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Journal of Distance Education, v24 n1 p187-206 2010

This paper will detail three projects which focussed on enhancing online learning at a large Australian distance education University within a School of Business, School of Health and School of Education. Each project had special funding and took quite distinctive project management approaches, which reflect the desire to embed innovation and ownership at the instructor and student interface. By responding to the stakeholder requirements these three projects provide insight into (a) how integrated professional development serves to enable change in practice; (b) why leadership at both junior and senior levels of the organization is an important driver to support instructor engagement for real change; (c) what role external private contractors can play; and, (d) how instructors were integrated through the varied project management approaches. The integrating theme of the paper is instructor engagement for real change. Each project will be detailed as mini-cases and key lessons drawn out that describe and explain the challenges, opportunities and scope of varied project management approaches to suit the distinct four contexts. This paper builds on and brings together considerable investigation into how we can support and enhance dissemination of a variety of project-based models that respond to contextual needs and issues. The multiple-school case study methodology serves to provide an approach that is both robust and cognisant of current trends in increased University investment through short-term project funding. The final recommendations will highlight how different approaches to project management are both desirable and essential for successfully embedding change of instructor practices for enhancing student learning in distance education modes. (Contains 1 figure.)

Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Electronic Learning, Instructional Design, Distance Education, Online Courses, Educational Technology, Internet, Access to Computers, Program Descriptions, Program Administration, Program Development, Program Implementation, Administrative Principles, Educational Policy, College Environment, College Instruction, Faculty Development, College Faculty, Teacher Role, Instructional Development, Educational Change, Change Strategies, Case Studies, Action Research, Guidelines, Leadership, Schools of Education, Business Administration Education, Allied Health Occupations Education, Teacher Education Programs, Consultants

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Autor: Tynan, Belinda; Adlington, Rachael; Stewart, Cherry; Vale, Deborah; Sims, Rod; Shanahan, Peter


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