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Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education

Yıl 2006 , Cilt 7 , Sayı 1

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Effective change management strategies for embedding online learning within higher education and enabling the effective continuing professional development of its academic staff

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The Robert Gordon University SCOTLAND, UNITED KINGDOM1
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Previous research studies show that those universities wishing to successfully engage in online learning will have to adopt and implement tactics that have the capacity to overcome existing social and cultural constraints. An inclusive, consultative framework needs to be established, and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) has been recognized as a key concern that should be addressed here. The moves towards nontraditional forms of course delivery for students require a well prepared CPD programme designed to enable academics to acquire pedagogical skills within a technology enhanced arena. Successful programmes of CPD are those that acknowledge staff wants interests, hopes and varying amounts of availability. For induction into online teaching, an effective model could be one that adopts accessible and suitably blended approaches which acknowledge different learning styles and sound pedagogical theories and practices. To succeed beyond this stage–and taking into account the pace of change, the lack of development time and indeed the general lack of staff developers–there is a need for an even greater range of on-going scalable, just-in-time and formal/informal CPD opportunities. The conclusion drawn is that if the concerns of academic staff are acknowledged and their needs appreciated then online learning initiatives–most importantly backed up by appropriate range of scalable CPD opportunities–have a far greater chance of successfully gaining widespread support.

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