Change in Digital Learning Environments:Explanatory Text for Associated Infographic

Explanatory Text for Associated Infographic

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;

Table 1

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).$1544:_ss_book:22651

Gedak, L. (2020). How Change is Addressed by Leaders in Digital Learning Environments.

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.

Weiner, B. J. (2009). A theory of organizational readiness for change. Implementation Science, 4(1), 67.

2 thoughts on “Change in Digital Learning Environments:Explanatory Text for Associated Infographic

  1. Hi Lisa,

    I really appreciated the infographic that you created to address how change is addressed by leaders in digital learning environments. I particularly appreciated how you chose to highlight “recipes for success and disaster”!

    You have an very exciting upcoming project, as part of the team that will roll out the implementation of a newly adopted ePortfolio platform at your post-secondary institution! WOW! A very exciting transition. They are fortunate to have you championing the transition. This is an incredible application of all of the theories, strategies, models, and best approaches that we are currently studying! Applying Biech’s (2007) funnel stages in your post was an effective way to discuss some of the essential elements involved in this transition.

    I believe that ePortfolios are the way to go! I appreciate discussions about moving “assessment strategies” in K12 to digital portfolios, instead of our current report cards and letter grades. Assessment based on Mastery Skills/Mastery Based Learning and ePortfolios are exciting, but also involve huge shifts in K12 learning environments. It seems as much sense as they make, as much a part of “21st century learning” as they are, as a working combination — they are still a ways off in many public education systems in Canada.

    How is this big transition to ePortfolios being reacted to by the faculty and students at your institution? I image students would be more excited than faculty initially… Is there much resistance at this point? Just prior to implementation?

    Great post! Excellent connections to our learning and readings and an incredible opportunity to REALLY put it all in action!


  2. Thank you for the kind words, Leigh! I am excited to begin planning for this change and to revitalize teaching and learning at my institution using ePortfolios:) So much potential, I agree that ePortfolios could greatly support the transformation of traditional grades into assessment strategies, awesome way to authentically assess those ever-important 21st-century skills.

    I would agree that the students will be more prepared for this implementation than faculty, we are anticipating resistance, nevertheless; the data is in the preliminary stages of the collection so that will paint a more accurate picture.

    Thanks again,

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