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Managing the Process of Organizational Change in E-learning Development at Institutional Level

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Title: Managing the Process of Organizational Change in E-learning Development at Institutional Level


1
Managing the Process of Organizational Change in
E-learning Development at Institutional Level
  • Guang YANG
  • London Knowledge Lab
  • Institute of Education
  • 15 October 2009

Institute of Education University of London 20
Bedford Way London WC1H 0AL Email
gyang_at_ioe.ac.uk Web www.ioe.ac.uk
2
Managing the Process of Organizational Change in
E-learning Development at Institutional Level
  • Background
  • Why?
  • What?
  • How?

3
Changes in British higher education
  • Changes in government spending
  • Dearing Committee in 1997 claimed that public
    funding for institutions has fallen by around 25
    per student since 1979, putting considerable
    pressures on universities and colleges (DfEE
    1998).
  • Since the Dearing report published in 1997,
    public funding for higher education has also
    fallen significantly behind investment in other
    educational sectors (schools, FE etc) from 2001
    to 2005 (Watson 2007).

4
Changes in British higher education
  • Changes in government aims for higher education.
  • Changes in student numbers and student diversity
    are also significant, the UK student numbers in
    higher education in 2004 tripled the numbers in
    1979 from 750,000 to 2.25 million (Watson 2007)
    p.39).
  • Changes in the British higher education system.
  • The structures of courses have changed.

5
VLEBlended learning
  • A UCISA survey (Jenkins et al. 2005) has reported
    a 7 uptake of VLEs in 1997 compared to a 97
    uptake by 2005.
  • It is argued that there are institutions which
    are struggling with addressing the central issue
    and ways to implement e-learning effectively,
    strategically (Goodfellow and Lea 2007).

6
  • E-learning is not effective in isolation. New
    ways of learning require new forms of
    institutional management (Elton 1999)
  • Many approaches that deployed e-learning have
    failed or wasted large amounts of money in the
    recent past years because universities were taken
    by surprise about the low conversion rate of
    potential markets into actual registrations and
    the requirements of higher levels of resources,
    and hence were unable to change internally
    sufficiently fast and well (Salmon 2005).
  • E-learning creates further pointed tensions in
    these political processes due to the pace of
    change, the investments required, and the need
    for involvement of more staff and stakeholders
    (Whitworth 2005).

7
Aims and Objectives
  • To examine the process of organizational change
    linked to the deployment of e-learning systems in
    a range of higher education (HE) institutes in UK
  • Focusing on the experiences and perceptions of
    senior managers, staff and students
  • The results could offer a framework to other
    higher education institutions to design and
    manage effective organizational infrastructures
    attempting to meet their own needs in e-learning
    development in the future.

8
Research Questions
  • 1.What are the conditions for implementing
    e-learning systems to be successful in HE
    institutions?
  • 2.What lessons can be learned that will assist
    other institutions design and manage effective
    organizational infrastructures in e-learning
    development?

9
Sub-questions
  • To identify the cultural/organisational change
    model is being adopted by the University and the
    process of why and how a technology for learning
    and teaching is selected and implemented at
    institutional level, and how this relates to the
    level and quality of e-learning implementation.
  • To identify the relationship between the process
    of departmental planning for learning and
    teaching and the use of new technologies.
  • To identify the policy and management demands and
    support for staff relating to teaching and
    learning, and their role in the changes that take
    place throughout the process of deployment of new
    technologies.
  • To identify the role of strategic developments of
    teaching and learning and policy have had on the
    change process.

10
Culture Components
Role culture Bureaucratic line management hierarchical decision-making clear division and demarcation of labor and strata of decision-making and responsibility formal and inflexible operational procedures detailed job specifications close monitoring of performance concern for task achievement propensity for stagnation limited adaptability to change
Power culture Centralized control significance of leaders limited collegiality high significance of micro-politics fluid, negotiated power competitive frequent low morale amongst non-leaders blame culture for failure strong and flexible
Achievement culture Emphasis on results, standards, outcomes collaborative and collegial task focused with task groups and teams much autonomy of teams using power to coordinate tasks in order to achieve results extended and flexible use of expertise significance of project leaders high capability to change
Support culture Person centered formal and informal support services consensus based positional power replaced by the authority of expertise individual concerns over-ride organizational concerns personal empowerment limited constraints on staff resource rich
Figure 2.2 (Harrison
1998)
11
Mintzbergs view of an organization
Strategic management Middle management The
production Teams
  • Technostructure

    Supporting service

  • (Mintzberg,1983)




12
Models of Change
  • A Fordist model of changefavour
    industrialization
  • The Ecologicallearning organization model of
    change
  • The complete process for organizational learning
    can then be characterised as a succession of
    activities
  • Expending knowledge
  • Sharing
  • Innovating
  • Evaluating
  • Implementing
  • Validating


  • (Laurillard 2002)

13
E-learning Implementation
  • Top-down
    Vs Bottom-up
  • By policy and strategy development
    By pilot and individual funded
  • initiated by member of upper
    project
  • Management
  • Not consultative and inclusive
    Creates some excellence and
  • enough
    areas of inactivity

14
Methodological approach
15
Participants
  • Four Cases two research-oriented universities
    two new universities
  • Interviewees
  • The senior managers for teaching and learning
  • Managers of the learning technology group
  • Learning Technology Advisers, IS support staff
  • Lecturers

16
First Case New university--A
  • Factors that appear to be affecting the
    implementation at departmental level from
    lecturers point of view
  • availability of the resources,
  • staff training and extra staff time,
  • e-learning specialist and moderator,
  • staff involvement and motivation,
  • policy and strategy

17
Case 1New university

  • University culture
  • University top management
    commitment

  • PolicyStrategy
  • (Departmental level) Funding Management
    commitment and support
  • Research Human resources Departmental
    strategy and planning
  • Positive or
    negative impacts
  • Staff involvement and
    motivation

18
Case 1 Different images from the manager
  • Policy and strategy document ---came out last
    year
  • going in a successful way
  • Most Challenging
  • Not money, not time, it is understanding where
    people were or are

19
Case 2 Old universityBC
  • Factors that appear to be affecting the
    implementation at departmental level from
    lecturers point of view
  • E-learning technologists
  • Departmental management commitment
  • Students needs

20
Case 3Old university--C
  • Decentralized structurefunding allocation, staff
    allocation.
  • Grass root change modes
  • Open resources
  • Lecturers perception of technologytutorial
    system

21
Preliminary findings
  • Whether a top-down, bottom-up approach or a
    combined approach would yield better results for
    adopting an e-learning strategy depending on the
    institutional culture.
  • Conversational, not confrontational
  • Middle management Agent of Change---Managing
    change or change manager?
  • E-learning Champions
  • Mixed ICT Support structure

22
Thank you!
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