Complexity: A Leader’s Framework for Understanding and Managing Change in Higher Education
George Siemens, Shane Dawson and Kristen Eshleman
Monday, October 29, 2018
The relationships between jobs, locality, families, housing, work and government policy, tax processes, crime, psychology, environment, access to education, and urban planning interact and converge in what is known as a Complex Adaptive System (CAS).
definition: Complexity can be understood as a theory of change and adaptation that details how change occurs within systems as well as the principles and mindsets needed to flourish in turbulent environments
he complexification of higher education is an intentional goal of engaging with complexity rather than attempting to reduce it to its constituent parts. Effective vision generation, planning, and goal achievement in the modern uncertain economic-social-technical environment benefits from embracing complexity and the utilization of strategies and actions that reflect a CAS.
ive principles of complexity science are of particular relevance to the higher education system. These attributes—networks, emergence, self-organization and social coordination, feedback sensitivity, and agility—are sufficient to provide higher education leaders with an entry into complexity science as a means of observing, understanding, and interacting with change.
more on leadership in this IMS blog
John Richard Schrock is Professor of Biology Emeritus at Emporia State University in Kansas. He is currently in China. While China is growing its universities, the U.S. is retreating from its historic commitment to make higher education accessible to all qualified students.
the elderly administrators soon retired. There was no supply of experienced junior administrators due to a Cultural Revolution that had closed many universities for a decade. That left China’s Ministry of Education with an opportunity to completely re-build its university system nationwide.
So by 1998, the situation was different. Weak universities were closed or merged with strong institutions. China doubled its university capacity, then doubled it again in the early 2000s, and doubled it again by 2010. The cities of Xi’an and Guangzhou built “university cities” with 10 new universities each. Chongqing built their “university city” with 17 different universities totaling 300,000 faculty, students and staff. –An area equivalent to the size of Wichita! -But all just universities. This was the greatest expansion of higher education in human history.
Now, the majority of their students who passed the gao kao high school leaving exam could now attend college. But students would now pay full tuition. And that greatly improved the faculty salaries and living conditions. Classrooms and labs soon became state-of-the-art.
In 1995, China selected over a hundred universities for its “211 Project,” feeding federal money toward building modern universities.
And as of two months ago, China began its Double World-Class Project. Their Ministry selected 42 universities to move to world-class status by 2050. 36 are Category A and 6 are Category B with a focus on applied research. It also has over 400 “key disciplines” spread across these and another 50 provincial universities that will receive additional generous governmental support.
Their National Natural Science Foundation announced a dramatic increase in grant funding two years ago. With a decade of substantial cash incentives for publishing in high ranked English journals, Chinese researchers have rapidly risen in authorship of research papers in the top science journals Science and Nature, second only to the U.S. in authorships. If this trend continues, China will be the top producer of research in a few more years.
For nearly four decades, China has invested in roads, railways, and other infrastructure. But the most important of these investments was education. Roads and rails move people around. Education moves people ahead. And it has paid off in raising the productivity of China’s population beyond expectations. The affluence of their institutions and the majority of their students reflect that payback. China understands that education is not just for filling those jobs needed today.
more on China in this IMS blog
International Academic Conference on Global Education, Teaching and Learning in Vienna, Austria 2017 (IAC-GETL in Vienna 2017)
Conference Program Dates
Friday – Saturday, November 24 – 25, 2017
Venue Hotel – Fourside Hotel City Center Vienna
Grieshofgasse 11, A – 1120 Wien / Vienna, AUSTRIA
About the Conference
International Academic Conference in Vienna 2017 is an important international gathering of scholars, educators and PhD students. IAC-GETL 2017 in Vienna will take place in conference facilities located in Vienna, the touristic, business and historic center of Austria.
Conference language: English language
Conferences organized by the Czech Institute of Academic Education z.s. and Czech Technical University in Prague.
Conference Topics – Education, Teaching, Learning and E-learning
Education, Teaching and Learning
Distance Education, Higher Education, Effective Teaching Pedagogies, Learning Styles and Learning Outcomes, Emerging Technologies, Educational Management, Engineering and Sciences Research, Competitive Skills, Continuing Education, Transferring Disciplines, Imaginative Education, Language Education, Geographical Education, Health Education, Home Education, Science Education, Secondary Education, Second life Educators, Social Studies Education, Special Education, Learning / Teaching Methodologies and Assessment, Assessment Software Tools, Global Issues In Education and Research, Education, Research and Globalization, Barriers to Learning (ethnicity, age, psychosocial factors, …), Women and Minorities in Science and Technology, Indigenous and Diversity Issues, Intellectual Property Rights and Plagiarism, Pedagogy, Teacher Education, Cross-disciplinary areas of Education, Educational Psychology, Education practice trends and issues, Indigenous Education, Academic Research Projects, Research on Technology in Education, Research Centres, Links between Education and Research, Erasmus and Exchange experiences in universities, Students and Teaching staff Exchange programmes
Educational Technology, Educational Games and Software, ICT Education, E-Learning, Internet technologies, Accessibility to Disabled Users, Animation, 3D, and Web 3D Applications, Mobile Applications and Learning (M-learning), Virtual Learning Environments, Videos for Learning and Educational Multimedia, Web 2.0, Social Networking and Blogs, Wireless Applications, New Trends And Experiences, Other Areas of Education
College students love snapchat!
It’s personal, creative, quick, fun, and free.
“According to research by Sumpto…as much as 77 percent of college students use Snapchat every day.
37 percent of the study respondents cited “creativity” as their main use of the app. “Keeping in touch” and “easier than texting” were reasons for 27 percent and 23 percent, respectively.”
Reasons young adults ages 18-26 use snapchat:
- “I like sharing weird things I see when I’m out…When you get ugly selfies from someone, that’s how you know you’re good friends.”
- “I only ever use it for funny pictures or to show what I’m doing to my friends, but I have people that use it as a replacement for texting.”
- “Snapchat is the ultimate social media tool — users want to share their lives to anyone they choose to elicit possible feedback, but without the necessity of it being stored…Snapchat provides an easier answer to Facebook’s ‘What are you doing right now?’ I use it personally to stay in touch with friends and show people what I’m doing.”
Colleges are also starting to get on the bandwagon — Snapchat launched Our Campus Story in October 2014 to four schools.
How Colleges are using snapchat:
- Orientation: (Tennessee Wesleyan College) “Where’s Wesley” scavenger hunt
- Updates: (Tennessee Wesleyan College) Sharing updates about events and activities on campus
- Recruiting: (Eastern Washington University and the University of Kansas) communicating with young athletes interested in joining their teams
More IMS blog entries on Snapchat and its use in education:
Peer-reviewed and popular literature:
Robbins, S. P., & Singer, J. B. (2014). From the editor—The medium is the message: Integrating social media and social work education. Journal Of Social Work Education, 50(3), 387-390.
Waxman, O. B. (2014). Snapchat Grows Up: How College Officials Are Using the App. Time.Com, 1.
JO, M. (2014, March 22). Teacher sees value in online connection. Dominion Post, The. p. A2.
Couros, G. (n.d.). Snapchat and Education. Retrieved from http://georgecouros.ca/blog/archives/4866
Wiederman, K. (2014, May 2). Snapchat: The Newest Higher Ed Communication Tool | Merge. Retrieved from http://www.mergeagency.com/digital-marketing/snapchat-newest-higher-ed-communication-tool
Privacy and security:
Stretton, T., & Aaron, L. (2015). Feature: The dangers in our trail of digital breadcrumbs. Computer Fraud & Security, 201513-15. doi:10.1016/S1361-3723(15)70006-0
YOUNG, D. (2014). NOW YOU SEE IT, NOW YOU DON’T… OR DO YOU?: SNAPCHAT’S DECEPTIVE PROMOTION OF VANISHING MESSAGES VIOLATES FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION REGULATIONS. Journal Of Information Technology & Privacy Law, 30(4), 827.
Ekman, U. (2015). Complexity of the ephemeral – snap video chats. Empedocles: European Journal For The Philosophy Of Communication, 5(1/2), 97-101. doi:10.1386/ejpc.5.1-2.97_1
Flandez, R., & Wallace, N. (2014). Nonprofits Must Guard Against Imposters. Chronicle Of Philanthropy, (09),
O’Neil, M. (2014). Oh, Snap! A Q&A With DoSomething.org’s Snapchat Strategists. Chronicle Of Philanthropy, (01),
MESSITT, M. (2014). Cyberbullying Happens in Code. Break It. Education Digest, 79(9), 51.
“The relationship between IT and the institution really needs to change if we’re going to use technology to address the fundamental issues that need to be addressed in higher education,” Grajek said. “Higher education leaders need to not just let their IT leaders do their own thing, help them fund some initiatives, but they really have to understand the potential of IT.”
Colleges and universities are searching for new talent in part to answer demands for new technologies while simultaneously offering core services such as user support, which Grajek described as the “new normal” for higher education IT offices.
“The CIO has grown from a hardware- or software-focused person in the basement of a building to a higher education executive who is expected to not only understand technology and be able to lead a large, complex and expensive department, but who also should be a first rate communicator who understands the business (and higher education) and can build relationships while implementing all of these projects,”
Will students be wearing their tech in virtual classrooms in five years? Wearable devices, adaptive technologies, and the Internet of Things are just some of the new tech researchers say is shaping the near future of higher education.
In 1 Year or Less: BYOD and the flipped classroom.
“Employers and higher education institutions are finding that when given the opportunity to choose their device, users are saved from the effort and time needed to get accustomed to new devices and can therefore accomplish tasks with more ease and efficiency.”
“Flipped learning is seen as especially suited for higher education because the rearranging of class time gives students in large introductory lecture courses more opportunity to engage and interact with their peers.”
In 2-3 Years: Makerspaces and wearable devices.
Makerspaces have the “benefit of engaging learners in creative, higher-order problem solving through hands-on design, construction and iteration.”
“Wearable technology is poised to see significant growth in the coming years, spurring experimentation in higher education because the demand for wearables is seen to be coming in large part from college-aged students.”
In 4-5 Years: Adaptive technologies and the Internet of Things.
“Adaptive technology is seen as a means to break free of a “one-size-fits-all” approach to education and is suited well for online and hybrid learning environments, “where student activities are conducted virtually and can be monitored by software and tracking applications.”
The Internet of Things pushes information to learners from their surroundings. “For instance, a learner exploring a city with a rich historical past can explore their environment through an architectural, political, or biological lens, depending on how the surroundings are equipped.”
From the NMC Horizon Report 2015: Higher Education Edition
“I don’t think we can talk about digital transformation without thinking about cultural transformation, because I believe they go hand in hand.”
Need help with setting up similar GOOGLE HANGOUT discussion (instead of Skype): contact us
Breivik, P. S. (1998). Student learning in the information age. Phoenix, Ariz.: American Council on Education/Oryx Press. CETL owns it
Breivik, P. S. (2006). Higher education in the Internet age : libraries creating a strategic edge / (Fully updated and rev. ed.). Praeger Publishers,. Located: St. Cloud State University MC Main Collection – Basement
Call Number: Z675.U5 B816 2006