Designing Effective Vendor Partnerships

Concurrent Session 7

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Academic culture is unique and the collaboration between academics and “sales” or vendors can be a challenge to comprehend, much less to develop a truly meaningful vendor-institutional engagement strategy. What does a healthy partnership between a vendor and an educational organization look like? This session aims to address this question by engaging participants in a thoughtful discussion about designing and building effective working partnerships with technology vendors. 

Presenters

Dr. Christopher Sessums is the Director of Academic Affairs at D2L working with higher education institutions across the globe to optimize student success and institutional effectiveness. Prior to joining D2L, Christopher served as a faculty member, researcher, and administrator at the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Education, at the University of California, Berkeley, and at the University of Florida. His research interests include assessment strategies, data and analytics, alternative learning models, lean business strategies, and educational policy.

Extended Abstract

Academic culture is unique and the collaboration between academics and “sales” or vendors can be a challenge to comprehend, much less to develop a truly meaningful vendor-institutional engagement strategy. What does a healthy partnership between a vendor and an educational organization look like, and what are the best ways to develop both a strong and a reciprocal partnering agreement with a potential vendor? This session aims to address these questions by engaging participants in a thoughtful discussion about ways to design and build effective working partnerships between academic institutions/faculty/instructional designs, and educational technology and/or software vendors—with insights from both sides of the field sharing their lessons learned and best practices! Both academics and vendors are strongly encouraged to attend and collaborate in this session.

A brief introduction and overview of institution/vendor relationships will be presented by the host/facilitator (8 min) followed by three Guiding Question sessions (27 min). For each Guiding Question session (9 min/each), participants will be given a specific case and question to respond to and discuss with a small group, followed by the opportunity for each group to share out their findings. The session will wrap-up (10 min) with a review of principles, tactics, and strategies that surfaced during our discussion as well as any final thoughts.

Key objectives of the session:

  • Construct deeper awareness of what a strong, mutually beneficial academic institution-vendor relationship can look like. 
  • Distinguish between healthy vendor relationship types and an unhealthy one. 
  • Co-construct tactics and strategies with peers on how to better engage with vendors. 
  • Collaborate with peers from both academic institutions and vendor tools at the OLC Accelerate conference on these strategies