I am currently working on an updated plan for how the university will move forward with flexible learning. The last fourteen months have dramatically accelerated the plans I drew up in 2019, and so it is time to be more creative and ambitious.
Thankfully we put into place three separate statements to help generate an online learning strategy:
- Mission Statement – Who my team are, what we provide, who we serve, the benefits we deliver, and what is important to us.
- Vision Statement – A previously ambitious and unique idea of the university we want to create.
- Value Statement: Our beliefs about how work should be done, our standards, culture, and aspirations.
The mission statement has remained the same; we exist to move the university to a hyper-flexible delivery model that uses technology to redefine the student experience. The vision statement, however, like most universities strategies, has changed dramatically. The forced move to online learning has moved us past ambitious five-year plans and started creating conversations about what is possible, what is desirable, what works, and what future we want to make.
The external work has moved forward too. Suppliers like Microsoft and the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) vendors have developed the tools available to universities, making them easier to use and adding functions to support emerging practice. The demand for online learning has grown as people have spent more time at home and working and collaborating via a computer screen; their views on learning have changed.
There are three main tasks for the vision statement:
- Consolidate the existing flexible delivery.
- Build on that good practice to make it better; more interactive, personalised, and accessible.
- Think up what game changers might look like in the new university landscape.
Writing a strategy is about creating a plan for how we deliver a mission and a vision. If you have not updated these three documents recently, it might be time to start designing the new normal.