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Table 2 Results: Empirical studies

From: Dawn or dusk of the 5th age of research in educational technology? A literature review on (e-)leadership for technology-enhanced learning in higher education (2013-2017)

Empirical studies 2013-2017 Location / population / methodology Findings
Akcil et al. (2017). An Examination of Open and Technology Leadership in Managerial Practices of Education System. EURASIA Journal of Mathematics Science and Technology Education, 13(1), 119–131. Location not specified / 153 education managers / quantitative analysis of survey data. Finds that technology acceptance and self-efficacy in technological development have influence on forming digital citizenship; and that digital citizenship and self-efficacy in technological leadership have influence on forming open leadership.
Ashbaugh (2013). Expert Instructional Designer Voices: Leadership Competencies Critical to Global Practice and Quality Online Learning Designs. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 14(2), 97–118. US/Canada / 6 expert instructional designers / phenomenological study, Delphi-style, narrative inquiry study. Concludes that leadership from instructional designers has the potential for significant impact on the quality of online higher educational products.
Provides a Model of Leadership for Instructional Design - Competencies / Attributes / Duties => Strategy, Vision, Personality (Interpersonal Skills), Productivity, Emotional/Psychological Strength, Values, Duties.
Bälter (2017). Moving Technology-Enhanced-Learning Forward: Bridging Divides through Leadership. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 18(3). Sweden / 12 participants (PhD students, teachers, support staff) / explorative case study, qualitative analysis of interviews Existence of divides between academic subjects and competences, mistrust of support staff due to divides relating to academic level, divides in attitudes towards teaching. Proposes the application of Appreciative Inquiry as a leadership strategy to bridge these divides (Orr & Cleveland-Innes, 2015).
Bervell and Umar (2017). A Decade of LMS Acceptance and Adoption Research in Sub-Sahara African Higher Education: A Systematic Review of Models, Methodologies, Milestones and Main Challenges. EURASIA Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 13(11), 7269–7286. Sub-Sahara Africa / meta-analysis of 31 studies / quantitative Among the challenges identified in the 31 studies, Leadership/management support and policy (11.7% each) were found to be in joint 4rd place after IT infrastructure (21.7%), skills and training (21.7%) and system related challenges (13.3%). Concludes with recommendations for leadership and management of higher education institutions to allocate funds towards a more intentional ICT infrastructural development and periodic skills training in LMS usage, coupled with a definite policy framework, as well as to sensitize instructors and students on the benefits, usefulness and importance of using LMS in instructional delivery.
Bogler et al. (2013). Transformational and Passive Leadership. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 41(3), 372–392. Israel / single HEI (Open Uni) / students (n=1270) / quantitative study Examines the effects of transformational and passive leadership styles of university instructors on students’ satisfaction and learning outcomes, using Full Range Leadership Theory. Satisfaction was linked to a high score for transformational leadership associated with a low score for passive leadership. Highlights the fact that perception of the leader might be more significant than the actual behaviour of the (online instructor) leader.
Brown (2013). Large-scale innovation and change in UK higher education. Research in Learning Technology, 21, 1–14. UK / 5 HEIs / methodology not stated Analyses 5 curriculum redesign projects in the light of current theories and models of change management (formulated as top-down, bottom-up, distributed leadership). Argues for collaborative approaches to project management as opposed to top-down bottom-up approaches.
Burnette (2015). Negotiating the mine field: Strategies for effective online education administrative leadership in higher education institutions. The Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 16(3), 13–35. USA / Online Education Administrators, multiple HEIs (n=12) / Qualitative inquiry Identifies two main political challenges faced by online education administrators: being bound by tradition and struggling for authority. Also identifies the strategies used to overcome these challenges: building relationships, building trust and credibility, finding common ground, empowering faculty and using data to drive change.
Ciabocchi et al. (2016). A Study of Faculty Governance Leaders’ Perceptions of Online and Blended Learning. Online Learning, 20(3), 52–73. USA / faculty governance / online survey (n=129) + follow-up questions by email to 9 self-selected participants Provides insights into the perceptions of faculty governance on matters related to online and blended learning: focus on teaching, quality and approval, staff development, overuse of adjuncts.
Cifuentes and Vanderlinde (2015). ICT Leadership in Higher Education: A Multiple Case Study in Colombia. Media Education Research Journal, 133–141. Colombia / ICT leaders & team members, faculty / Multiple case study / Mixed methods (semi-structured interviews, focus groups, document analysis, survey (n=348) Identifies the main struggles of ICT leaders as a lack of institutional regulations and the challenge of bringing about educational change in the face of reluctance. Concludes the need for distributed leadership.
Davis and Higgins (2015). Researching Possible Futures to Guide Leaders Towards More Effective Tertiary Education. Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning, 19(2), 8–24. New Zealand / 16 local and international experts / Scenario building: semi structured interviews, document analysis brainstorming workshops Created a collective scenario organised around tensions between facing academia/the disciplines and facing employers and the professions, and standardised versus customised education. 4 scenarios: articulation, supermarket, quality-branded, self-determined.
Díaz and Báez (2015). Exploración de la capacidad de liderazgo para la incorporación de TICC en educación: validación de un instrumento. RELATEC - Revista Latinoamericana de Tecnología Educativa, 14(3), 35–47. Mexico / 6 experts (5 Mexico + 1 USA) / rating of items => Quantitative analysis using Content Validity Index (CVI). Validated an instrument to explore leadership capabilities for ICT in education, consisting of 31 items divided into four variables: digital competence, visionary leadership, strategic leadership and contextual intelligence.
Domingo-Coscollola et al. (2016). Do It Yourself in Education: Leadership for Learning across Physical and Virtual Borders. International Journal of Educational Leadership and Management, 4(1), 5–29. Spain, Finland, Czech Republic / Schools and Higher Education, teachers, students and parents / Qualitative – document analysis, focus groups Finds that HE teachers have more freedom than school teachers to innovate in the classroom but that highly-fragmented curricula and rigid timetables represent barriers. Focuses on teachers leading learning rather than institutional governance.
Garrison and Vaughan (2013). Institutional change and leadership associated with blended learning innovation: Two case studies. The Internet and Higher Education, 18, 24–28. Canada / two case studies / practical inquiry, community of inquiry Documents two cases of the development of blended learning from the point of view of institutional change and leadership. Concludes the need for committed collaborative leadership engaging all levels of the institution, with clear vision, specific action plans, teaching recognition and adequate resource allocation.
Holt et al. (2015). Framing and enhancing distributed leadership in the quality management of online learning environments in higher education. Distance Education, 35(3), 382–399. Australia, national project / senior leaders at each partner institution / semi-structured interviews Examines leaders’ understandings of distributed leadership in the context of quality management of Open Learning Environments. Confirms the existence of a gap between the existence of distributed leadership, and the acceptance of its meaning and value. Concludes the need for deliberative formal top-level leadership commitment and action in order to instil distributed leadership.
Inayatullah and Milojevic (2014). Augmented reality, the Murabbi and the democratization of higher education: alternative futures of higher education in. On the Horizon, 22(2), 110–126. Malaysia / 50 lecturers and deans / Action research foresight workshop Presents recommendations from a 5-day foresight workshop in 8 categories: establishment of a pilot project; enhancement of digital teaching and learning processes; customization of degrees; changing of the culture in higher education; enhancing collaboration; supporting research activities; rethinking of dominant frames of reference; anticipating upcoming futures trends.
King and Boyatt (2015). Exploring factors that influence adoption of e-learning within higher education. British Journal of Educational Technology, 46(6), 1272–1280. UK / single HEI / phenomenological approach, faculty-based focus groups and individual interviews Identifies factors influencing the adoption of e-learning: institutional infrastructure, staff attitudes and skills, perceived student expectations, the importance as perceived by participants of an institutional strategy which provides sufficient resources and guidance. Recommends that such a strategy needs to be supported by a staff development programme and opportunities for sharing practice.
Livingstone (2015). Administration’s perception about the feasibility of elearning practices at the University of Guyana. International Journal of Education and Development Using Information and Communication Technology (IJEDICT), 11(2), 65–84. Guyana / single HEI, administrators / mixed methods case study, online survey analysed quantitatively and qualitatively Explores the perceptions of the University’s administration regarding the feasibility of developing elearning. Concludes that the perceptions are generally favourable but that educational practices in general need to be improved, and that issues regarding technical infrastructure and support need to be addressed.
Ng’ambi and Bozalek (2013). Leveraging informal leadership in higher education institutions: A case of diffusion of emerging technologies in a southern context. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44(6), 940–950. South Africa / 22 HEIs, educators and non-academics (n=259) / online survey analysed qualitatively (and quantitatively at a superficial level) Studies the uses of emerging technologies to transform the teaching and learning practices and the nature of institutional support. Refers to diffusion of innovation theory (Rogers, 2003; Rogers & Scott, 1997). Concludes the need for more transformative and less transactional leadership. Proposes a wheel model for accelerating the diffusion of innovation and emerging technologies in HEIs, recommending that formal leaders work with opinion leaders and change agents.
Roushan et al. (2016). The Kaleidoscope of Voices: An Action Research Approach to Informing Institutional e-Learning Policy. Electronic Journal of E-Learning, 14(5), 293–300. UK / single HEI / two-spiral action research approach Concludes that the success of TEL integration depends on strong research and technological leadership, building internal alliances with key stakeholders, focusing on the ‘middle out’ and a partnership approach to working with students, all of which contribute to a transformational and shared approach to institution-wide change.
Sheiladevi and Rahman (2016). An Investigation on Impact of E-Learning Implementation on Change Management in Malaysian Private Higher Education Institutions. Pertanika Jouornal of Science and Technology, 24(2), 517–530. Malaysia / HE educators (n=487) / Quantitative analysis of survey data Finds that variables of change management (“stakeholders involvement”, “system view”, “evolving mindset”, “understanding transition”, “system design” and “system evaluation”) influence three aspects of e-learning implementation: “ownership and control”, “academic transform”, and “service and satisfaction”. Concludes with the need to construct a vision and a mission that resonate with teachers, relating it to teaching and learning.
Singh and Hardaker (2017). Teaching in Higher Education Change levers for unifying top-down and bottom- up approaches to the adoption and diffusion of e- learning in higher education. Teaching in Higher Education, 22(6), 736–748. UK / 5 HEIs / qualitative exploratory case studies, interview with senior e-learning leaders, heads of academic departments, faculty, e-learning and IT staff Applies Giddens’ (1984) structuration theory to analyse change levers, identified as using a collaborative, participatory approach, creating social networks for potential adopters to learn from peers, combining mass and interpersonal communication, endorsing bottom-up engagement, recognising cultural differences between faculties and departments.
Spackman et al. (2015). What Can the Business World Teach Us About Strategic Planning. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 18(2). USA / single HEI, administrators / authoethnography Demonstrates that the Balanced Scorecard (BSC), widely used in the business world but still largely unknown to the distance and continuing education community, can help the latter face the challenges of increasing government regulation and accreditation, competition and accountability in a context of declining funding. However, the BSC methodology requires understanding and support on the part of senior administrators.
Stoddart (2015). Using educational technology as an institutional teaching and learning improvement strategy? Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 37(5), 586–596. Australia / single HEI / case study Explores how educational technology can be used to drive institutional-level learning and teaching strategy. Concludes that although change was measurable, it did not occur at a systemic level, and identifies the need for take-up and mobilisation of the affordances of technology in order to impact teaching and learning. Also identifies the decisive role of human factors in the success or failure of a particular educational strategy, and focuses on inflection points or levers such as collaborative rather than individual approaches.
Tay and Low (2017). Digitalization of learning resources in a HEI – a lean management perspective. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 66(5), 680–694. Singapore / 1 HEI / qualitative exploratory case study Identifies key factors from a lean management perspective for the conversion of print-based materials to e-learning resources: common vision, top management support, timely information sharing, relationship management.
Trevitt et al. (2017). Leading entrepreneurial e-learning development in legal education: A longitudinal case study of “universities as learning organisations.” The Learning Organization, 24(5), 298–311. Australia / 1 HEI / longitudinal case study, interviews and reflective analysis Examines learning organisation attributes in the context of introducing distance learning within a research-intensive HEI. Analyses from the point of view of the iron triangle (cost-access-quality). Finds that entrepreneurialism resulted in growth (150 -> 2000 students over 15 years, 2 new programmes). Concludes that organisational learning in HE takes time (decades). Keys to success: business logic and internal networking.
Zhu (2015). Organisational culture and technology-enhanced innovation in higher education. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 24(1), 65–79. China / 684 teachers from six universities / quantitative survey Studies seven dimensions of organisational culture: goal orientation, participative decision making, innovation orientation, structured leadership, supportive leadership, shared vision and formal relationships with respect to e-learning and computer-supported collaborative learning.
Results indicate the importance of goal orientation, innovation orientation, formal relationship among members and structured leadership.
Zhu and Engels (2014). Organizational culture and instructional innovations in higher education. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 42(1), 136–158. China / 6 HEIs (186 teachers and 865 students)/ quantitative survey Examines teachers’ and students’ perceptions of organisational culture together with opinions about teaching and learning innovations (student-centred learning, collaborative learning, use of educational technologies).
Highlights the importance of an innovative, open and supportive organizational culture, clear goals, collaborative spirit and shared vision. Most influential organisational culture dimensions: goal orientation and collegial relationship.