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Organizational Adaptivity in the Higher Education Context (OrA)

 

OrA is a cooperation project conducted with the FernUniversität in Hagen (D²L² Research Cluster). In this project, we investigate the digitalization of higher education, with a focus placed on exploring the implementation of teaching and learning innovations. Specifically, we track how institutions and their stakeholders adapt to these innovations, implement new practices, and ensure their sustainability. 

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the higher education landscape is experiencing a moment of profound change with the rapid transition to remote / online teaching. In response, we have launched two empirical studies in the frame of the OrA project, which examine national and international responses to the digital turn in higher education. 

Leading in Times of Crisis: Higher Education Leadership during the COVID-19 Pandemic 

  • In this international study, we investigate how higher education leaders, at universities and intermediaries, are coping with the COVID-19 pandemic and the transition to remote / online teaching. 
  • Through a three-step study, we explore how the pandemic has created new challenges, sparked collaboration and innovation, as well as exposed new and existing inequalities across diverse higher education institutions and organizations. 
  • Partners: This project is a joint initiative with the Global Learning Council (GLC) and the FernUniversität in Hagen, Research Cluster: Digitalization, Diversity and Lifelong Learning – Consequences for Higher Education (D²L²).

Coping with Change: Organizing Teaching in Uncertain Times 

  • In this study, we qualitatively explore how university instructors in German higher education institutions are experiencing the swift shift to digital teaching. We analyze the experiences of instructors, working in various disciplines and different types of higher education institutions located across Germany, with the aim of understanding commonly occurring and unique challenges, institutional crisis management and coping strategies.
  • Partners: This project is a joint initiative with the FernUniversität in Hagen, Research Cluster: Digitalization, Diversity and Lifelong Learning – Consequences for Higher Education (D²L²).

Associated Researchers: 

Duration04/2020 – 03/2023

Contact

Bronwen Deacon

Researcher and project manager: Knowledge & Society

Benedikt Fecher, Dr. (on parental leave)

Head of Research Programme: Knowledge & Society

Former employees

Journal articles and conference proceedings

Deacon, B., Timm, M. (2021). Possibilities for Change – Higher Education and Digitalisation. Elephant in the Lab. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.5113453 Publication details

Elsholz, U., Fecher, B., Deacon, B., Schäfer, L. O.,& Laufer, M. (2021). Implikationen der COVID-19-Pandemie für digitale Lehre: organisierte Freiheit als Veränderungsparadigma. MedienPädagogik, In press. Publication details

Laufer, M., Leiser, A., Deacon, B., Perrin de Brichambaut, P., Fecher, B., Kobsoda, C., Hesse, F. (2021). Digital Higher Education: A Divider or Bridge Bilder? Leadership perspectives on EdTech in a COVID-19 reality. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education, In press. DOI: 10.1186/s41239-021-00287-6 Publication details

Book contributions and chapters

Schütz, J., Rosenkranz, L., Deacon, B., Elsholz, U. (2021). Never walk alone. Über das Verhältnis pädagogischer Professionalität und organisationaler Bedingungen an Hochschulen in Zeiten der Pandemie. In H. Angenent, J. Petri, & T. Zimenkova (Eds.), Things will never be the same again? Lehre und Hochschulentwicklung in Zeiten der Corona-Pandemie, In press. Bielefeld: transcript. Publication details

Lectures and presentations

Qualität in der digitalen Lehre: Eine Untersuchung von Einflussfaktoren
Tagung der Gesellschaft für Hochschulforschung 2021. Gesellschaft für Hochschulforschung. Online, Siegen, Germany: 16.09.2021 Further information

Moritz Timm, Bronwen Deacon, Melissa Laufer, Len Ole Schäfer

The Rapid Digital Turn: An Exploration into the Tight and Loose Coupling of University Structures
43rd Annual EAIR Forum 2021: Transformation Fast and Slow: Quality, Trust and Digitalisation in Higher Education. hosted by Humboldt University of Berlin. Online, Berlin, Germany: 10.09.2021 Further information

Bronwen Deacon, Len Ole Schäfer, Melissa Laufer

Enge und lose Kopplungen in der Hochschule – Die COVID-19 Pandemie und digitale Lehre
Soziologische Betrachtungen zur Digitalisierung der Lehre (in der COVID-19-Pandemie). DIPF | Leibniz-Institut für Bildungsforschung und Bildungsinformation. online, Frankfurt am Main, Germany: 10.09.2021 Further information

Bronwen Deacon, Len Ole Schäfer, Moritz Timm, Melissa Laufer

CHER 33rd Annual Conference Promoting Closer Relations and Scholarly Dialogues Between European and Asian Higher Education Researchers (Session: Digital higher education: A divider or bridge builder? Leadership perspectives on digital learning for collaboration). University of Hong Kong; CHER Board of Governors. online, Hong Kong, Hong Kong: 01.09.2021 Further information

Bronwen Deacon, Anne Leiser, Erle Lim Chuen Hian, Ilka Parchmann

The Rapid Digital Turn: An Exploration into the Tight and Loose Coupling of University Structures
Understanding Digital Transformations of Higher Education Teaching and Learning in the Nordics and Beyond.. Agder (Norway), Aarhus (Denmark) and KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden). online, online, Norway, Denmark, Sweden: 30.03.2021 Further information

Bronwen Deacon, Len Ole Schäfer, Melissa Laufer

Organisation of events

The Rapid Digital Turn: An Exploration into the Tight and Loose Coupling of University Structures
Understanding Digital Transformations of Higher Education Teaching and Learning in the Nordics and Beyond. From 30.03.2021 to 31.07.2021. Online, Online, Online. Co-Organised by: Universities of Agder (Norway) Aarhus (Denmark) and KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden) (International) Further information

Melissa Laufer, Bronwen Deacon