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11 leaders shaping the future of higher education


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Name/Title: John Orlando, Northcentral University Associate Director of Faculty Training in the Center for Faculty Excellence.

Bio: Orlando developed and led the CyberSummer online course program at the University of Vermont, as well as online master’s degrees in Information Assurance and Business Continuity Planning at Norwich University. He has delivered numerous courses, workshops, webinars, and presentations on online teaching, as well as how to incorporate technology into face-to-face teaching. Orlando has also written over 70 articles on online education, including the monthly “Online Learning 2.0” column for Online Classroom newsletter.

The game-changer: The internet changed everything, from how students and faculty get information, to how instruction is delivered.  But just as all new technologies are first misapplied through the paradigm of the old technology, faculty are still trying to figure out how to deliver online instruction in a way that takes advantage of the internet’s unique communication style.  Most online classes are simply translating face-to-face content into digital format without thought for whether that format is appropriate for the web. MOOCs are developing content for the web, and so are finally causing higher education to develop high quality teaching material for the online environment.

Future trend: Most, if not all, classes will be flipped. Studies have consistently shown that the traditional lecture is nearly fruitless as a way of teaching. Putting information online so that students can watch, and re-watch if needed, at their own pace and time is a far better way to deliver content. Class time can then be used for engagement with the material through activities.  But very few instructors understand how to engage students during class time.

Passion: Higher-ed has ignored principles of good teaching for too long. Professors are trained to be researchers and writers, not teachers. We have the technology and understanding to do great teaching in higher education—we just need to get that understanding out to transform teaching practice. My passion is in teaching faculty how to use technology to improve their teaching.

Hobby: I was married on a 100 mile bike ride.  My wife and I learned that biking is by far the best way to explore a new place. People make the mistake of driving from tourist spot to tourist spot when they are on vacation. But it is everything in between the tourist spots that are the most interesting.

Quote/Belief: “Work hard, and play hard, and know when to do each.”

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Name/Title: Mark Baker, Assistant Registrar at Whitworth University

Bio: Baker has worked in higher education for the past 10 years and holds a BA in Cross-Cultural Studies and MIM (Master of International Management) from Whitworth University. He is also currently the Site Moderator of www.SoftwarePhD.com. Baker founded Software PhD in January 2014 after seeing a need for greater transparency in the higher education software selection process.

The game-changer: The proliferation of task-specific software on college and university campuses is changing the entire landscape of higher-ed, from business practices to pedagogy. The efficiency created by these software solutions adds both innovation and complexity.

Future trend: The continued de-centralization of higher-ed software administration on campuses. More and more non-IT staff members at colleges and universities are becoming software administrators of specific niche products that only their department uses. This is often supported heavily by the software vendor’s support staff rather than the school’s internal IT staff and resources.

Passion: I enjoy the study of gamification and the many applications it has not only to business but also to higher-ed.

Hobby: Playing board games with my family (Settlers of Catan is the current favorite).

Quote/Belief: A quote from a 19th century pastor Phillip Brooks about true humility being only authentic when we compare ourselves with our Creator: “The true way to be humble is not to stoop until you are smaller than yourself, but to stand at your real height against some higher nature that will show you what the real smallness of your greatness is.”