Seriously, is Theresa awesome or what? Thanks so much for keeping this discussion going it's exactly the type of engagement (contribution and collaboration) I follow this list for, and raises a bit of a timely observation--work with me here: One of the areas often pointed to for "process reengineering and continuous improvement is" education enabled through technology (note I did not say online learning, indeed "learning online" would be more appropriate). I think Theresa's inclusion of a definition of "transformation" may be begging a few questions around authenticity versus trendiness/hype. Other ambiguous terms, like "innovation," come to mind.
For example, I've been ranting for a while about MOOC's. Here are a few recent tweets:
"Completely agree w/http://bit.ly/NjXVER I remember when massive amounts of people went online freely to learn-it was called "the web." #mooc"
"My Top 5 #moocs 5. http://bit.ly/NjYKOb [Wikipedia] 4. http://bit.ly/Nk0gQ9 [Atlassian Confluence Forums] 3. http://bit.ly/NjZ8Mq [Ubuntu Forum] 2. http://bit.ly/NjZoek [Educause CIO list] 1. http://bit.ly/N5cal5 [our own Confluence site]"
You'll notice I point to this list as one of my favorite MOOCs. It's "Massive" (hundreds? thousands?); its online (I think ListServs still count as being online); it's open (it is free to use, anyone can participate, it's content is redistributable/mixable); and it's a course (well, I learn a lot although there is no assessment or certificate (credential) -- although many on the list may assess me and think I am "certifiable.").
So what is transformative here? I do not think it's the technology (LISTSERV is 25 years old, http://www.lsoft.com/products/listserv.asp). How about the "process reengineering?" Well, I do not know if an email list is the most efficient means, or has all of the features/workflows that could be dreamed up for what we do (share ideas, issues, insights), but it seems to work. How about, "continuous improvement?" Again the list is pretty standard, but so are our communications.
I do agree, "Information technology is never sufficient, but is almost always necessary, for those transformations to have both efficient and effective outcomes," however I think the real shift enabling the "transformation" and "innovation" we are all seeing (feeling?) is around community. We are more willing to collaborate, seek others, reflect, and contribute (maybe because it's easier to?). Obviously the technology is important to allow this (I would really be impressed if Theresa ran a snail mail newsletter). But I'll also point out we, in this community, do just fine without a Confluence wiki, Sharepoint, LinkedIn, a CMS, etc. Too often we fall into "trendsformation," i.e we promote and implement trends in technology with an expectation it will lead to beneficial organizational transformation: remember Google Wave?
I wonder how many of us have in place the success criteria (and importantly the metrics to measure that criteria) to assess if any shift (i.e. transformation or innovation) is actually beneficial (efficient) to the organization? To "value transformational initiatives" we need to understand what is currently and potentially valuable about our current environment.
So to extend this question/discussion--how do we assess the value of transformative technologies--I would love to hear about how folks are assessing current practice to reveal the areas in need of transformation. Why doesn't the Educause CIO CG need to stop running a ListServ and start running a MOOC?
Thanks again Theresa,
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Chief Technology Officer, UMassOnline
The University of Massachusetts, Office of the President
333 South St., Suite 400, Shrewsbury, MA 01545
(774) 455-7615: Office
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Web Site: http://www.umassonline.net
From: The EDUCAUSE CIO Constituent Group Listserv [[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Theresa Rowe [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Monday, July 02, 2012 11:59 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [CIO] Issue #8
Moving on to Issue #8 on this holiday week:
Issue #8: Transforming the Institution's Business with Information Technology
Many institutions have already used information technology to achieve efficiencies. But "transformation" is a word du jour. Information technology allied with process reengineering and continuous improvement is the pathway to transformation. All aspects of higher education are being transformed, including teaching and learning, scholarship, research, institutional advancement, admissions, and administrative services. Information technology is never sufficient, but is almost always necessary, for those transformations to have both efficient and effective outcomes.
I think this topic lines up tightly with the previous discussion about governance. If your governance model creates opportunities for leaders to value transformational initiatives then you likely can answer the questions posted on the web site in a positive way, i.e., your institution's strategic plan includes transformative objectives involving information technology (my insert).
I looked up "transformation" to ground my thinking, and found these phrases:
* a change or alternation, especially a radical one (World English Dictionary)
* a marked change, as in appearance or character, usually for the better (The Free Dictionary)
There certainly is a lot of media play at the moment about the perceived need for transformation in higher education.
I came across this overview article about Transformational Leadership: http://psychology.about.com/od/leadership/a/transformational.htm
I thought this article was useful; even if your college or university culture isn't particularly valuing or responding to transformation of the full educational spectrum at this point, we can add value by demonstrating transformational leadership components: Intellectual Stimulation, Individualized Consideration, Inspirational Motivation, and Idealized Influence.
Chief Information Officer
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