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CONTENT FOR FINAL REPORT/TOOL

ppt for reducing resistance within organisation

Content in no particular order)

The Leadership circle demonstrated the effectiveness of developing a range of strategies for overcoming challenges in a variety of organisations and situations. Each of these could be built upon;

    • Planned PD
      • At every level (sector, region, organisation)
      • Both face to face and online
      • Formal and informal (eg use of newsletters and podcasts as well as structured “lessons”.)
    • Mentoring
      • E mentoring at regional level
      • Peer mentoring within organisations
    • Incentives
      • For organisations and individuals (funding, awards, recognition, scholarships, etc)
    • Small “baby” steps to take the organisation forward
      • The planned guide for providers should supply strategies that can be adopted
    • Creating a “champion” role within the organisation and also within the ACE sector.
      • Promotion of this as a strategy for organisations will be included in the guide
      • Increasing the e mentor project to include professional development to meet the individual needs of e mentors in recognition of their key roles within the sector and also to safeguard against losing them and their expertise.
    • Managers and practitioners leading by example within organisations.
      • Using the Ning plus other means of communication to share exemplars across the sector.

The AccessACE 2 Leadership Circle of Practice was a diverse group

  • thirteen participants from ACE organisations.
  • spread across the metropolitan and regional areas of Victoria
  • Large and small organisations
  • RTO and non RTO
  • Participants in a range of leadership roles (but predominantly not CEOs). Sometimes this can be an advantage.

How the circle operated

  • Ning
    • The major advantage of the Ning environment was that the membership was not restricted to the circle members. This provided a fertile environment for knowledge generation and sharing.

· Two face to face meetings with all participants.
    • These meetings, one at start up and one mid way, provided an absolutely essential boost to the development of trust. It also served to reassure members that they were making valuable progress with their projects.

· A regional visit to Bendigo (Continuing Ed Bendigo) by project facilitators. The discussions with staff at Bendigo were recorded and shared via the Ning.

· Most members of the Circle also joined in the ACFE e mentoring projects for their region and gained extremely valuable additional support with their knowledge building. For some this was a key component of their success.

· Final sharing day.
Members and other interested ACE personnel learned of the results of each project.



Activities
It became apparent very early in the project that the majority of the participants in the leadership circle of practice were starting with a reasonably low level of knowledge of e learning. These participants saw this project as an opportunity to take a “first step” into e learning – both personally and for their ACE organisation. The projects and activities undertaken by circle members largely reflect this situation. They also reflect the advice that I was able to provide from lessons learned at Coonara, the most important being don’t start with a project that is too big and keep your expectations realistic. As it turned out most participants reported that they needed to scale down their projects as they realized that their initial idea of a small step was still too much.

Professional development
Six of the participants focused on professional development opportunities as a strategy for introducing e learning to their organisations. These participants were predominantly the ones who already possessed an e learning skills based but were, in most cases, the only person in their organisation with these skills. These participants are evolving as e learning champions for their organisations.

These PD activities were aimed at:

  • Reducing staff resistance to e learning
  • Reducing staff anxiety about e learning
  • Increasing staff knowledge and skills base of e learning
  • Generally building organisational capacity

Knowledge management for leaders
Several of the leaders made a start on knowledge management systems for their organisation. One used Sharepoint to house and share all the documentation relating to AQTF compliance for her organisation. At their recent reregistration audit the auditor was very impressed and looked forward to the next audit when all their evidence could be online. Others focused more on building personal approaches to knowledge management that would enable them to commence developing plans for e learning implementation in their organisation.

Successes of the circle:
  • Personal skills and knowledge development
  • Increased organisational capacity for e learning
  • Development of tools for use in the ACE sector as a whole (e.g. online surveys for AQTF compliance, web 2.0 evaluation model, professional development plans)
  • Identification of common issues and challenges to be overcome
  • Development of successful strategies for overcoming challenges in a range of organisations and situations
Lessons learned:
  • Overcoming resistance takes time and patience
  • Learning and gain skills seems to be most successful when it is hands on – even for leaders and managers!
  • The learning environment needs to be non threatening with lots of encouragement – now where have we heard that before?!
  • “take baby steps” several members of the circle used that very same phrase in their reports. Sometimes people and organizations can have too high an expectation of e learning. They seem to feel that it is not worth doing unless it is on a grand scale. The experiences of members of this circle has shown that every small success needs to be celebrated. Small gains in individual organizations may not seem significant but in fact this all adds to the growth of capacity across the ACE sector as a whole. The most important thing is to share your small successes so that others may also gain from them and also your challenges so that others may have a sense of kindred spirit.


UPDATE

15th July 2007

Progress to date
We have lost one member of the circle due to her leaving employment with the ACFE provider and the provider choosing not to continue in the project. Another member of the circle has moved employment to a new ACFE provider and will continue with that provider.

Whilst all circle members have joined the Ning it has not really engaged most of them and there is a fairly low level of use.

A wiki has been built for the circle members and most have joined and find the information easier to access and use than on the Ning. However there is, again, a very low level of engagement.

All other members of the circle are working slowly on the research phase of their projects but the general consensus has been that more face to face time is needed for circle members to build their knowledge and confidence surrounding the possibilities of e learning.



Challenges
  • The range of e learning experience and knowledge of circle members
  • The “novice” status of the majority of the circle members
  • Using the online environment for communication with people who aren’t confident or comfortable
Developing a functioning “circle” using the online environment has been the greatest challenge. There is a definite need for further face to face sessions to build trust and skill levels for online engagement to become viable.

It now seems more realistic to consider the achievement of a fully functioning online circle as an outcome of the AccessACE project rather than as a project tool.


Next steps
Enthusiasm is still generally high but it has become apparent to me, as the project leader, that the majority of circle members have a long journey ahead of them and need lots and lots of support with ideas, information and skill building. This will be achieved by:
  • site visits to show and share information and provide hands on skills
  • developing a strong mentoring role between the project facilitator and circle members including referrals to resources and other organizations with relevant programs.
  • encouraging greater links with e mentor program

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Participating organisations and individuals

BEST

Helen Powers

Community College East Gippsland

Ross Johnson

Continuing Ed Bendigo
Sarah Phillips
Djerriwarrh
Kim Leech
Farnham St N/hood Learning Centre
Manrico Moro
Finding Futures
Pam Ridd
Kangaroo Flat Community Group
Elaine McNamara
Keysborough Learning Centre
Mary Fox
Mountain District learning centre
Susan Dunn
Thornbury Women’s Neighbourhood House
Ursula Harrison
Werribee Community Centre
Wayne Burrell
CAE
Cathy Johnstone
Morrison House
Kerryn Prior

Where to get more information

This is an excerpt from the AccessACE organisational leadership wiki at: http://aaol.acfe.vic.edu.au/
You can visit this wiki to get regular updates, or become a member of the ACE social networking space, on Ning at: http://acenetwork.ning.com/

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The call from Delia

The very vital first step in your project

Tthe big picture, strategic aspects! Dont rush into developing the details of your project before you spend some time researching what's going on out there in the greater ACE and educational environments. Please have another look at the AccessACE 2007 report - clever uses of ICT in ACE. Also check out the latest Horizon report and the Flexible learning framework websites for a start. (links and documents are included on the resources page of this wiki) There is a lot happening out there, more than any of us could imagine. Dont make firm decisions about the tools you will use before discussing it widely and checking out all the alternatives. E learning is an area where you could spend lots of money on a solution when there are inexpensive or even free options available if you know where to look.


A draft timeline for our projects

May - June Researching the big picture, getting a sense of what is happening, what is possible (keeping in touch via Ning and Wiki)
July - Visits from AccessACE project staff to regional providers (an invitation for you to join us on our visits will be forthcoming) Getting stuck into online communication via eluminate, wiki, etc
Professional development online and face to face (you will be invited to provide us with ideas for this)
August - Oct Develop your local project (regular posting to wiki and supporting each other via eluminate sessions)
Another face to face meeting if needed
November Wed 25th final face to face and reporting day