Agile Leadership with Heart

Concurrent Session 1 & 2 (combined)
Streamed Session

Watch This Session

Brief Abstract

The Global Pandemic has taken a toll on every aspect of our society and education is no exception. As leaders, we need to shift our mindset to provide a more agile structure for supporting our teams, our institutions, and most importantly, our students. Come learn about agile leadership, with heart.


Megan Kohler is a Learning Designer with the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute at Penn State. She has presented at international conferences, such as Open Ed 2010 in Barcelona, Spain, the International Conference on Arts and Humanities in Honolulu, Hawaii, and the Online Learning Consortium in Orlando, Florida. Megan relies on her training and experience as a professional actor to create a fun and engaging experience within her presentations and design work. Among her professional accomplishments, she is recognized for her work as the lead instructional designer and project manager on Penn State’s highly-rated Epidemics MOOC. She conceptualized the MOOCs by Design Webinar series and served as the pedagogical lead for the Penn State Digital Badges Initiative. She continues to explore interesting opportunities focused on improving the online learning experience for higher education.
Amanda Major, Ed.D., CPLP, PMP enjoys contributing to instructional design initiatives and leading projects to enhance online higher education. Dr. Major has experience delivering results in a variety of learner-focused and client-oriented environments. Prior to arriving at UCF as an instructional designer Amanda taught online courses, oversaw online program management, participated in strategic planning efforts, developed policies, offered instructional design assistance, and improved business processes to contribute to quality online programs at a large, public, research-intensive University. Actively contributing to the field of online learning, she has presented at national and international conferences and has peer-reviewed publications about organizational development, as well as e-learning operations and projects in higher education. Dr. Major holds a Project Management Professional certification from the Project Management Institution (PMI) and a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance certification from the Association for Talent Development (ATD). Additionally, she has earned certifications from the Online Learning Consortium and Quality Matters focused specifically on online learning in higher education. Her academic credentials include an Ed.D. in educational leadership, policy and law; an M.A. in industrial organizational psychology; and a B.A. in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in social psychological issues.
Dr. Bouchey is Associate Professor and Dean of Online Education at National Louis University where she is responsible for standards of quality and service for online programming across the institution. Dr. Bouchey has had the opportunity to lead all aspects of an online campus and programming in her career and spends time each week in deep dialog with an engaged personal learning network discussing the evolving nature of online education. Dr. Bouchey holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University at Albany, an M.B.A. in Entrepreneurship from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a Doctorate in Education from Northeastern University. She is a co-founder of the CORAL Research collaborative focused on online leadership and scholarship; her personal research interests include the nature and future of organizational structures of online units in institutions of higher education, as well as inventive and high-impact pedagogical practice in online teaching. Dr. Bouchey writes and is widely quoted in the academic and popular press; her articles and curriculum vitae can be accessed here:
J. Garvey Pyke, Ed.D., is the Director of the the Center for Teaching at UNC Charlotte. His work involves fueling the enrollment growth at the university through online course development, creating high impact student success programs using personalized and adaptive learning, promoting faculty success and scholarly teaching through innovative faculty development programs, and overseeing the provision and support of enterprise academic technologies. Garvey is also an alumnus of OLC's IELOL program (2010) and has remained an active member of this professional community of practice and served as co-director of IELOL 2018 and as a faculty member of IELOL from 2019 - 2021. He has served on various conference committees for OLC Accelerate and has served on the Steering Committee for OLC Innovate.
Dr. Moore is currently the Director of the Research Academy for Integrated Learning (RAIL) at University of DC. He also serves as an adjunct Assistant Professor Temple University’s Teaching in Higher Education Certificate program in the College of Education. He has a Doctorate of Education in Urban Education from Temple University and a Masters of Arts from The Ohio State University in Higher Education Administration. His dissertation investigated how exemplary college faculty employ Universal Design for Learning principles in their teaching practices. Carl has been teaching for over 12 years and has created and instructed a variety of courses in education at Temple, Cabrini College, and Arcadia University in both face-to-face and online formats. He also frequently an invited speaker and consultant on inclusion, leadership, and teaching and learning related topics. Prior to his current role, Carl was the Assistant Director of the Teaching and Learning Center at Temple University. He also served in a number of student services roles that focused on providing individual and institutional support to retain and advance learner success. These roles include: at the Community College of Philadelphia, Director of Student Success Initiatives; at Temple, Associate Director of Fox Advising, Assistant Director of Multicultural Education; at Kutztown University, Upward Bound TRIO Program Director. As a self-described social justice advocate and "techie," the sum Carl’s passion lies in the development of programs on teaching with technology and inclusion in higher education."

Extended Abstract

The Global Pandemic has taken a massive toll on every aspect of our society and online education is no exception. As our teams have dispersed to working remotely, there is greater need for flexibility, understanding, trust, and compassion. Our traditional leadership roles have been challenged and will continue to evolve as we navigate this uncertain future. As leaders, we need to shift our mindset and strategies to provide a more agile structure for supporting our teams, our institutions, and most importantly, our students. 

Borrowing from the software development sector, agile leadership equips us with proven techniques our teams need to thrive in our current unpredictable circumstances. At the core of agile is servant leadership and trust. Employing agile is often accompanied with a mindset shift, valuing people above all else. This highly motivating method instills confidence in the expertise of team members while bolstering morale, thereby improving the team dynamic as well as delivering value from the onset, failing fast to provide efficiency in the process, and involving key stakeholders as true partners. 

As agile leaders, this requires our engagement in critical, timely conversations to choreograph a collaborative vision that illuminates a meaningful path forward for our teams and institutions. Our role as leaders need to shift from managing to coaching the members of our teams towards self-directed and self-organized work. Providing the structure and processes to self-organize when issues arise and removing roadblocks to teams’ success. It empowers our teams to truly own their skill sets and to take the initiative to deliver value-laden solutions as needs arise. By building a community among teams, relationships are strengthened overall. 

While successfully inspiring others to become agents of change is important, so is compassion and leading with the heart. The distanced working situation we find ourselves in currently means we need to come up with more creative and meaningful ways to really connect with one another. Without the ability to casually strike up a conversation in the office hallway, colleagues can feel disconnected and even isolated. As leaders, we also need to be aware of this dynamic and understand how to keep our teams connected and thriving. Leaders can leverage principles of Agile leadership to better support the members of their team, further supporting an environment of inclusivity and fostering a sense of belonging and connectedness. Creating this culture shift in our professional environments can bring positive changes which will help us thrive in the current times and guide us to long-term success.



In this workshop, you will learn about the affordances of agile leadership and why it is critical for leading during a pandemic, and beyond. Through self assessments and sharing activities with your peers, you will determine your readiness to implement this approach. You will explore strategies for helping your team transition, and you will develop an ‘Agile Toolkit’ you can use to equip your team for future success.



Attendees of this session will 

  • Identify the basic principles of agile leadership
  • Discuss strategies for transitioning to an agile approach
  • Develop a custom toolkit for helping their teams transition to an agile approach