chapter  11
12 Pages

Organizational Issues

Institutions of higher education are strategically positioning themselves with regards to adopting online and blended learning approaches. They are shifting from the public relations rhetoric associated with being innovative to moving ahead in drafting vision, policies and goals with regard to collaborative approaches to teaching and learning relevant to a connected world. These forward looking institutions are redefining their conceptions of what constitutes a quality learning experience in the context of ubiquitous, mediated communication environments. The answer as to what distinguishes institutions of higher education is increasingly being seen in terms of the quality of the learning environment, not simply being able to access information. By revisiting their core values and culture, institutions are recognizing a need to move away from passive lectures and are realizing that thinking and learning collaboratively are the means to significantly enhance the scholarly culture and learning environment in a knowledge society. Expectations are changing and there is little doubt that educational

institutions are being transformed as a result of online and blended learning innovations. However, the question is how to lead and manage this transformation. Institutions face the challenge of developing a vision and strategic direction that will position them to move forward in a way that provides the greatest flexibility to continue to adapt to new innovations. Meeting this challenge demands insightful, collaborative organizational leadership. Leaving it to the first adopters will not sustain teaching and learning innovation.