Moving Academia Online
Edited by Annika Zorn, Jeff Haywood and Jean-Michel Glachant
Chapter 5: Leading innovation: digital education in a traditional university
In this chapter I briefly review theories of leadership for innovation in higher education, and then consider in more detail how the University of Edinburgh, as a traditional, comprehensive university with a 400-year history, has applied this thinking to place itself at the forefront of digital education. I shall describe how we worked to maintain excellence in teaching and learning as we introduced fully online courses, and discuss some of the challenges that we faced, as well as the opportunities which this move to digital offered us. As a large, comprehensive university where one-size-fits-all will not work, I shall explore how we learned to balance the diversity of academic needs and approaches within a single strategic framework, and how this flexible approach allowed us to develop progressively a wide portfolio of both blended education on-campus and fully online degrees and MOOCs.
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