From Grassroots To The Highly-Orchestrated: Online Leaders Share Their Stories Of The Evolving Online Organizational Landscape In Higher Ed

Concurrent Session 2
Streamed Session Leadership

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Brief Abstract

Join us for an inspiration session led by forward-thinking leaders in online education! In this inspiration session, professionals in roles ranging from those leading online programs and campuses to those researching, teaching, and designing online learning will share their most innovative ideas generated from challenges that inspired action.



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:
Shelley Kurland is the Dean of Virtual Campus at the County College of Morris in Randolph, New Jersey. She has been an educator since 1999 and involved in distance education since 2003. Shelley’s areas of expertise and interests are in distance education, active learning, faculty learning, and the use of digital technologies with pedagogical considerations. She uses the question, 'Is this the best for the student?' as the compass for her professional work. Shelley's scholarly activities involve active contributions through professional presentations in the areas of teaching and learning in all delivery methods. As part of her action research dissertation study, Rethinking Teaching in STEM Education in a Community College: Role of Instructional Consultation and Digital Technologies, Shelley discussed educators’ tendency to introduce or to implement technology without aligning it to a theoretical framework, which may lead to the 'using technology for the sake of using technology mindset'. She developed and introduced the Learning-Teaching-Technology Cycle. Each of the elements – learning, teaching, and technology – is critical, connected, and inform each other as an educator designs and implements an activity and/or lesson. Shelley holds a B.S. in Exercise Science and Sports Studies from Rutgers University, a Master of Arts in Teaching with a concentration in Teacher of the Handicapped and a Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Teacher Education/Teacher Development. Both postgraduate degrees are obtained from Montclair State University. She also serves as a member of the Instructional Technology Council (ITC) Advocacy Committee and a member of the New Jersey Community College Consortium’s Distance Education Affinity Group. She is part of OLC's IELOL Class of 2018. Shelley was also the recipient of NJEDge Distinguished Service Award for Educational Technology in 2018.

Additional Authors

Erin is a Librarian at Orange Coast College in Southern California. Prior to this position she was the Senior Director of La Verne Online, the virtual campus of the University of La Verne. Erin was brought in to develop and implement a strategic vision for online education at the University. Prior to working in La Verne Online, Erin was an academic research and technology librarian for more than 15 years. She also teaches online and is an adjunct faculty in the EdD in Organizational Leadership program at the University of La Verne. She is a 2018 IELOL alumni and a founding member of the Collegiate Online Research Collaborative (CORAL). Her research interests are in faculty trust and readiness for change; resistance and readiness towards online education in higher education, and effective leadership and organizational structures of online education.

Extended Abstract

As research concluded on a year-long study into the evolving nature of online organizations at institutions of higher education, it became clear to the CORAL research collaborative that the “who”, “what”, “when”, and “where” of online education is a textured and organic space largely dependent on the institution’s history and culture, as well as perceptions of faculty, staff, administrators, and the needs of the student body and other institutional stakeholders. As such, online organizational structures often do not align with established organizational behavior/organizational development frameworks, instead online organizational structures at HEIs are nontraditional, diverse, and distinct from institution to institution. 

As online education units within higher education institutions (HEIs) continue to expand and evolve, it is important to not only research their nature and organizational structures, but to make sense of them through sharing histories, pain points, evolutions, and practices of peer 

Join us for a campfire gathering of forward-thinking leaders in online education that will be sharing their full stories in new book published by Online Learning Consortium and edited by Bettyjo Bouchey (National Louis University), Erin Gratz (Orange Coast College), Shelley Kurland (County College of Morris) entitled: From Grassroots to the Highly Orchestrated: Online Leaders Share Their Stories of the Evolving Online Organizational Landscape in Higher Ed.  These inspiring professionals ranging in roles from those leading online programs and campuses to those researching, teaching, and designing online learning will share their most innovative ideas generated from challenges that inspired action.  Serving as a preview of the book, but also an opportunity to have a more intimate conversation about their stories, session attendees can expect to leave the session with feelings of validation that we all have shared challenges and triumphs.  Furthermore, session attendees can expect to leave the session with tested and practical solutions to common challenges and a renewed sense of energy to elevate the work of online programming at their institutions.