Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Transforming Education

Greetings from the ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science, where a group is discussing how to introduce "blended" learning, that is traditional face to face classroom teaching combined with online learning. As the enthusiasts for e-learning, we have have developed, selected and proven the technology, we have the proven educational techniques. The students like this way to to learn, but the problem is to explain to our fellow teachers that this is something they can do and to the unviersity administration how to put the processes in practice to make it routine.

The paper being discussed is "Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail" (John P. Kotter, Harvard
Business Review, January 2007
). This has "eight steps to transforming your organisation": 1. Urgency, 2. Coalition, 3. Vision, 4. Communication, 5. Empowerment, 6. Wins, 7. Consolidating and 8. Institutionalisation.

However, Kotter's approach suffers a bit from the Harvard Business approach, where you involve senior management. In many organisations, gaining support from senior management is a measure of success, not a prerequisite for starting. I used a modified technique to get Internet and the web introduced to the Austrlaian Government.

One of the issues is how to teach students to collaborate and make changes.

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