A colleague ( C. R. Wright ) recently shared with me the recently published report on the Hallmarks of Excellence in Online Leadership, by the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA). Below are the key leadership qualities identified in the publication:
- Advocacy and Leadership within the University: Those charged with leading an enterprise must build internal alliances, and reflect the larger goals, values, and strategies of their institutions.
- Entrepreneurial Initiative: Recognizing that online education is inevitably about innovation, experimentation, risk, and imagination, emerging leaders must have the skills and creativity to facilitate responsible change.
- Faculty Support: Leaders must envelop their faculty with the tools they need to create education equal to, if not exceeding, that of the traditional classroom.
- Student Support: Recognizing that online students demand a learning experience at least comparable to that on-campus, leaders must be ongoing advocates for students earning their degrees remotely from their institutions.
- Digital Technology: Leaders must provide an environment that is current, dependable, and rich in the creative use of tools to enhance learning, interaction, and program integrity.
- External Advocacy and Leadership beyond the University: Since online enterprises must represent their institutions to an often skeptical public, leaders must be an authoritative voice to regulators, accreditors, alumni, members of the business community, and many others.
- Professionalism: Recognizing that emerging entities need policies and practices that demonstrate the integrity of a profession still establishing itself, those leading the growth of online learning must exemplify the highest ideals and contribute to a growing professional community on a national scale.
While all of these ideas are paramount, I have been spending quite a bit of time examining the idea of what the term "Entrepreneurial Initiatives" means not only for institution of higher learning , but the student. While the report focuses in on the online class as part of the brand of a university (the concepts and ideas of which are worthy of its own blog post), considering how authentic assessments can be used by students in a similar type of branding can be valuable in certain educative contexts. I work with educators and help them think through not only how their work in the online environment can be applied in the real world, but how how representations of their work can be used to create their personal brand beyond web portfolios. I am interested in how other disciplines view this idea, as well as more perspectives of what it looks like in the K-12 setting. Feel free to share your ideas in the comments.