We must end ‘productivity paranoia’ on working from home says Microsoft — from inavateonthenet.net

Excerpt:

As part of a survey on hybrid working patterns of more than 20,000 people in 11 countries, Microsoft has called for an end to ‘productivity paranoia’ with 85% of business leaders still saying they find it difficult to have confidence in staff productivity when remote working.

“Closing the feedback loop is key to retaining talent. Employees who feel their companies use employee feedback to drive change are more satisfied (90% vs. 69%) and engaged (89% vs. 73%) compared to those who believe their companies don’t drive change. And the employees who don’t think their companies drive change based on feedback? They’re more than twice as likely to consider leaving in the next year (16% vs. 7%) compared to those who do. And it’s not a one-way street. To build trust and participation in feedback systems, leaders should regularly share what they’re hearing, how they’re responding, and why.”

From DSC:
It seems to me that trust and motivation are highly involved here. Trust in one’s employees to do their jobs. And employees who aren’t producing and have low motivation levels should consider changing jobs/industries to find something that’s much more intrinsically motivating to them. Find a cause/organization that’s worth working for.

 

Moving from program effectiveness to organizational implications — from chieflearningofficer.com by Rachel Walter

Excerpt:

To summarize, begin by ensuring that you are able to add business value. Do this by designing solutions specific to the known business problem to achieve relevance through adding value. Build credibility through these successes and expand your network and business acumen. Use the expanding business knowledge to begin gathering information about leading and lagging indicators of business success. Build some hypotheses and start determining where to find data related to your hypotheses.

More than looking at data points, look for trends across the data and communicate these trends to build upon them. It’s critical to talk about your findings and communicate what you are seeing. By continuing to drive business value, you can help others stop looking at data that does not truly matter in favor of data that directly affects the organization’s goals.

Also, from the corporate learning ecosystem:

Creating Better Video For Learning, Part 1 — from elearningindustry.com by Patti Shank

Summary: 

This is the first article in a series about what evidence (research) says about creating better video for learning. It discusses the attributes of media and technologies for digital or blended instruction, selecting content and social interactions, and the strengths and challenges of video.

 

4 Institutional Effectiveness Indicators to Watch — from campustechnology.com by Jack Neill
Is your college or university on track to achieve its strategic goals? Taking the pulse of these four areas can identify problems that need attention or successes moving the institution forward.

Future-proofing higher ed means knowing what’s coming and not waiting to enact a plan. In terms of what’s coming, we know advancements in technology, changing accreditation requirements, student demand, and employer-led education and job training (to name a few examples) are quickly changing the nature of how we learn and how we work. When it comes to future planning, embracing the new era of Institutional Effectiveness is the way forward.

Excerpt:

Like many things in life, Institutional Effectiveness is easier to define than it is to implement. But now we can’t deny the urgency for institutions to get these next steps right when it comes to executing their short-term and long-term strategic plans. Institutional change can take a long time, and while a holistic approach is encouraged, it’s usually not feasible (or recommended) to try to tackle everything all at once. Therefore, it’s important to recognize which areas require immediate attention in order to successfully steer the college or university in the right direction.

Here are four key indicators to watch, and how to determine if your institution is on the right track:

 

The Future of Futures —  from maried.substack.com by Marie Dollé; with thanks to Robert Ferraro this resource
Anticipating tomorrow, demystifying the hype, making the ambient chaos a little more intelligible… Faced with a world in crisis, the futures industry is experiencing a ‘big bang’!

Excerpt:

As Matt Klein, trend lead at Reddit and author of the Zine newsletter, very wisely explains, “Overwhelmed with data and headlines, we have more opportunities to connect the dots and identify trends. But without a framework or ability to actually differentiate worthy signal versus noise, we become conspirators cooking up meaningless and ephemeral things (…) It’s not enough to just paint a picture of the zeitgeist. Analysts, consultants and service providers need to help their clients decode a trend’s drivers, opportunities and threats, and then strategize.” A view shared by David Mattin: according to the trend expert and former Trendwatching consulting director, the pandemic has accelerated the growing awareness within many organizations of the need for some form of structured thinking around the future. “There is a necessary shift away from tactical trends and toward strategic thinking and transformation of organizations and systems. There is also a need for new and more rigorous ways to combine quantitative and qualitative data with future thinking,” he says.

 

I think we’ve run out of time to effectively practice law in the United States of America [Christian]


From DSC:
Given:

  • the accelerating pace of change that’s been occurring over the last decade or more
  • the current setup of the legal field within the U.S. — and who can practice law
  • the number of emerging technologies now on the landscapes out there

…I think we’ve run out of time to effectively practice law in the U.S. — at least in terms of dealing with emerging technologies. Consider the following items/reflections.


Inside one of the nation’s few hybrid J.D. programs — from highereddive.com by Natalie Schwartz
Shannon Gardner, Syracuse law school’s associate dean for online education, talks about the program’s inaugural graduates and how it has evolved.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

In May, Syracuse University’s law school graduated its first class of students earning a Juris Doctor degree through a hybrid program, called JDinteractive, or JDi. The 45 class members were part of almost 200 Syracuse students who received a J.D. this year, according to a university announcement.

The private nonprofit, located in upstate New York, won approval from the American Bar Association in 2018 to offer the three-year hybrid program.

The ABA strictly limits distance education, requiring a waiver for colleges that wish to offer more than one-third of their credits online. To date, the ABA has only approved distance education J.D. programs at about a dozen schools, including Syracuse.

Many folks realize this is the future of legal education — not that it will replace traditional programs. It is one route to pursue a legal education that is here to stay. I did not see it as pressure, and I think, by all accounts, we have definitely proven that it is and can be a success.

Shannon Gardner, associate dean for online education  


From DSC:
It was March 2018. I just started working as a Director of Instructional Services at a law school. I had been involved with online-based learning since 2001.

I was absolutely shocked at how far behind law schools were in terms of offering 100% online-based programs. I was dismayed to find out that 20+ years after such undergraduate programs were made available — and whose effectiveness had been proven time and again — that there were no 100%-online based Juris Doctor (JD) programs in the U.S. (The JD degree is what you have to have to practice law in the U.S. Some folks go on to take further courses after obtaining that degree — that’s when Masters of Law programs like LLM programs kick in.)

Why was this I asked? Much of the answer lies with the extremely tight control that is exercised by the American Bar Association (ABA). They essentially lay down the rules for how much of a law student’s training can be online (normally not more than a third of one’s credit hours, by the way).

Did I say it’s 2022? And let me say the name of that organization again — the American Bar Association (ABA).

Graphic by Daniel S. Christian

Not to scare you (too much), but this is the organization that is supposed to be in charge of developing lawyers who are already having to deal with issues and legal concerns arising from the following technologies:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) — Machine Learning (ML), Natural Language Processing (NLP), algorithms, bots, and the like
  • The Internet of Things (IoT) and/or the Internet of Everything (IoE)
  • Extended Reality (XR) — Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR), Virtual Reality (VR)
  • Holographic communications
  • Big data
  • High-end robotics
  • The Metaverse
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • NFTs
  • Web3
  • Blockchain
  • …and the like

I don’t think there’s enough time for the ABA — and then law schools — to reinvent themselves. We no longer have that luxury. (And most existing/practicing lawyers don’t have the time to get up the steep learning curves involved here — in addition to their current responsibilities.)

The other option is to use teams of specialists, That’s our best hope. If the use of what’s called nonlawyers* doesn’t increase greatly, the U.S. has little hope of dealing with legal matters that are already arising from such emerging technologies. 

So let’s hope the legal field catches up with the pace of change that’s been accelerating for years now. If not, we’re in trouble.

* Nonlawyers — not a very complimentary term…
I hope they come up with something else.
Some use the term Paralegals.
I’m sure there are other terms as well. 


From DSC:
There is hope though. As Gabe Teninbaum just posted the resource below (out on Twitter). I just think the lack of responsiveness from the ABA has caught up with us. We’ve run out of time for doing “business as usual.”

Law students want more distance education classes, according to ABA findings — from abajournal.com by Stephanie Francis Ward

Excerpt:

A recent survey of 1,394 students in their third year of law school found that 68.65% wanted the ability to earn more distance education credits than what their schools offered.


 

Higher Ed Is Looking to Refill Jobs. But It’s Finding a ‘Shallow and Weak’ Candidate Pool. — from chronicle.com by Megan Zahneis

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

While higher education has largely recovered nearly all of its pandemic-associated job losses, the task of recruiting and hiring administrators and staff members has become a daunting one, according to a Chronicle survey of college leaders, hiring managers, and administrators that was conducted with support from the Huron Consulting Group.

Nearly 80 percent of the 720 respondents said their campus has more open positions this year than last, and 84 percent said that hiring for administrative and staff jobs has been more difficult in the last year.

Those positions are harder than ever to fill, too: 78 percent of leaders said their campus had received fewer applications for open jobs in the last year, and 82 percent agreed that they’d fielded fewer applications from qualified candidates. Said one person who took the survey: “The pools have been shallow and weak.”

From DSC:
Ask any ***staff*** member who has been working within higher education these last 10-20 years if this development is surprising to them, and they would tell you, “No, this is not a surprise to me at all.” Working within higher education has lost much of its value and appeal:

  • Budgets have been shrinking for years — so important/engaging new projects get taken off the plate (or indefinitely postponed). So opportunities for personal growth and new knowledge for staff members have been majorly curtailed. Also, members of administrations may decide to outsource those exciting projects that do survive to external consultants.
  • Oftentimes, salaries don’t match inflation — and they were never stellar to begin with.
  • Staff are second-class citizens within the world of higher education
    • They aren’t part of the governing bodies (i.e., the Faculty Senates out there don’t include staff). Faculty members have much more say, control, and governance over things and get the opportunities to travel, learn, present, grow, share their knowledge, etc. much more so than staff members.
    • There are few — if any — sabbaticals for staff members.
    • Even those working within teaching and learning centers and instructional designers don’t have their hands on many steering wheels out there. Many faculty members prefer to hold their own steering wheels and they won’t listen to others who aren’t people they consider their “peers” (i.e., essentially other faculty members).
    • They often don’t get the chance to do research and to make money off that research, like faculty members do
  • Staffing levels are inadequate, so one takes on an ever-increasing amount of work for the same pay.

And others could add more items to this list. So no, this is not a surprise to me at all. In a potential future where team-based content creation may thrive, it appears that some team members are dropping out.

 

Private colleges’ net tuition revenue from first-year students declined in 2021-22, study finds — from highereddive.com by Rick Seltzer
The revenue drop comes as tuition discount rates for first-year undergraduates rose to 54.5%, NACUBO found. Selective colleges discounted less than others.

Dive Brief (emphasis DSC):

  • Tuition discount rates for full-time first-year students attending private nonprofit colleges rose 2.1 percentage points to average 54.5% in 2021-22, a new record high, according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers.
  • Average tuition discount rates also climbed for all undergraduates attending private nonprofits, increasing by 1.4 percentage points to 49%, an annual NACUBO study released Thursday found. That measure hit its highest recorded mark as well.
  • Net tuition revenue from first-time undergraduates fell for just the second time in 10 years, with colleges that aren’t selective in admissions struggling most.

Also relevant/see:

Smaller and Restructured: How the Pandemic Is Changing the Higher Education IT Workforce — from educause.edu by Jenay Robert

 

The Pandemic’s Lasting Lessons for Colleges, From Academic Innovation Leaders — from edsurge.com by Nadia Tamez-Robledo, Rebecca Koenig, and Jeffrey R. Young

Excerpts:

“Universities are in the business of knowledge, but universities do a very poor job of managing their own knowledge and strategy,” says Brian Fleming, associate vice chancellor of learning ecosystem development at Northeastern University. “You may have faculty members who study organizational development, but none of that gets applied to the university.”

University leaders should learn to think more like futurists, he argues, working to imagine scenarios that might need planning for but are beyond the usual one-year or five-year planning cycles.

The pandemic prompted more faculty to ask the question, “What do we actually want to use class time for?” says Tyler Roeger, director of the center for the enhancement of teaching and learning at Elgin Community College. And the answer many of them are landing on, he adds, is: “Actual face-to-face time can be dedicated to problem-working, and working in groups together.”

 

From DSC:
Hmmm…many colleges and universities keep a close eye on their peers and often respond with similar strategies that their peers are pursuing. But who is an organization’s peer? The Chronicle of Higher Education‘s posting below — “How a College Decides Who Its Peers Are” — stated that “there is clearly no shared definition of what constitutes a peer institution.” 

Plus, I found this item especially interesting:

Harvard University selected only three peer institutions: Yale, Princeton, and Stanford. But 22 institutions, including Bowdoin, named Harvard as a peer. Bowdoin, a small, liberal-arts college with about 1,800 undergraduate students and no graduate programs, chose 98 “peers,” including the entire Ivy League and many large universities, some of which enroll more than 10,000 students. Bowdoin itself was picked by 35 institutions as a peer. All of them were small, liberal-arts colleges or universities that primarily serve undergraduates.

I have often thought that colleges and universities should care far less about what their peers are doing. Rather, they should move forward with their own solid visions, bold actions, and well-thought-through strategies — as there can be a great deal of danger and risk in the status quo.

Too many alternatives have been appearing — and will likely continue to appear — on the lifelong learning landscapes. Most likely, these new organizations will offer in-demand credentials/skills as well as the capabilities of helping people constantly reinvent themselves — with far less expensive price tags associated with these types of offerings.


How a College Decides Who Its Peers Are — from chronicle.com by Susan Poser
Questions of institutional identity are at the core of the process.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

The mismatch between whom an institution chose as peers, and the colleges that reciprocated, pervades the data set. It raises the question of how institutions designate peers, which is a mystery. In some cases it is likely to be decided by someone in the Office of Institutional Research or the provost’s office in response to the Ipeds survey, while in others perhaps some process leads to a consensus among administrators. Regardless, there is clearly no shared definition of what constitutes a peer institution.

Also relevant/see:


 

Accelerated Digital Skills and the ‘Bootcamp Boom’. — from holoniq.com
The market for accelerated digital skills is stepping up to a whole new level. Bootcamps, among others, are evolving rapidly to meet the opportunity.

Excerpt:

Tech Bootcamps re-skilled and up-skilled over 100,000 professionals globally in 2021, up from less than 20,000 in 2015. We expect this number to reach over 380,000 by 2025 representing over $3B of expenditure with significant upside as tech up-skilling models and modes overlap and converge. Governments, employers, universities and colleges everywhere are embracing rapid, high ROI training to build capacity in software, marketing, cyber and tech sales to drive their economies and growth.

Also from holoniq.com, see:

Also relevant/see:

 

9 emerging tech trends IT leaders need to watch — from enterprisersproject.com by Stephanie Overby
As CIOs focus on enabling their businesses for the future, these key technologies will be front and center in 2022 and beyond

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Keeping on top of the newest new thing is fast becoming a tall order. At the same time, it’s never been more important to IT and enterprise success. More than two-thirds (68 percent) of IT leaders told IEEE that determining what technologies are needed for their company in the post-pandemic future will be challenging.

Looking at 2022 and beyond, CIOs charged with outfitting hybrid workplaces, enabling more resilient and flexible supply chains, and continuing the digital transformation march will be eyeing multiple new capabilities in concert. “Rather than single technologies, CIOs will have to focus on confluence of these to drive transformation,” says Yugal Joshi, who leads Everest Group’s digital, cloud, and application services research practices.

Also from enterprisersproject.com, see:

What does it mean to have a team when no two members are working in the same room? In one of Gartner’s more eye-popping predictions for 2022, they stated that “by 2024, 30% of corporate teams will be without a boss due to the self-directed and hybrid nature of work.”

 

The Surprising Impact of Meeting-Free Days — from sloanreview.mit.edu by Ben Laker, Vijay Pereira, Pawan Budhwar, and Ashish Malik
Many organizations are implementing no-meeting days, but finding the optimal weekly balance requires deliberation.

Excerpt:

Though building trust and achieving team cohesion rely on frequent, quality interactions, meetings are no longer the best way to accomplish this. As a result, many organizations…are taking a stand by adopting no-meeting days, during which people operate at their own rhythms and collaborate with others at a pace and on a schedule that is convenient, not forced.

The subsequent impact of introducing meeting-free days was profound, as outlined in the table below. When one no-meeting day per week was introduced, autonomy, communication, engagement, and satisfaction all improved, resulting in decreased micromanagement and stress, which caused productivity to rise.

 

11 Trends that Will Shape Work in 2022 and Beyond — from hbr.org by Brian Kropp and Emily Rose McRae

Excerpt:

9. The chief purpose officer will be the next major C-level role.
Issues of politics, culture, and social debate have fully entered the workplace. Employees have been asked to bring their whole self to work as organizations try to create a more inclusive and productive work environment. This is fundamentally different than a decade ago when employees were expected to leave their personal perspectives “at the door.”

Employees also expect their employer to get more involved in the societal and political debates of the day…

Addendum on 1/24/22 (emphasis DSC):

  • Leading in an Age of Employee Activism — from sloanreview.mit.edu by Megan Reitz and John Higgins
    Employees are demanding that managers engage on topics like climate change and racial equity — and leaders need to be ready to respond.
 

Surviving Among the Giants — from chronicle.com by Scott Carlson
As growth has become higher ed’s mantra, some colleges seek to stay small.

Excerpts:

The pressures on the higher-education business model are changing those attitudes. The Council of Independent Colleges’ fastest-growing initiative is the Online Course Sharing Consortium, which allows small colleges to offer certain courses to students at other institutions. Currently, there are 2,200 enrollments among almost 6,000 courses on the platform.

“The higher-ed business model is broken,” says Jeffrey R. Docking, who has been president of Adrian College for 16 years. “But where it’s most broken — and the first ones that are going to walk the plank — are the small private institutions. The numbers just don’t work.” Combining some backroom functions or arranging consortial purchases is just “dabbling around the edges” — and won’t get close to driving down the cost of tuition by 30 to 40 percent over the next several years, which is what Docking believes is necessary.

From DSC:
Docking’s last (highlighted) sentence above reminds me of what I predicted back in 2008 when I was working for Calvin College. The vision I relayed in 2008 continues to come to fruition — albeit I’ve since changed the name of the vision.

Back in 2008 I predicted that we would see the days of tuition being cut by 50% or more

From DSC (cont’d):
I was trying to bring down the cost of higher education — which we did with Calvin Online for 4-5 years…before the administration,  faculty members, and even the leadership within our IT and HR Departments let Calvin Online die on the vine. This was a costly mistake for Calvin, as they later became a university — thus requiring that they get into more online-based learning in order to address the adult learner. Had they supported getting the online-based learning plane off the runway, they could have dovetailed nicely into becoming a university. But instead, they dissed the biggest thing to happen within education in the last 500 years (since the invention of the printing press). 

Which brings me to one last excerpted quote here:

“For so many years,” Docking says, “all of these really smart people in Silicon Valley, at the University of Phoenix, at for-profits were saying, We’re going to do it better” — and they came around with their “solutions” in the form of MOOCs, or massive open online courses, and other scaling plans. Small colleges didn’t want to hear it, and, Docking says, maybe it was to their peril.

 

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

 
© 2022 | Daniel Christian