Exploring distributed leadership for the quality management of online learning environments

Palmer, Stuart and Holt, Dale and Gosper, Maree and Sankey, Michael and Allan, Garry (2013) Exploring distributed leadership for the quality management of online learning environments. European Journal of Open, Distance and e‐Learning, 16 (2). pp. 61-75.

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Abstract

Online learning environments (OLEs) are complex information technology (IT) systems that intersect with many areas of university organisation. Distributed models of leadership have been proposed as appropriate for the good governance of OLEs. Based on theoretical and empirical research, a group of Australian universities proposed a framework for the quality management of OLEs, and sought to validate the model via a survey of Australasian university representatives with OLE leadership responsibility. For the framework elements: Planning and Resourcing were rated most important; Organisational structure was rated least important; Technologies were rated low in importance and high in satisfaction; Resourcing and Evaluation were rated low in satisfaction; and Resourcing had the highest rating of importance coupled with low satisfaction. Considering distributed leadership in their institution, respondents reported that the organisational alignments represented by ‘official’ reporting and peer relationships were significantly more important and more effective than the organisational alignments linking the formal and informal leaders. From a range of desirable characteristics of distributed leadership, 'continuity and sustainability' received the highest rating of importance and a low rating of 'in evidence' – there are concerns about the sustainability of distributed leadership for the governance of OLEs in universities.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Linguistics, Adult and Specialist Education
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2013 07:01
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2015 04:47
Uncontrolled Keywords: online learning environments; distributed leadership; quality management framework
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130306 Educational Technology and Computing
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150313 Quality Management
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9305 Education and Training Systems > 930502 Management of Education and Training Systems
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/24168

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