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Adapting university-based leadership preparation to changing times

We share a general sense, along with faculty members in other universities, of what Hackmann and McCarthy (2011) describe as a game-changing reality for educational leadership:

"… educational leadership units in U.S. institutions of higher education … face increasing external pressures as states contemplate reducing or eliminating licensure requirements for school leaders. The virtual monopoly that universities enjoyed in providing leadership preparation is no longer assured. School districts are “growing their own” administrators, and professional organizations and entrepreneurs are providing alternative tracks for individuals to become school leaders." (p. 269)

Budding excitement about technology-infused learning

As a faculty body, we have never been students ourselves in a high-quality online course and thus have no experience to draw upon in this respect or touchstones from our background that we bring to these new opportunities. While faculty colleagues in our workplace mostly focus on the challenges and limitations of online learning, there is some recognition of its strengths and capacity for serving diverse students from across the State by, for example, connecting them through quality networks and with knowledge specialists from around the country and world.

Translating current pedagogy to an online world

At this point, we have generated more questions than we have answers about online learning/programming.

  • How do we make an online environment bend to what we need it to do?
  • Can online learning/programming sharpen our competitive edge?
  • Will online learning undermine the human element of teaching?
  • How does the best of what we do translate to online learning?
  • What are the major perils and benefits of online learning?
  • How can we embrace technology and retain our valued idiosyncrasies?
  • To what extent and in what ways does online learning work for diverse groups?

These questions orient and ground our ongoing discussions within PLC sessions and retreats.

We have also established these four goals for continuing with our professional learning.

  1. Creatively rethink time, space, and resources . As an educational leadership faculty, we are beginning to see possibilities and opportunities for redesigning our programs. Examples include incorporating intensive 2- or 3-week, on-campus summer sessions with academic year online learning; utilizing sites beyond our campus for periodic, in-person group sessions and activities, such as team-building activities at a ropes course; “beaming in” experts from around the country to guest-facilitate using online, synchronous learning sessions; and utilizing Web 2.0 tools for online collaboration and student construction of course content.
  2. Establish a directional compass for online learning while upholding faculty values . We recognize that the professional learning and dialogue generated from our collaborative learning initiative will inform strategic planning and visioning and that such efforts will nurture our shared departmental values of equity and inclusiveness; collaboration and partnership; innovation and entrepreneurship; integrity and trustworthiness; engagement; learner centeredness; open-mindedness; renewal; and academic freedom.
  3. Empower faculty, empower ourselves . Faculty comments gained at our Fall 2011 retreat reflect a sense of empowerment that can come from being proactive by developing our own knowledge base and engaging with difficult questions regarding online learning. At the retreat, we discussed that we are being asked to do more with less while expanding technology-delivered courses and programs, in accordance with the President of our university system’s public announcement. We acknowledged that our external funding (IMPACT V) places us in more of a negotiating position than many other campuses facing a deficit in resources. We contrasted this reality with the competitive pedagogical prowess of other institutions in North Carolina that have a fully online capacity for their educational leadership programs, Western Carolina and East Carolina in particular, which pose a threat to our longevity. Being proactive about online learning by engaging in collaborative professional learning the way we are helps us to advocate for what we believe as a faculty is good practice and sound policy with regards to online programming while distinguishing us as learning-centered collaborative leaders. As innovators of 21st-Century teaching and learning, we are not allowing ourselves to be relegated relics of a bygone era or recipients of university mandates.
  4. Transform current programming . Early on in our professional learning, the discourse was framed around how best to transplant or translate what we do in an online world. There is a growing sense, as reflected in our work together, that online learning requires radically reworking our programming, as opposed to tinkering with it, as we make this shift to an online environment. We realize that online courses cannot be replicas of f2f, adaptations of f2f, or alternatives to f2f. In many cases, the practice has been to translate a traditional course syllabus for online learning. Many faculty felt that simply making their syllabus available online meant that they were teaching online. We are coming to understand the many different nuances that inform how different the online learning environment is from the physical classroom, no matter how hard course management systems try to make it seem familiar. The online environment offers many possibilities for learning, but some attributes of the classroom, with which faculty and students take for granted such as non-verbal communication (e.g., eye contact, active listening) do not have a literal translation online or at least vary considerably. To excel at online learning, we will need to be able to transform the environment for learners as well as change faculty perspectives about instructional delivery and content presentation. The online courses we are teaching were initially, in most cases, an attempt at replicating or adapting f2f, but we have found that to be unsatisfactory. With our IMPACT V faculty professional development experience, we are changing the game and, to the extent possible, playing it on our own terms.

Questions & Answers

where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Ncpea handbook of online instruction and programs in education leadership. OpenStax CNX. Mar 06, 2012 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11375/1.24
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