COPING WITH TEACHERS’ CHANGE RESISTANCE: A STRATEGIC APPROACH
Leuphana University of Lüneburg (GERMANY)
About this paper:
Conference name: 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2013
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:Educational organizations are expected to have innovative responses to the continuous social and technological developments and so be able to sustain a competitive edge. In fact, a measure for an organization's competitive edge could be the innovative projects in which it has taken part.
The University of Lüneburg operates a variety of projects to meet the before-mentioned social and technological developments. One of the focal points is enhancing its teaching practices, whereby ICT (Information and Communication Technology) is given a significant role.
The projects range from the development and implementation of first MOOC's (Massive Open Online Courses) to the re-design of individual courses. Especially in the department of continuing education - Professional School -, E-learning has become an important issue to attend. In order to accelerate the development of teaching practices in this direction the Team “E-Learning – Content” was created.
The Team’s main aim is developing innovative E-Learning based educational concepts, and so, promote training and continuing education of highly qualified graduates.
In order to accomplish the team’s objectives, it is evident that existing teaching and learning practices need to be re-defined. The re-definition process is complex and involves change. The process faces diverse challenges including administrative ones, course design concerns, faculty preparation, sustainable concepts and quality assurance.
In this contribution, the issue “approaching teachers” will be addressed. Especially in the case of the E-Learning Content Team, teachers represent the main cooperation partners for reaching its goals.
Approaching teachers, sensitizing them about E-Learning, its meaning nowadays, its added value for teaching and learning, its possibilities and limitations, among others, is an issue which the E-Learning Content Team underestimated. Surveys carried out by the team in 2 different years show how teachers’ resistance on incorporating ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) in their teaching practices prevails, and that the number of cooperation partners has not grown as desired.
As a reaction to this development, the E-Learning Content Team designed an internal marketing strategy, expecting to proportionally gain more cooperation partners.
This contribution aims at presenting both, the determining factors that led the E-Learning Content Team to develop such a strategy; and the components of the strategy, including information sessions, incentives, pilot projects, exchange of experiences, among others.
Institutions need to be aware that E-Learning is not a trend and that it constitutes part of the learning landscape. In order to be more marketable, measures in the area of teaching and learning need to be undertaken, leading to the use of technology to complement the traditional face-to-face learning mode.
Keywords: e-learning, Teacher Resistance, Educational Change Process, European Funded Project.