Your institution will continually adapt to external influences including:
- Economic pressures from changing funding structures
- Market pressures from changing demands and expectations
- Increased student numbers as a result of widening participation strategies
- Technological changes
- Increasing competition in the post-16 education sector.
It will already have experience of managing change and may have implemented mechanisms to support staff through change.
Some change is imposed and requires reactive management, but taking a planned institution-wide approach to managing change increases the likelihood of buy-in from staff and development of sustainable outcomes.
Our strategic approaches to managing change guide offers an overview of approaches that may be helpful and highlights key issues to consider, including:
- Risk management
- Process review
- Portfolio management
- Programme management
- Project management.
We recommend a focus on services rather than systems and suggest implementing new methods as small projects before scaling up.
There may already be several small-scale online projects in your institution that are ready for scaling up. These can lead the way for scaling up within a department or across the whole institution.
They can highlight what aspects of online provision need to change, improve understanding of any risks and identify ways to mitigate these.
The change lifecycle
Our change management guide suggests tools and methods to help institutions through the various stages of the change lifecycle.
Implementing online learning requires changes across the whole institution, as many services and support mechanisms will have been set up for campus-based students.
You will need to consider the following areas which are likely to need adapting:
- Strategies and policies or new ones may emerge)
- Curriculum design and delivery
- Accreditation and assessment
- Technologies and IT services
- Student support services
- Relationship management
- Administrative systems
- Staff roles.
|Barriers||What you can do|
|Cultural resistance to change||Identify and appoint champions at all levels of the institution|
|Adopt a coherent managing change programme|
|Embed online learning in institutional strategies and policies|
|Provide staff training and support|
|Recognise online teaching approaches in staff appraisal mechanisms|
|Lack of institution-wide dialogue and collaboration||Create institution-wide forums for discussion and sharing|
|Establish collaborative approaches across faculties and departments|
|Facilitate cross-faculty staff engagement activities|
|Aim to get senior management buy-in and support|