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The Virtual University An Instructional Tool for Higher Education Administration Barbara A. Perry Union University Dr. James I. Penrod University of Memphis.

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Presentation on theme: "The Virtual University An Instructional Tool for Higher Education Administration Barbara A. Perry Union University Dr. James I. Penrod University of Memphis."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Virtual University An Instructional Tool for Higher Education Administration Barbara A. Perry Union University Dr. James I. Penrod University of Memphis

2 Introduction  Colleges and universities are faced with a crisis in leadership  Current leaders ill-prepared  Lean resources, escalating competition, hyper turbulent change  Virtual University provides a means to stem leadership crisis

3 Session Objectives Student Learning  Stimulates intrinsic motivation to learn  Develops deep learning  Supports learner-centered teaching The Simulation  A look at VU  VU – develops graduate students into viable leaders who contribute to organizational effectiveness and success

4 What is Virtual University  Created by William F. Massey  Massey saw a “lack of understanding about the systematic character of a university”  First simulation of an American university  IPEDS, College Board data, High School and Beyond Survey

5 And, the simulation challenges The participant who becomes the college or university president to:  Choose college or university type  To choose from 10 playable scenarios  Contend with day to day issues  Work in real time  Utilize financial and operational reports  Receive a performance appraisal from the Board of Trustees

6 Virtual University Includes Six Areas of University Management  Resource allocation and finance  Academic operations  Faculty roles and responsibilities  Enrollment management  Sponsored research  Physical plant activities









15 Theory Informs Practice The literature suggests that simulation is an effective instructional tool.  Improves motivation to learn  Encourages active learning  Improves critical thinking skills  Improves classroom climate and teacher flexibility  Improves transfer of learning

16 Constructivism Provides the Foundation  Piaget, Vygotsky, and Dewey  Learning involves a search for new knowledge strongly related to play, discovery, problem solving  Instructor’s challenge  Individual knowledge construction  Importance of dialogue to learning

17 Intrinsic Motivation to Learn Wlodkowski (1999) suggests that for adults thought, feeling, and action are directed toward making meaning while involvement and a search for understanding characterize adults’ intrinsic motivation to learn.

18 Intrinsic Motivation to Learn Is a balance of “success + volition + value + enjoyment.”

19 Deep Learning  Wisdom cannot be programmed into the curriculum Instructor’s use of technology:  Creates new learning environments  Nurtures learning – help students reflect on meaning and the significance of student’s encounter with new knowledge  Promotes the development of conditionalized knowledge and metacognition through communities of inquiry (Weigel, 2002).

20 Learner-Centered Teaching Theory Supports Practice (Weimer, 2002) Principles of Learner-Centered TeachingVU – How the simulation enables Learner-Centered Teaching A Change in the Balance of PowerInstructor facilitates – Students control process and progress A Change in the Function of ContentVU helps students develop self-directed learning skills and enables individual student assessment and critical reflection as a result of immediate simulation feedback A Change in the Role of TeacherInstructor’s role is to design the course. In the simulation, instructor is forced to be a facilitator. VU helps students experience discovery and learn through collaboration A Change in the Responsibility for LearningIndividually or collectively, students must make the decisions to move through the simulation in real time A Change in the Purpose and Process of Evaluation Students receive immediate evaluation through simulation feedback which allows for critical reflection and learning

21 Faculty Comments  “I think VU’s power is that it demonstrates the fundamental interconnectedness of decision- making; and yet at the same time depicts the indirect nature of colleges and universities.” (Joanne Burrows, Indiana State University).

22 Faculty Comments  “VU allows students to model how an entire institution functions – especially if, in their current positions as administrators, they have become stuck in their own trenches... For, perhaps, the first time in their careers in higher education, they can clearly see how a decision made in one area impacts another.” (Joshua Powers, Indiana State University).

23 Student Comments  “I felt as if the simulation helped me to see the type of things that I will encounter if I am ever in a senior administrative position. Also, it opened my eyes to the importance of communication... It made me aware of how a small decision could affect so many things in a variety of ways.”

24 Student Comments  “Decisions made as a president directly and indirectly impact the president’s standing with the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, and students. A president has to be able to look at every area of the university and determine the priorities based on the board, the faculty, and the students.”

25 Future Directions  Useful instructional tool across many courses in higher education administration – finance, trends, leadership, professoriate, in a capstone course  Tool to train new department chairs  Ideas from you – how to use this instructional tool in other disciplines?

26 Conclusion Virtual University: Provides an extraordinary, realistic learning experience for graduate students to discover the importance of policy alignment and coordination in decisions making in higher education administration.

27 Conclusion Moreover, VU enriches graduate students’ learning experience by stimulating student intrinsic motivation to learn and deep learning enhanced by pedagogical excellence – learner-centered teaching.

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