2. Organisational anchorage and strategic goal

Purpose, analysis and identification

The first step when choosing online delivery of a specific course is the careful analysis of the overall purpose. In the case of the OOP course it was a strategic goal to experiment with modes of exclusively online delivery and gain useful experiences. This purpose coincided with the course manager’s interest in further developing his previous experience with blended learning (mix of face to face and online teaching).

Perhaps one of the most obvious purposes to offer online teaching is when there is an inherent connection between the intended learning outcomes and academic content of the course and the online nature of the course delivery. For instance when the academic content concerns computer supported distributed collaborative work. The content of some courses can’t be taught without physical presence without compromising the quality.

The purpose of offering online courses can also be to satisfy specific student segments (full time employees, students resident outside Copenhagen in DK or abroad). Sometimes online learning can also contribute to more effective work life for teachers in that it offers them a more flexible schedule and allows them to re-use video recorded lectures. It is an important taks for the devlopers to process the establishment of the purpose and align it with management's perspective.

Even if a course satisfies many of the above parameters it doesn’t necessarily mean that it should be delivered online. It’s still crucial that the course manager is willing to put in a considerable extra effort to participate in redesigning the course.

Organisational endorsement

Budget and resources
Just like department managementneeds to be behind the strategic purpose they need to support the development financially. The development phase of online courses isn’t necessarily that expensive when it comes to equipment even though there will be expenses for software licenses, hardware etc.. The development team must make a draft budget of these expenses and get management’s acceptance. The budget headings for man-hours can be considerable depending on how much re-use can be made of possibly existing materials and the construction of learning activities. Extra man-hours must be given to the course manager, extra teaching assistants, course and platform supporters and perhaps the support of apartments such as IT Department, Student Affairs and Programmes and Research & Learning Support. Also, it might be relevant to involve the personnel manager (Head of Section) when it comes to prioritizing the time of the course manager.

Alignment with Study Programme
Parallel to the above, it is necessary to involve relevant Heads of study programmes and the Head of studies to ensure that the online delivery of the course is aligned with the frames of the whole study programme and other priorities regarding the general development of the educations.
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