educause.edu

Excerpts:

However, as most institutions pivoted to remote learning as a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic in 2020, we also pivoted to conduct a special fall 2020 study to gain insights on the student experience during what has been an exceptional time of disruption. In this report, we share results from the study related to student experiences with technology in the for-credit courses they were taking in fall 2020 in which they felt they were learning the most. Specifically, we asked students to think about their best course—the one in which they learned the most—and tell us about the learning environments and modalities of those courses, as well as instructors’ uses of technology in, the organizational and design features of, and the most and least effective uses of technology they experienced in those courses.1

Steps You Can Take
Institutional leaders should consider the following steps as they continue to respond to the most immediate needs of students and plan for a post-pandemic future.

  • Invest in the design, development, and implementation of hybrid course models and the people who support them.
  • Connect faculty with instructional designers and instructional technologists.
  • Put students at the center of your teaching.

The best student experiences were the ones that were focused on student learning experiences and did so from a position of empathy, care, and flexibility. If we learn one thing from higher education’s pandemic year it’s that higher education needs to invest in promoting caring, student-centered, and adaptive pedagogies.

 

 

eBook Release: The Needs Analysis Playbook—How To Make L&D A Trusted Partner In Your Organization — from elearningindustry.com by Christopher Pappas
You need buy-in to achieve success and enhance your business infrastructure. This needs analysis guide highlights the importance of gathering stakeholder and learner audience feedback, as well as red flags to look for throughout the process.

Excerpt:

The conundrum that many organizations face is whether to invest in needs analysis or skip right to development. After all, identifying gaps and realigning objectives takes time, organization, and planning. The truth is that it creates a solid framework for your L&D initiatives moving forward so that you target pain points instead of just brushing the surface of employee development. This needs analysis guide is designed to help you analyze stakeholders and get buy-in using a step-by-step methodology. Before we dive into the content, let’s look at why needs analysis is imperative for modern organizations.

 

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

 

The future of work after COVID-19 -- Woman working on a computer with wireless headset

The future of work after COVID-19 — from mckinsey.com

Excerpts:

This report on the future of work after COVID-19 is the first of three MGI reports that examine aspects of the postpandemic economy. The others look at the pandemic’s long-term influence on consumption and the potential for a broad recovery led by enhanced productivity and innovation. Here, we assess the lasting impact of the pandemic on labor demand, the mix of occupations, and the workforce skills required in eight countries with diverse economic and labor market models: China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Together, these eight countries account for almost half the global population and 62 percent of GDP.

Physical proximity scores of a variety of occupations

 

Future occupations in 2030 -- increases or decreases

 

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.

 

The future of learning is on the front line — from chieflearningofficer.com by JD Dillon
L&D can learn a lot from the front-line experience — regardless of industry or audience. 

Excerpts:

Chief learning officers must enable ecosystems that help people get ready for whatever comes next. The future of learning isn’t a technology or strategy. The future of learning is the future of work. Nowhere is this more true than on the front line. 

The collective effort made by global learning and development teams to enable the front-line workforce may very well represent the largest workplace learning initiative ever. L&D can learn a lot from the front-line experience — regardless of industry or audience.

Microlearning played a crucial role in helping front-line workers adopt new behaviors and reinforce new habits. Content was focused on just the knowledge and skills required to execute new tasks. Microlearning could also be delivered in three- to five-minute sessions, meaning employees kept learning and practicing every day despite their hectic schedules.

Instead, they expanded the definition of “digital learning” to include everything from video and text messages to microlearning and performance support.

As organizations find their next normals, L&D must seize the opportunity to assess the digital learning strategy. This should reach beyond the LMS to include the full workplace ecosystem.

Also see:

 

Specialties In Instructional Design and What They Do — from teamedforlearning.com
Specialties in instructional design can help both job seekers and hiring managers find the right fit for digital learning courses and programs.

Excerpt:

An instructional designer is anyone who designs and develops digital learning experiences. That may sound straightforward, but within that vague job title nest dozens of specialties. Even more confusingly, instructional designers may also be called learning designers or learning architects. Their work often overlaps with that of instructional technologists and content creators. Specialties in instructional design help both teammates and hiring managers to navigate this evolving position.

Untangling the complexities of the instructional design role can help both job seekers and hiring managers find the right fit. Identifying a specialty can help professionals carve out their own niche in the instructional design ecosystem. Greater clarity around what instructional designers actually do can help team leaders find the right instructional designer for their project.

 

The Great Contraction Cuts alone will not be enough to turn colleges’ fortunes around. — from chronicle.com by Lee Gardner

Excerpts:

With higher education facing average revenue losses of 14 percent or more due to Covid-19, the pandemic presents an existential challenge for the hundreds, maybe thousands, of colleges that entered last March with already precarious finances. Every week or so seems to bring new headlines about institutions making jaw-dropping cuts.

But slashing budgets alone, experts agree, isn’t enough to survive. Struggling colleges must cut strategically and adapt to a new way of operating, in order to find a way to eventually grow and thrive.

From DSC:
As I mentioned to a friend who wondered about those two words –“grow” and “thrive” in the last sentence above…

For too long many colleges and some universities have not been experimenting with other business models. They didn’t pay attention to the surrounding landscapes and economic realities of the masses. I think some of the institutions out there will grow and thrive — but it will be far fewer institutions who see such growth. SNHU, Arizona State, Western Governors University, and the like have done well. But then again, they thought big as well and did so years ago. They have a major leg up on other institutions.

She has served as a college president for nearly 20 years, and in that time, she has watched students’ view of higher education shift to be predominantly about “the outcome of being prepared for a job,” she says.

Funny how that corresponds directly to the increase in tuition, fees, books, room and board, etc. that took place during that same time. 

 

Public Colleges Are Going After Adult Students Online. Are They Already Too Late? — from chronicle.com by Lee Gardner

Excerpts:

But competing with the established national players in online education presents a tall order. The so-called megauniversities have a huge head start and deep pockets, two advantages public universities are unlikely to overcome easily, if at all.

Mega-universities have spent more than a decade building and honing well-funded and sophisticated operations that function on a scale few start-ups can hope to match. They spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year marketing themselves nationwide to students.

Mega-universities have also developed recruitment and admissions operations designed to make things as easy as possible for working adults to enroll.

 

 

Five free keynotes on online learning for streaming into virtual conferences — from tonybates.ca by Tony Bates

These are the five keynotes:

  1. Developing quality blended learning courses
  2. Digital learning and the new economy
  3. New technologies and their potential and limitations for teaching and learning
  4. Ten lessons for online learning from the Covid-19 experience (based on research findings)
  5. Online learning in the (k-12) school sector

From DSC:
Thanks Tony for sharing these keynotes and your expertise — which is drawn from so much research and experience. Thanks for giving it away — may your gift bless many. (And I thought you were going to retire…?!? Selfishly, I’m/we’re glad you didn’t!)   🙂

 
© 2021 | Daniel Christian