How should universities respond to MOOCs?

MOOCs were expected to be the panacea to Higher Education when they were first launched.  As predicated, it has now come back to have these MOOCs as networking in steroids.  MOOCs have now become not only an innovation or technology disruption to Higher Education, but a challenge to most of the Higher Institutions.

Aaron says:

Friedman doesn’t really seem to know what constitutes “best” in education. What makes a professor the “best” often has to do with factors that have nothing to do with how that professor may come across in an online environment where the format is something of a lecture writ large or simply recorded. In most instances, the professor is behind the scenes, setting up tasks and discussions, not really present himself of herself. More important than “best,” which cannot be defined even for MOOCs, is “different.” If the MOOC is a substantially different means of learning, and an effective one, it could very well prove evolutionary.

A thought provoking post on MOOCs – MOOCs are here. How should state universities respond?

Almost inevitably, the advent of large-enrollment, on-line college courses will put many colleges and universities out of business, and dramatically reduce the size of many others. In this new environment, there may also be opportunities for some educational institutions to offer new and valuable components to college education (even if much-reduced in scale relative to plans they have made in the past).

This is where Higher Education Institutions would need to re-think about their vision and mission at this cross-road on the Future of Higher Education, charting out emergent pathways and strategies in response to those challenges and opportunities, through conversation, research,  experimentation, and innovation with technology and pedagogy.

Photo: from other post (Google)

MOOC images (10)

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My reflection of Leadership in a networked world

If people haven’t heard a word from the leader and could still achieve the goals, then he/she could be the greatest leader. Why? Because, his or her actions speak out what he or she wants to communicate, not by words. It’s what people act (and serve) in the community/network that makes good leadership. And great leadership must come from people who shared the vision, when everyone becomes a leader, and at the end of the journey said: “We did it ourselves” (a quote from Lao Tze on leaders). The greatest leaders do not seek for fame or honor, like Jesus, but do require people to think, reflect and act, so we live our lives in full, despite obstacles and challenges.

#Change11 Education Model

Interesting analogy, Ken. VHS is now superseded by DVD, and Cloud aggregation, curation, and distribution through the media and webs (internet videos, Youtube).

How is the current HE model going to compete with these giant galaxies of formal education and informal learning in the internet – all filled with Udacity, edX, MOOCs, Networks, COPs, webs (a web of blogs), social media (FB, twitter)?

HE needs to leverage on those “affordances” to “resurrect”, as we have already witnessed the resurgence of higher education using different strategies like “flipping the classroom, class, education, or even the system – gamification in education” by some of the universities and FE colleges. This requires both courage in taking risks and leadership in steering education in the “right direction” and vision. But it also creates winners and failures, especially when the experiments didn’t work.

The use of more charismatic leaders to boost the morale and improve quality of education in individual institutions has been well known strategies for decades, but would that alone solve the problems?

Disruption due to technology, alternative “smarter” and “intelligent & pragmatic” education and learning cannot be solved alone by even the greatest leaders in the world, IMHO.

This is now a “system” and ecology problem, where supply and demand in education have gone imbalanced, especially when more learners are looking for better education, at a lower cost, and better teachers, resources, and learning environment.

Such challenges in current education model (HE in particular) is like the climate change, where we are feeling the heat, and the overall impact on each of us. It is not about money only, it is about how people could re-think the best uses of the abundant (not limited) resources available on the internet and webs. It requires sourcing the information, curating and feeding them to the audiences just like the newspapers that have been used for decades. It is where OER could be aggregated, reused, re-purposed, re-distributed and re-created to yield new and emergent education models, that would be relevant, based on just-in-time learning principles (without wastes, ideally, at the right time, right space, right cost, and right quality) that provides “best or optimum” values to each education system, educational institution, stakeholder, educator, learner.

This requires a total re-conceptualization of the education paradigm and the associated system, where the sole reliance of teacher – student interaction may need to be shifted to a wholesome enriching the engagement, interaction and experience for educators and learners. Terry Anderson’s latest session on engagement model well illustrates those points, as posted by George Hobson.

Image: From George’s post and Terry’s slide

Does it ring a bell?

John

#Change11 #CCK12 Moving beyond Management and Leadership Part 3

In this part 3, I would like to consider and reflect on various strategies in moving beyond management and leadership in a networked learning environment.

I would re-conceptualize a model where power, transformational leadership and networks could be used to support education and learning in a networked learning ecology and platform.

There is a range of leadership theory as explained by Dr Marti Cleveland-Innes.  These include Trait-based leadership, Emergent leadership, Contingency theory and leadership, Complexity leadership, Transactional leadership, Transformational leadership, Distributed leadership.

Leadership theories seem to relate closely to the powers as vested in the leaders, in networks, communities (including family, associations) and institutions.

Power in networks

Network socieity is best illustrated by Castells.

Here is the network theories of power.

Transformational Leadership

Why having transformational leaders? We need leaders as learners who seek to transform, and to explore new and innovative ways of learning, with the affordance of technology and networks.  Based on the results of survey, transformational leadership is better than transactional leadership. To what extent is it true in real life?  Under what context would transformational leadership be more valuable?  Would it be a networked learning environment, rather than an institutional environment?

Refer to this Transformational leadership:

The Components of Transformational Leadership

Bass also suggested that there were four different components of transformational leadership.

Intellectual Stimulation – Transformational leaders not only challenge the status quo; they also encourage creativity among followers. The leader encourages followers to explore new ways of doing things and new opportunities to learn.

Individualized Consideration – Transformational leadership also involves offering support and encouragement to individual followers. In order to foster supportive relationships, transformational leaders keep lines of communication open so that followers feel free to share ideas and so that leaders can offer direct recognition of each followers unique contributions.

Inspirational Motivation – Transformational leaders have a clear vision that they are able to articulate to followers. These leaders are also able to help followers experience the same passion and motivation to fulfill these goals.

Idealized Influence – The transformational leaders serves as a role model for followers. Because followers trust and respect the leader, they emulate the leader and internalize his or her ideals.

Power and Transformational Leadership

How would power relate to Transformational Leadership?

Experts and expertise

How about the experts then? We need to rely on people who are more than just an “expert” on any one topic, but across topics.

Instead of thinking about mere experts, how about developing expertise?

Leadership relates to the development and supporting of people to become more creative and innovative, especially in higher education in developed countries – like USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia etc.

Distributed Leadership

Leadership practice takes form in the interactions between leaders and followers, rather than as a function of one or more leaders’ actions.  In the case of networks, distributed leadership could be an ideal way to practice.

Who needs Leadership?

Marti summarizes the different views on leadership in Who Needs Leadership?

Here is the slide on Who Needs Leadership.

Jenny comments on leadership:

“There’s no doubt that if everyone in a given group or network is a leader, then everyone is also a follower and a view of leadership as invested in one charismatic person would have to change. The questions we ask about leadership would have to change.

But do we really think that there is no longer a place for the charismatic leader. World events, such as what is happening in Burma at the moment would suggest otherwise. Aung San Suu Kyi is clearly thought of as a charismatic leader – a leader of change.”

I think leadership as practiced in governments is fundamentally different from that in networks, as governance would likely require charismatic leadership to steer the country, or communities, whilst network leadership would likely require a more “de-centralised” or distributed leadership to steer the networks.

In this report by Schofield, K. (1999). The purposes of education. Queensland State Education: 2010. Retrieved from http://education.qld.gov.au/corporate/qse2010/pdf/purposesofed3.pdf.:

Formal education is becoming less institutionalised

In 1971, Ivan Illich’s Deschooling Society provided a very influential statement about the negative effects of schooling. He argued for the disestablishment of schooling and the creation of learning webs.

A good educational system should have three purposes: it should provide all who want to learn with access to available resources at any time in their lives; empower all who want to share what they know to find those who want to learn it from them; and, finally, furnish all who want to present an issue to the public with the opportunity to make their challenge known. Such a system would require the application of a constitutional guarantee to education.

While seen as radical in its day, many of Illich’s ideas now seem prescient, especially in light of Internet-based interactive learning, the popularity of the concept of lifelong learning, and the idea of a youth guarantee.

The ‘de-institutionalisation’ of education is evident in other ways. Multinational companies have set up their own universities. In Australia, some companies have set up university-linked institutes for their staff training. TAFE now competes with private training firms. More formal education occurs outside the classroom – in workplaces, trains, community houses, in cyberspace.

Marti says:

According to Schofield, education is a place where people develop according to their unique needs and potential; one of the best means of achieving greater social equality is to allow every individual to develop to their full potential. Leadership requires that schools be shaped in such a way to so.  Few accomplish this goal perfectly. The critics think otherwise – education is a system created to reproduce the existing inequalities.

Based on the analysis of networks, power and leadership, here is my proposed model where leadership would be contingent to the network involved and the power associated with the networks:

#Change11 #CCK12 Moving beyond Management and Leadership Part 2

What is the difference between management and leadership?

Management versus Leadership is well explained here.

In times of change, transformational leadership seems to provide a superior solution in leading the group or team.  Transformational leaders seek to transform.  Transformational leadership could also be used in peer mentoring.

Another form of leadership is distributed leadership.  It involves forming small teams with distributed leadership.

In the case of networks, what would leadership look like?

In this Applying Design Thinking and Complexity Theory in Agile Organization by Jean Tabaka, the focus of leadership in networks would be based on emergence and resilience.  To this end, I reckon distributed cognition, with distributed and emergent leadership would be a way to go.  This leadership characteristics may be based on the Cynefin Model as developed by Dave Snowden.

Picture: Google image

The sort of leadership style that likely makes sense in networking would then be based on an emergent practice.  This requires an emergent and resilient leadership style to steer the networks.  Action by leaders in such networks include probe, sense and respond in complex networks.

How to move beyond management and leadership in networks?

The most effective sort of leadership in networks may emerge out of a blend of peer leadership and servant leadership.

#Change11 #CCK12 Moving beyond management and leadership Part 1

Here I ponder how one could move beyond the management and leadership concept of learning in a non-hierarchical organisational setting such as networks or MOOC.  John Spencer says in this post I don’t want to manage my class:

Leadership is messy. It takes longer. It is often more confusing, more painful and more counterintuitive than management.

I shared John’s belief, and that leadership relates principally to relationship, and how one could influence the others through a combination of powers, affection, touch of feelings and understanding of emotions, through empathy and resonance.

I have posted the following quotes with comments in the post:

1. Leaders must exemplify the expected standards of behavior – wow, that is the tribal approach, sure! The tribal leader would determine what standards of behavior would be praised, rewarded, amplified, or show as an exemplary to all followers, or would declare such behaviors as the heroic action in the tribal manifestation.  Magnificent motto!

2. We must engage emotionally with students in their world – wow! Are leaders emotional counselors or “manipulators” of their students?  Of course students are emotional humans, just like their teachers.  So what is the role of the teacher in their students’ emotional journey?

3. Teachers and principals themselves are sometimes actors.  What sort of actors?  Why? How to act?

To me, the whole of education leadership lies with the building and sustaining of relationship in between agents, actors, entities, networks and communities.  This would take connections and connectivity to new dimensions – which would relate to people psychologically, mentally, and may be spiritually.  This stems from ideas shared among the agents (leader – followers, or everyone being a leader and follower), where information and knowledge are remixed and shaped by each individual to make sense of the interaction and ideas shared.

Leadership in essence is coming into understanding or co-forming of certain beliefs that would reinforce one’s existing experience (both leaders and followers), or leading each others to new and novel experiences in life.

This sort of leadership is emergent in nature, in that it evolves out of the interaction, based on deep reflection of one’s rooted beliefs, and challenges one to re-think about the philosophy often adopted towards certain fundamental concepts.  Jenny’s post discussing about the philosophy of MOOC is a great example illustrating the importance of emergent leadership, when open educational practice is practiced by the “leaders” in a course of network.

I will continue to explore this in Part 2 of a series on management and leadership.

Stephen provides a wonderfully crafted post where I would like to re-post it below:

Management Leadership That something else better that isn’t management or leadership
Attitude Compliance Humility Service
Authority Based upon title Based upon earned trust None; offers an example which may be followed or not
Questions Questions are viewed as a threat to authority Encourages questions to develop an ethical understanding Asked frequently
The Framework Procedural Relational Engaged and connected
Rules / Boundaries Based upon conformity Based upon an ethical, philosophical concept Based on respect for others
Procedures Standardized Personalized Adapted as needed
Innovation Discouraged if it challenges the status quo Provides a vision that inspires others Secondary to creativity, freedom and exploration
Submission Forced: based upon a fear Voluntarily: submitting to another’s strengths to protect one’s weaknesses There is no submission; exchanges are mutual and of mutual value
Motivation Extrinsic Intrinsic Not necessary
The Results Behave externally but rebel internally (or when no one is looking) Empathetic, ethical thinkers who want to do what is right Cooperative environment populated by creative and expressive individuals who see respect for and service to others as the highest good

#Change11 #CCK12 Power and Leadership

One of the most interesting topics that I found in MOOC is leadership, as I have shared in my previous posts – here, here and here.  This also relates to Power and authority in CCK12.

Photo: Google Image

See this video on power – “Why some people have power and others don’t” presented by Professor Pfeffer.

Steve posts in video: How does true leadership relate to the accumulation of personal and organizational power? A reaction to the writings of Jeffrey Pfeffer on the subject, in preparation for a Twitter chat (#LeadershipChat)

In the video, Steve quoted Professor Pfeffer’s assertion that:

“The notion of a non-hierarchical workplace is nonsense.  What you need to succeed in the workplace is above all, power.  He goes on to talk about the need to cultivate  those who are in power above you, so you can move forward in the organization.

There are certain valid points made by Professor Pfeffer, Steve says:

  • The need to network with influencers in the organization
  • Ask for help
  • Seek to be in high visibility positions
  • Essentially play the game of moving up the ladder in the hierarchy

There are 2 questions posted by Steve.

1. Is it necessarily leadership, when you attain a position of power and influence through these means?  Is this a display of genuine ability to create value and empower others and break new ground and make the pie bigger?  Or does it mean that you are simply very good at navigating through zero-sum game and beating others up to the top?

My response to Q1:

The leadership practiced with the mere holding of power may be based on individual achievement, rather than collaborative achievement.  So I wonder if such leadership practice would really help and support others in organisation in developing and growing into “truly ethical” leaders with a goodwill for the team and organisation in mind.  In the long run, such culture of competing in order to beat the colleagues and others to get to the top would likely set up a “role modelling” of getting power by whatever means, in order to succeed.  Is this the best way to develop personally and add value to the organization, through this means?

2. Is the giving of our energy, time and attention to this game really the best use of our leadership ability?  Do we really want to give ourselves to the building up of these types of hierarchical organizations?  Or do we want to give all of our skills, our will, our characteristics, traits and abilities to building bigger pies that enable other people may be in non-hierarchical organizations.

My response to Q2:

I think we need to reflect on the significance of giving our energy, time and attention at work, and how that would relate to our achievement of personal goals and organisational goals.  Leadership is a means to an end, rather than an end by itself.  Our question could be: To what extent would a hierarchical organisation, especially in this time of flux, be responsive to the changing needs of our customers and stakeholders?  The  sort of leadership styles and culture for an organization would likely be context driven, but should be aimed to provide values to the organisation, the leaders and those working within the organisation.   The building of bigger pies would likely benefit the organisation in the long run, as more people are empowered to make decision and respond to the customers needs and satisfying the customers.

There are however, many assumptions behind this building of bigger pies, as there are implications when people are still trying to compete and beat others in order to get promoted.

“Let’s discuss this role of personal and corporate power and how it relates to true leadership.” Steve says.

In a hierarchical organisation, it is undeniable that power and leadership is positively correlated and in most cases, the top leader would have the most power.

It seems to me that such power game has evolved throughout history, and I don’t think there would be any significant changes in the case of a typical hierarchical organisation in the near future.

The question is: When an “organization” is re-structured in a networked organisational structure, where social networking and learning networks are fused into the system, would this power game work?

Is empowerment a reality, or a rhetoric or Utopian concept when it comes to power in leadership?

How does power and leadership play out in networks?