LSC Postings re: Planning (July 2015)

Recent reports from national and disciplinary communities are valuable resources for institutional teams tackling the challenge of change. Although few mention attention to the physical environment for learning,  the processes and analyses of cultural change presented in these reports relating to a transformed environment for learning advance the planning of spaces in which learning happens. 

The critical features of success and failure in planning documented in this report present a broad set of integrated activities that must be incorporated into the planning process if the resulting learning spaces are to serve the institution with distinction immediately and into the future.

          

Critical Features of Success and Failure

Leadership.

The importance of strong leadership with a clear and well communicated educational vision is repeatedly emphasised in the literature…. Indeed, “one of the main reasons that changes do not occur is that people fundamentally do not understand the proposed change and need to undergo a learning process in order to successfully enact the change….” 

Faculty development. 

Participation in faculty development programmes appears to influence an individual’s openness to implementing new teaching and learning approaches in the classroom....

Faculty engagement. 

Developing a strong sense of faculty ownership of the reforms is identified as critical for successful change:

  • Establish a sense of urgency 
  • Form a powerful guiding coalition
  • Gather a leadership team to design and promote the curricular change
  • Create a vision
  • Define and agree upon new learning objectives and a new learning environment
  • Communicate the vision 
  • Discuss the new objectives and environment with the college and revise based on feedback 
  • Empower others to act on the vision
  • Implement new curriculum using a pilot, if necessary 
  • Plan for and create short-term wins
  • Conduct a formative evaluation of the program, investigating strengths and weaknesses of the current implementation, and indicators of short-term gains
  • Consolidate improvements and sustain the momentum for change 
  • Decide how the new approach may be used for the entire college and prepare an implementation plan
  • Institutionalise the new approaches
  • Prepare faculty and staff for the new implementation, implement, and follow up with improvements.

… the development of a “collegial commitment to student learning…is seen to be an important element in developing an effective and coherent educational programme."

- The Royal Academy of Engineering. "Achieving excellence in engineering education: the ingredients of successful change." March 2012. 

Ingredients of successful change