Academic Innovation -- be the change!

Concurrent Session 1 & 2 (combined)
Streamed Session

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

As we cull through the lessons learned from the pandemic of 2020 and continue to weather continued disruptions to our digital learning and/or online education sector, it becomes increasingly important for institutions to create innovative and sustainable academic models that can be pivoted with ease and also meet the learning needs of students.  This session will focus on opening up space for design thinking towards new models aligned with institutionally-specific criteria to take back for possible implementation at each participant’s institution.


Dr. Bouchey is Associate Professor and Vice Provost, Digital Strategy & Operations at National Louis University where she is responsible for standards of quality and service for online programming and credit for prior learning across the institution, as well as Learning Experience Design. 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:
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.
J. Garvey Pyke, Ed.D., is the Executive Director of the the Center for Teaching at UNC Charlotte. As part of the leadership team for the School of Professional Studies, 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 - 2022. He has served on various conference committees for OLC Accelerate and has served on the Steering Committee for OLC Innovate.
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.

Extended Abstract

As we cull through the lessons learned from the pandemic of 2020 and continue to weather continued disruptions to our sector, it becomes increasingly important for institutions to create innovative and sustainable instructional delivery models that can be pivoted with ease and also meet the learning needs of students.  As campuses around the globe continue to address the changing nature of COVID-19, many higher education leaders have started to recognize that sustainability and flexibility should be a key part of academic planning.  This session will take participants through exercises meant to free up their thinking from traditional academic delivery models into a space of creativity and open possibilities for organizational structures and development, as well as projects and programs that support online learning and delivery.  Leveraging design thinking, Blue Ocean Strategy, and drawing on fundamental concepts from entrepreneurship, participants will work on developing a rubric for academic innovation at their institutions, and think through a menu of new models that they can take back to their institutions to garner other stakeholder input into for possible implementation.  Participants will be challenged by the session facilitators, and peers -- both in small groups and as a larger group -- to think more boldly and broadly about models of academic delivery that meet the needs of the institution and its faculty, staff, and students and ones that are flexible and sustainable as well.  Participants will leave the session able to:

  1. Discuss innovation within the context of academic delivery models, 

  2. Identify core attributes of a future academic delivery models at their institutions, and

  3. Develop a set of possible innovations that can be implemented at their institutions.