OnCoRe Blueprint

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Solicit Statewide Leadership Support

Once a knowledge framework is developed, your team needs to inform your state’s leaders of the value of a repository. In order to launch any repository project, support for the project from highly placed leaders who can assist with securing funding, getting buy-in from key state entities, and allocating resources to the project is of ultimate importance. From our own experiences, the Orange Grove creators believe that our project would have grown more quickly and faced fewer hurdles had statewide leadership been involved earlier in the project. Broad support from statewide leadership helps in myriad ways including obtaining funding, providing project staff and resources, and encouraging institutional use of the repository.

To begin, identify the potential leaders in your state who can participate in high-level planning and continue to champion the repository project as it progresses. Listed below are potential leadership contacts:

  • State educational leadership (state department of education)
  • University leadership (boards of governors or regents, university presidents, or consortia)
  • Community college leadership (governing bodies, college presidents, or consortia)
  • K-12 leadership (special projects teams, technical interventions groups, governing or standards bodies)
  • State or university library communities
  • Statewide library or information studies programs (deans, chairs, academic instructors)
  • Individuals with previous experience in planning and implementing large-scale or statewide repositories or similar initiatives (department of education staff or leadership, state consortia members, private consultants)
  • Individuals with knowledge of information systems or large scale computer networks for statewide initiatives (instructional technology, or IT, administrators for universities/community) colleges/governmental departments)
  • Statewide consortia and existing institutions whose missions support technology-delivered learning
  • Legislators and legislative staff that deal with educational issues

Also, consider seeking the support of existing institutions to advocate and facilitate the creation of your statewide repository. In Florida, the Florida Distance Learning Consortium (FDLC) which facilitates cross-institutional communication and has successfully spearheaded statewide initiatives in distance and technology-based learning was a natural vehicle to use in establishing a statewide digital repository. The Consortium’s goal is the improvement of student learning and access to education, while recognizing the autonomy of Florida’s educational institutions.

In Georgia, the repository project aligned with Advanced Learning Technologies, the statewide office charged with helping Georgia institutions use technology for instruction. Advanced Learning Technologies took content from courses they had already created and redesigned it into learning objects to be housed in their repository. Individuals from such organizations may be helpful in the planning process and serve as useful contacts for later phases of the project.

All the leaders of repository projects interviewed for this Blueprint emphasized that identifying partner organizations and gathering support was vital to moving the project forward and enabling subsequent progress. As the Orange Grove developed, Susie Henderson, working through the FDLC, made presentations and discussed the project with various leaders. Over time, she solidified support for the project, and, in 2004, the FDLC named the Orange Grove its top strategic priority. In North Carolina, Bill Randall used his personal network to get things started. He made phone calls, sent emails, met with people, and made many presentations to garner support for the project. He solicited key support from the North Carolina Community College E-learning Commission, informing them of the benefits a repository would offer to the state and to the education system.

Results of this Step:

  • Support of statewide educational leadership for the repository project
  • Establish ad hoc Project Leadership Group to create high-level plans for repository
  • Overall view of the planned direction of the repository
  • Recommendations for Strategic Planning Partners

A Project of Florida Distance Learning Consortium Funded by Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE)