• BC Open Research

    Last week, BCcampus published a blog post on a summary I did of the landscape of research in BC on open. I’m reposting it here so that I don’t lose it, forget about it, or any of the things that happen when websites change. I’ve realized in the course of curation OER in Other Languages that more copies is sometimes better when it comes to these kinds of efforts. In October of 2018, I began a secondment to BCcampus as Researcher, Open Education Practices. After being in an Administrator position for the last nine years, I’m grateful that this research role has afforded me the opportunity to do some catch…

  • Don’t let your online strategy become a conversation about which LMS to use

    I’m that age where I can say I’ve been working in ed tech for 15 + years.  Like many of us, my life in ed tech in higher education began more or less with the LMS.  Through the years I’ve witnessed the good, the bad, and the ugly with seemingly endless tentacles that the LMS brings to our discussions about teaching and learning and especially online learning in our institutions. Here’s the short of it. LMS’s do some things really well and are not going to go away.  We still use an LMS at our institution, and while I would really like the vendor to invest some of our hard…

  • Decentralized structures and the innovation agenda

    In a few of my posts on innovation, I’ve talked about the role that teaching and learning centres have in supporting an institutional innovation agenda, and where they can run into trouble.  In my last post, I argued that without proper prioritization, innovation can become an add-on watered down initiative that the centre is tasked with. I also wrote in one of my earlier posts about finding  the innovators in the institution, who are likely scattered across programs and the importance of recognizing and building on what they are doing.  I’m essentially advocating for a bottom up and top down approach to innovation with a goal of healthy and meaningful…

  • Prioritizing Innovation in the Organizational Structure

    It’s been a while since I wrote a series about the topic of innovation in higher education.  Here they are from 2015: About those innovation jobs…7 Rules About Innovation First steps in Creating a culture of innovation in higher education – Figuring out what innovation will mean Removing barriers to innovation – the teaching and learning centre and third spaces Some ideas for creating a culture of innovation Considerations for ed tech and innovation In preparation for being invited a second time (thanks Mark!) to facilitate a discussion on Institutional Organization and Support  in the Planning and Managing Technologies in Higher Education course,  I’ve found myself thinking about organizational structures and achieving higher ed innovation…

  • Innovation in Higher Education…and other blasts from the past

    I had the pleasure to be a keynote at CNIE 2017 in Banff last week, 14 years after first attending the very first iteration of this conference in the exact same location. This year’s theme was Exploring our past, present and future, which could not have been a more perfect theme to talk about a topic I’ve become quite interested in over the past year.  Last year I began looking into the past of concepts like open pedagogy/pédagogie ouverte  and delving into this past has really helped me gain some perspective on how we are currently talking about open.  Preparing for the CNIE keynote gave me a great opportunity to delve  more deeply into the past…

  • Some ideas for creating a culture of innovation

    In my last post I mentioned the importance of the idea of third spaces in creating a culture of innovation and in removing barriers to innovation.  I focused solely on the T & L centre as an obvious starting point for a third space or facilitative boundary object, partly because I really wasn’t in the mood to get into how IT departments, steering committees, etc can be so inhibitive, even if they try to be on board with innovation.  I find that often these inhibitive structures don’t really know how to be facilitative of innovation, and like T & L centres need some transformation.  As the new Director/VP of innovation you can’t always dismantle…

  • Removing barriers to innovation – the teaching and learning centre and third spaces

    In my last 2 posts ( 7 Rules About Innovation ; First Steps in Creating a Culture of Innovation;   I said I’d get to the topic of removing barriers to innovation in an institution. I’m a bit academic about this topic, since I feel like this stage requires some sort of framework that gives your actions some method to the madness.  This is also one area where I think senior leadership would do well to be a bit more academic outside of standard leadership literature and practices.  But I digress… Rogers’ diffusion of innovation theory is probably the most well known and cited tome on innovation, and I’ve found that senior admin really…

  • First steps in Creating a culture of innovation in higher education – Figuring out what innovation will mean

    In my last post I outlined Tannis’ 7 rules on innovation.  I said that the next post would be about removing barriers to innovation, but that’s actually jumping the gun a bit.  If you’ve just landed a job with innovation in your job title, the first steps are figuring out what your institution means when they say they want innovation. Find out what people at your institution care about when they say they want innovation.  This should be obvious, but chances are different stakeholders (the Deans, the President, the CIO, the faculty) all have different ideas as to what is innovation and what they want.  Innovation is a relative construct, and within an…

  • About those innovation jobs…7 Rules About Innovation

    Today was the latest job posting with innovation in the title, and this one is at a VP level.  This seems to be an emerging trend in higher education, suggesting both a desire of institutions to show their commitment to innovation first by including it in their strategic plans, and in addition to that, making sure at least one person in the institution has innovation in their job title. This isn’t a cranky, cynical post about this trend, but it does seem timely to share some observations about what some of institutional barriers to ed tech innovation are, and what can work in overcoming them.  For credibility sake, I should mention…

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