20 (Inadequate) Ways of Talking About Learning, Technology and Higher Ed Change

How would you describe what you do, and why you do it?

March 2, 2016

How should we talk about our work at the intersection of learning, technology and higher ed change? What is the language of our practice?

Here are 20 (inadequate) attempts to describe this (our) work:

1 - The practice of improving postsecondary student learning through systemic institutional improvements in pedagogical practices, technology integration, and enhanced educator support.

2 - The effort to lead organizational change (where one is in the organization) to create new structures and resources to support educator goals and student learning.

3 - Leadership in academic transformation around a learning agenda.

4 - The integration of research on the brain and on how people learn, new technologies, and new organizational structures to support learners and educators.

5 - The development of spaces and opportunities to engage in R&D (research and development / design) around improving both learning and educator support.

6 - The development of new capabilities in instructional design, program assessment and analytics, and design thinking methodologies to improve student learning and educator support.

7 - The application of knowledge gained in online learning programs (both traditional and open) to face-to-face and blending learning in higher education.

8 - The application of the research in teaching and learning to the instructional operations of the institution.

9 - The development of a new discipline of postsecondary learning science - one that combines elements and practices of organizational change theory, research on the scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL), design thinking, and instructional delivery practices.

10 - The development of existing and future higher education leaders from a perspective and grounding in learning theory, organizational change, and postsecondary leadership practices.

11 - The creation of a network of higher ed change leaders emerging from outside traditional leadership pathways and structures within higher education.

12 - The articulation of the argument that learning is the new postsecondary differentiator.

13 - The practice of working with teams of educator colleagues on new programs in low-residency, blended, and online education - and the further efforts to apply what is learned in these initiatives to the traditional / ongoing operations of the institution.

14 - The advancement of the argument that authentic learning depends on the quality of the relationship between the learner and the educator.

15 - The effort to create postsecondary leadership opportunities for academics with professional backgrounds in Centers for Teaching and Learning (CTL’s), Academic Computing Units, and online programs.

16 - The effort to provide leadership training and skills (in higher ed change, finance, operations, communications, etc. etc.) to those academics with backgrounds and expertise in learning and learning technology.

17 - The goal of bringing the core theories and practices of instructional design (including design thinking) into the language and practices of postsecondary leadership.

18 - The attempt to address the big challenges of US postsecondary education in access, costs, and quality with the practices, research and theoretical frameworks of instructional design and organizational change.

19 - The integration of skills / experience in learning design and technology-enabled education to lead organizational change and academic transformation.

20 - The strong belief that our colleges and universities play a central and irreplaceable role in our cultural, economic, and societal fabric - with the simultaneous conviction that these same colleges and universities must learn to leverage new methods, new technologies, and new structures to meet the persistent challenges in costs, access, and quality.

Do you see your work in the language above? If not, how would you describe what you do, and why you do it?

If you are working at the intersection of learning, technology, and organizational change - what are the problems that you are trying to solve?



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