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Strategies, techniques, and frameworks leaders embrace in approaching change for digital learning environments can significantly impact both the process and the outcome. Weiner (2009) delineated the construct of organizational readiness for change and argued that both the collective desire to change and the belief that change was achievable; were needed to support successful change management initiatives. In order to inspire the motivation and confidence that participants require for successful change management efforts, leaders of change in digital learning environments must select an approach that will best support stimulating these mindsets within their context. Biech (2007) explored the underpinnings of change efforts and differentiated theories, strategies, models of change, and approaches that existed, which can, contextually, support varying degrees of success. Selecting appropriate models of change can be challenging with the many theories and frameworks available. Within the context of digital learning environments in higher education, change is inevitable; and there are many scholarly exemplars of successful and unsuccessful leadership and change management efforts. Examining models of change allows for consideration as a project champion in an upcoming change effort, informing curriculum; and supporting integrative learning using ePortfolios.
A change in process and practice through the implementation of a newly adopted ePortfolio platform and a movement away from the currently used platform; will be rolled out within my institution this spring. I will be championing this initiative, providing training and support with the technological aspects of the tool, and supporting best pedagogical practices that foster integrative learning using ePortfolios. Applying Biech’s (2007) funnel stages “From Theories to Approaches” (figure 3-1) within this context, it could arguably be beneficial to support this change initiative using the following approaches;
The identified approaches in Table 1, mutually emphasize and holistically address the need for the inclusion of all stakeholders within the organization. Many scholars argued that stakeholder’s perception of change is principal to the success or failure of change management efforts (Kouzes & Posner, 2012; Sheninger, 2019; Weiner, 2009). Gedak (2019) examined and synthesized past change initiatives through introspection and consultations with several colleagues from a variety of roles, with multiple perspectives, and identified determinants for successful and unsuccessful change efforts. Gedak (2019) surveyed additional perspectives from Twitter and LinkedIn users and discovered ubiquitously strong opinions that aligned with some of Kouzes and Posner’s (2012) valued leadership characteristics, including; honesty, communication, and visionary thinking. The relevance of organizations and leaders selecting a suitable approach, contextually, to support the success of change in digital learning environments can not be understated, and equally important is the inclusion of all voices in which the change has an impact.
Biech, E. (2007). Thriving through change: A leader’s practical guide to change mastery. Alexandria, VA: ASTD Press. (2007). https://royalroads.skillport.com/skillportfe/assetSummaryPage.action?assetid=RW$1544:_ss_book:22651
Gedak, L. (2020). How Change is Addressed by Leaders in Digital Learning Environments. https://infograph.venngage.com/ps/MutbK2e36Q/how-change-is-addressed-in-dles
Kotter, J. (1996). Leading change (Professional development collection). Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business School Press.
Kouzes, J., & Posner, B. (2012). The leadership challenge: How to make extraordinary things happen in organizations (5th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Sheninger, E. (2019, December). Pillars of Digital Leadership. International Centre for Leadership in Education. http://leadered.com/pillars-of-digital-leadership/
Weiner, B. J. (2009). A theory of organizational readiness for change. Implementation Science, 4(1), 67. https://doi.org/10.1186/1748-5908-4-67