About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4759-4762
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-615-0441-1
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2011
Location: Barcelona, Spain

21ST CENTURY LEADERSHIP LITERACY: USING THE AFFORDANCES OF AN ONLINE COURSE AS A CASE-IN-POINT TO ENGAGE LEARNERS IN 21ST CENTURY LEADERSHIP PRACTICE

B. Fredrickson, J. Higdon-Topaz, C. McFadden

University of Minnesota (UNITED STATES)
The practice of leadership in the 21st century is changing dramatically with the rise of social media and cloud-based metaphors for communication, learning, and knowledge management amidst a “dynamic, interdependent, and vast web of life – within a frame growing increasingly unmanageable” (Parks, 2005, p. 3). The quickened pace of information flow and the rapidity with which decision-making is expected of leaders has been called a “permanent crisis” (Heifetz, Grashow, & Linsky, 2009). As learners engage in the practice of leadership, they must grapple not only with the complex idea of what leadership is and how they themselves will realize their own leadership potential, but also how they will lead in a landscape of shifting socio-technical tectonics that is fundamentally altering the very nature of how we engage one another as people -- people who lead, people who are led, people who see each other every day, and people who may never see one another. While the focus of our course is not on technology itself, the importance of technology in enhancing or hindering the leadership process is undeniable. Making judicious decisions about how, when and what technology to use to facilitate our ability to develop and execute on a common vision across time and space is a 21st century literacy that will be critical to our learners’ success (Strasser & Augustinova in Weisband, 2008). In our introductory-level leadership course, taught entirely online, we leverage the inherent affordances of the distance format to engage learners in the practice of leadership in a digital space to develop these ever-emerging leadership literacies. The course has a strong element of individual content mastery as a prerequisite for the weekly group and project work that provides a laboratory for learners to engage in “adaptive challenges” (Heifetz & Linsky, 2005) requiring leadership within a group with peers they will almost certainly never meet face-to-face. Leaders of teams in distributed and virtual spaces need to be able quickly to adapt on the fly and quickly analyze and, when appropriate, apply new technologies to meet specific team needs efficiently and effectively. The 21st century leader must also be able to motivate other team members to engage in unfamiliar and personally challenging communication metaphors (Weisband, 2008, p.251). By incentivizing both the use and evaluation of various cloud-based collaboration tools as part of the leadership process, and by preparing students to identify and address patterns and behaviors such as social loafing, we believe we have created an environment for meaningful learning that models and promotes a sense of social presence that spans the limitations of space and time (Palloff & Pratte, 2005).

Heifetz, R., Grashow, A., & Linsky, M. (2009). "Leadership in a (permanent) crisis." Harvard Business Review, 87(7), 62-69.

Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (2005). Learning together in community: Collaboration online. Paper presented at the 20th Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning, Retrieved from http://www.uwex.edu/disted/conference/Resource_library/proceedings/04_1127.pdf

Parks, S. D. (2005). Leadership can be taught: A bold approach for a complex world. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Weisband, S. P. (Ed.). (2008). Leadership at a distance: research in technologically-supported work. New York, NY: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
@InProceedings{FREDRICKSON201121S,
author = {Fredrickson, B. and Higdon-Topaz, J. and McFadden, C.},
title = {21ST CENTURY LEADERSHIP LITERACY: USING THE AFFORDANCES OF AN ONLINE COURSE AS A CASE-IN-POINT TO ENGAGE LEARNERS IN 21ST CENTURY LEADERSHIP PRACTICE},
series = {3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN11 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-0441-1},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {4-6 July, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {4759-4762}}
TY - CONF
AU - B. Fredrickson AU - J. Higdon-Topaz AU - C. McFadden
TI - 21ST CENTURY LEADERSHIP LITERACY: USING THE AFFORDANCES OF AN ONLINE COURSE AS A CASE-IN-POINT TO ENGAGE LEARNERS IN 21ST CENTURY LEADERSHIP PRACTICE
SN - 978-84-615-0441-1/2340-1117
PY - 2011
Y1 - 4-6 July, 2011
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 3rd International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN11 Proceedings
SP - 4759
EP - 4762
ER -
B. Fredrickson, J. Higdon-Topaz, C. McFadden (2011) 21ST CENTURY LEADERSHIP LITERACY: USING THE AFFORDANCES OF AN ONLINE COURSE AS A CASE-IN-POINT TO ENGAGE LEARNERS IN 21ST CENTURY LEADERSHIP PRACTICE, EDULEARN11 Proceedings, pp. 4759-4762.
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