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ELI 2015 Leadership Seminar: Leadership and Design for Innovation

The Leadership Seminar is a designed as a deeper learning session threaded throughout the annual meeting program. The goals for this learning opportunity are to enable participants to:

  • Network with peers regarding leading in times of change and innovation at universities, focusing specifically on the interplay of innovation with teaching and learning practices and culture
  • Learn how to leverage human-centered design to discover innovations for improving organizational structure and culture to support learning on campus
  • Explore different strategic models and how institutions are using teaching and learning innovations to achieve their goals
  • Collect ideas and tools to provide support and leadership for institutions while fostering a community of leaders who support each other beyond the leadership seminar
  • Create a tight-knit cohort of colleagues working in and out of universities to affect change in the areas of teaching and learning

Participants, both new and experienced, will benefit from peer interaction and the opportunity to engage with leaders during small group discussions and one-on-one networking. Participants will meet with, share with, and learn from a cohort of peers from a wide range of positions supporting teaching and learning from different types of higher education institutions.

Why participate?

The seminar brings together faculty and nonfaculty educators who are leading initiatives, programs, or organizations on campus that share a common goal of improving student learning. One of the objectives of the seminar is to share what we are learning in the various programs and initiatives in which we are all involved and together figure out ways to leverage these initiatives to evolve the organizational structures and cultures to better support learning locally. We hope participants will come away with some new frameworks, methods, and networks to help us make positive changes around learning at our home institutions. If you are involved in projects, programs, or initiatives on your campus that have learning outcomes at their core (however learning is measured, from student enrollment retention to comprehension), we encourage you to participate in the seminar.

Seminar design:

Our goal is to design the seminar around the needs and challenges of the participants. To that end, we will be surveying seminar registrants to get a better understanding of their specific contexts and challenges. We will offer some frameworks and tools to address specific challenges, but we expect that part of the leadership seminar experience will be generative and responsive to participants in real time. Some frameworks we'll introduce include:

  • Strategic frameworks/toolkits (e.g., SWOT, future state activities)
  • Design frameworks/toolkits (e.g., human-centered design)
  • Change spurring/management processes
  • Leadership tools around finding, coaching, and retaining the right people

>> The leadership seminar requires separate registration and includes all sessions listed below and a hosted seminar lunch on Tuesday. To register for the Leadership Seminar, you must also register for the ELI Annual Meeting in Anaheim, CA.


January 22, at 2:00 p.m. (ET); online information session

Adobe Connect Room: (open to all)

Join us online for this live 30-minute online information session, open-to-all, designed to give a general overview of the program and provide details of the schedule, activities, and goals. The co-directors will also discuss suggested readings to be completed prior to attending the seminar in Anaheim and answer any questions about the program.

Monday, February 9, 2015 at 8:00–11:00 a.m. PT

Participants will have a chance to discuss strategies for spurring innovation on their campuses as leaders in a time of change. This session will help participants deconstruct the challenges and opportunities they are facing in their institutional contexts and explore tools and approaches to dealing with those challenges/opportunities.

Monday’s agenda will include:

  • Review leadership seminar goals
  • Review the current higher education landscape as the context within which to explore some of the broader leadership issues that inform campus change efforts
  • Explore leadership challenges in online/digital innovation and the challenges participants are facing
  • Discuss how to be a leader in a time of change
  • Build a leadership toolset
  • Review examples from practitioners on ways to take innovation opportunities and build consensus/direction
  • Investigate ways to coach and align institutional teams to support innovation


Tuesday, February 10, 2014 at 11:45 a.m.–1:30 p.m. PT

Led in collaboration with colleagues at Davidson College, this session will introduce the concepts of human-centered design and explore challenges that will model ways to create innovative, effective, and sustainable solutions for institutional change. Emphasis will be placed on using human-centered design as a toolkit for leading in times of innovation and change.

 Tuesday’s agenda will include:

  • Understand concepts of human-centered design for creative thinking and innovation
  • Demonstrate human-centered design to a relevant education design challenge
  • Use the experience and resources to apply human-centered design to challenges on campus
  • Reflect on and plan for using human-centered design techniques as part of a leadership toolkit

Guest presenters:
Allison Dulin, President's Office, Special Projects, Davidson College
Kristen Eshleman, Director, Instructional Technology, Davidson College

Wednesday, February 11, 2014 at 8:30–9:15 a.m. PT

During the closing session, we will discuss how participants can utilize the frameworks, methodologies, theories, and networks developed in the seminar on their campuses. Areas of discussion may include evolving leadership practices, hiring and developing the right people, and maintaining a community of practice in this area. The focus will be on tangible next steps and directions for participants to take away as they return to their institutions.


Registration Open

Join us for our 10th anniversary celebration of the ELI Annual Meeting!

Who Should Attend?

  • Teaching and Learning Center Staff and Directors
  • Faculty
  • Academic/Instructional administrators
  • IT Staff and Directors
  • CIOs


ELI Leadership Seminar Directors

Amy Collier, Director of Digital Learning Initiatives, Office of Vice Provost for Online Learning, Stanford University

Joshua Kim, Director of Digital Learning Initiatives, Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning, Darmouth College


Seminar Resources

A selected list of higher education and leadership–related readings and resources will be shared to help participants prepare for the seminar and to serve as recommendations for their personal libraries.


Contact Information

For general information about this meeting, including registration, please contact EDUCAUSE Member Services: