A National Study Of Leadership For Online Learning In US Higher Education - Extended Session

Concurrent Session 7

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Brief Abstract

As institutions have evolved with online learning, Presidents and Provosts have established a leadership position to guide their efforts in this area. But what do we know about the leaders who are managing this academic transformation? This systematic study, a first of its kind, will shed light on that leadership. 

***This session is an extended presentation of the research introduced by Dr. Fredericksen during his Research Highlights & Trends presentation at 11:15am on Thursday***


Eric E. Fredericksen is the associate vice president of online learning at the University of Rochester and associate professor in educational leadership at the Warner School of Education. A national leader in online education, Fredericksen provides leadership for the exploration of online learning initiatives across the University. Previously, he was the associate vice provost at the University, where he provided leadership and services that supported the academic and research missions of the University. Prior to the University of Rochester, Fredericksen served as the director of academic technology and media services at Cornell University. As a senior manager in Cornell Information Technologies, he helped craft Cornell's presence and direction in the use of contemporary technologies to support research, outreach, and teaching & learning both in and out of the classroom. Before Cornell, Fredericksen was the assistant provost for advanced learning technology in the Office of the Provost in the State University of New York System Administration, where he provided leadership and direction for all of SUNY's system-wide programs focused on the innovative use of technology to support teaching and learning. This included the nationally-recognized SUNY Learning Network - winner of the EDUCAUSE Award for Systemic Progress in Teaching and Learning and Sloan-C Awards for Excellence in Faculty Development and Excellence in Institution-wide Online Programming. It also included the SUNY Teaching Learning and Technology program and Project MERLOT, which were designed to complement the classroom with technology-supported instruction. Fredericksen was also a co-principal investigator and administrative officer for three multi-year, multi-million dollar grants on Asynchronous Learning Networks (ALN) from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. He was responsible for the fiscal management, strategic planning, policy development, faculty development, marketing & promotion, technical support center for faculty and students, and operations and technology infrastructure. He managed a distributed statewide staff of IT, administrative, instructional design, and faculty support professionals. Under his leadership, the program grew from two campuses offering eight courses to 119 enrollments to 53 campuses offering 2,500 courses to more than 40,000 enrollments in just seven years. He has also designed, developed, and taught online courses for the Department of Educational Theory and Practice in the Graduate School of Education at the University at Albany for the past 12 years. Fredericksen is active in national efforts, including EDUCAUSE, the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative and the Online Learning Consortium (formerly Sloan-C). He was chair of the Sloan-C International Conference on Online Learning and previously served as chair of the Sloan-C Awards Program for Excellence in Online Teaching and Learning. He also served on the advisory board for Enterprise Learning at NYU. In 2012, Fredericksen was elected to the board of directors for the Sloan Consortium and currently serves as the President of the Board of OLC. He was honored as a Sloan-C Fellow in 2013.

Extended Abstract

Online learning in U.S. higher education continues to grow dramatically. The most recent estimates indicate that about 30% of all students enroll in at least one online course. As institutions have evolved with this important type of academic offering, presidents and provosts have frequently established a leadership position to coordinate and direct their efforts in this area. But what do we know about the leaders who have been charged with managing this academic transformation? This systematic study, a first of its kind, will shed light on the leadership that is guiding this new teaching and learning environment. As a result of this presentation, attendees can expect to understand the current state of leadership for online learning, compare and contrast the leadership for online learning at your institution with the national landscape, and analyze priorities and strategies for higher ed online learning in the context of your institution