Never Waste a Leadership Opportunity: Reframing Local Technological Changes for Academic Transformation
Workshop Session 1
Left unharnessed, technological changes have the power to disrupt institutions chaotically. However, leaders must control these changes to transform the institution in desired ways.
Left unharnessed, technological changes have the power to transform institutions chaotically, against the institution's will. However, there is a leadership opportunity to control these changes and transform the institution in desired ways. Ultimately, what leaders must do when faced with these challenges is to take a holistic approach to tame the chaos.
In this session, we will focus on local disruptions and how they can be successfully managed for greater institutional goals and academic transformation. We will set the context by sharing several major changes at our institution [NOTE: these could be anything--the session is not about these things, per se--they are only examples upon which we hang the session themes; e.g., switching from paper-based to web-based course evaluations, changing the campus LMS, intentionally doubling DE enrollments, etc.].
These will serve as the backdrop to discuss three major themes:
(1) Changing systems leads to people changes and process changes;
(2) Managing and properly reframing these changes leads to academic transformation;
(3) Taking a leadership perspective vs. an operational perspective is required to make this happen.
Without an active leadership role to negotiate all three of these, technological changes have no framework and can therefore act upon the institution in ways that are undesired. And even when a major change is embraced, operational effort is so great that it becomes easy to lose the leadership perspective, thereby losing the transformative power of the change.
Session Learning Objectives
As a result of attending this conference workshop, participants will be able to:
- Identify how one recent technological change has transformed their institution, positively and negatively.
- Reframe a major change from a leadership perspective vs. an operational perspective.
- Create action items to harness changes to align with desired transformational goals.
We anticipate this session to be highly engaging. During the workshop, the interactive participation will comprise of more than half the time, balanced throughout the session. There will be an anticipatory question posed at the beginning, where participants will brainstorm in written and oral forms, sharing in small groups and also the whole group. During the session, facilitators will use examples to launch discussions around each theme. Groups will be given a case study scenario to discuss. Participants will also write and share strategies for each topic area as they relate to their own campus. Questions will be encouraged throughout, in addition to time allocated at the end for general questions and comments.
This addresses how to transform institutions more deeply than simply rolling out yet another successful technological change. Instead, we are creating a bigger, ongoing discussion with university stakeholders about what is valuable in teaching and learning in the academy. It is only when leaders see these opportunities for what they really are--leadership opportunities--then we create change.