SCENARIOS, STRATEGY AND ONLINE DISTANCE LEARNING: ARE HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS PLANNING THEIR CREATIVE FUTURE?
University of Coimbra (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN13 Proceedings
Publication year: 2013
Page: 3138 (abstract only)
Conference name: 5th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2013
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:Higher Education Institutions (HEI) face nowadays the challenge of being complex and adaptive systems. Trying to balance incremental and discontinuous innovation (Raisch & Birkinshaw, 2008), efficiency, process standardisation, effectiveness and creativity (Gilson, 2005) maintaining organisational readiness and adaptability, may be their big “ambidexterity challenge”.
HEI competitive challenges and the many management barriers they face leads them to be creative and resourceful. Even in HEI environments where legal and institutional barriers are faced, positive and creative outcomes may be achieved if they provide services and products that are appealing to their old public or to a new public.
Identifying and acknowledging the main critical factors to achieve success with online distance learning (ODL) as a management strategy could assist HEI planning and practice. According to Cheawjindakarn et. al., (2012), those critical success factors are mainly five: 1) institutional management; 2) learning environment; 3) instructional Design, 4) services support and 5) course evaluation.
To get a holistic perspective on future scenarios for higher education and the role ODL may have, some outputs of scenario planning initiatives have been analysed.
On a medium term perspective and maintaining the same focus, through collection, data analysis and practices from European institutions in different countries, more than 120 institutional strategic plans and reports from those called “world class universities” have been analysed.
Keywords: Distance Learning, ODL, Higher Education, Strategy, Estrategic plans, Scenarios, Creativity, Ambidexterity.