Leading in Online Learning Environments: A Conversation About Challenges and Solutions

Concurrent Session 3
Streamed Session

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Leadership is tricky.  Online learning is complicated. It is easy to understand why many consider leading in online learning and online environments difficult.  This conversation session invites participants to discuss the challenges they face in online learning leadership and invites participants to engage in creating solutions to address these challenges.  

Presenters

Stephanie Hinshaw is the senior vice president of academic affairs. In her role, she oversees all academic activities and initiatives for the college, including academic programs and departments, curriculum production services, student affairs, academic excellence, and continuous improvement. As an advocate for student-first approaches and processes, Hinshaw's ethos revolves around monitoring and converting student feedback and achievement into actionable changes and eliminating barriers to continuing education. She is passionate about providing high-quality education in an accessible manner for adult learners. Hinshaw has worked in higher education for over 19 years and joined American College of Education in 2014, where she ascended the ranks, serving as the senior director of registration and student services, senior director of student operations, and assistant provost and vice president of student operations. Previously, Hinshaw worked as the director of admissions operation for Orbis Education, where she spearheaded admissions efforts for their accelerated online nursing programs and partners. She co-led the creation of their centralized admissions model. Before that, she served as an instructor, director of admissions, corporate director of admissions and marketing, and vice president of admissions for MedTech College. She received her MBA in marketing from Butler University and a bachelor's in journalism and public relations from Indiana University. Hinshaw is presently completing her Ed.D. in interdisciplinary leadership at Creighton University where she is researching the impacts of toxic leaders on their followers. She also attended Harvard's Graduate School of Education 2017 Women in Education Leadership conference and the Online Learning Consortium's 2019 Institute for Emerging Leaders in Online Learning, both programs are designed to help senior-level leaders advance their leadership practice and the field of education.

Extended Abstract

Overview: 

Leadership is tricky.  Online learning is complicated. Thus, it is easy to understand why many consider leading in online learning and online environments difficult.  This conversation session invites attendees to discuss the challenges they face in online learning leadership and invites participants to engage in creating solutions to address these challenges.  The overall goal of this session is to help participants develop strategies to create positive online learning relationships and outcomes.

Session Structure:

The session will begin with the facilitators projecting one slide for all to see.  The slide will list common struggles of leading in online environments: departmental communication, training and onboarding, building leadership capacity in faculty, leading change initiatives, creating online student support structures, engaging online faculty, engaging online students, and setting appropriate (and fair) expectations.  The facilitators will ask the participants to select two to four (depending on the size of the group) topics to explore during the session.  Once the group chooses the topics, the facilitators will create groups in the session.  Each group will spend 20 minutes coming up with challenges they face and potential solutions that would address these challenges.  Once that time elapses, the smaller groups will share their challenges and solutions with the entire group and invite others to comment on other solutions.  The facilitators will document all challenges and solutions and ensure these are shared with the group after the session ends.