Building momentum around possibilities

Building momentum around shared vision, well-planned actions, collaboration and involvement of stakeholders and leaders at all levels -- while being innovative, flexible, open and outcome-oriented -- can significantly increase success of a project.  Momentum can attract new partners and keep everyone engaged and energized through the process. Therefore, it is very beneficial to prepare a plan on how to build and keep momentum in an early stage of a project.

Building Momentum

Tools for optimal combination. Moodle 2.0 as a Learning Management System provides a well-structured and well-controlled learning environment, just like traditional universities. However, at the same time, Moodle 2.0 is designed as an integral part of the Web 2.0 framework. It is interoperable with all major Web 2.0 applications, and Moodle Community Hubs provide a powerful collaborative framework while letting each institution having absolute control over their courses and their Moodle installation. All we have to do is turn on or off features we do or do not want.

Beliefs and expectations. While economic and social factors and educational technologies are stressing that: ‘Yes, we have huge possibilities and yes we can and we should make a change’, beliefs and expectations are still at a critical point.  That is why it is important to address skepticism about online education and collaboration, particularly around questions of quality, workload, and loss of control. Research done by MacKeogh and Fox (2009) concluded that the faculty of one traditional university wants to retain control over course delivery (66%) and they favor collaboration with institutions (82%), while less than one-third favor outsourcing. Their attitudes to technology supported education are variable ranging from highly supportive and experienced users to highly skeptical. That is why it will be very helpful if a well-planned and articulated (e)learning strategy is developed and promoted while all stakeholders have a chance to be actively involved in the process. Through such a process, we can mobilize supporters and convert skeptics.

Technical Support and pedagogical skills. Numerous researches stresses that faculty requires much more and much better support for educational technologies than they usually get (Bates, 2000). Furthermore, up-to-date education supported by technology requires not just technological skills but new educational skills.

Tools to build momentum. The Web 2.0 framework provides numerous tools to ease collaborative change management and improve results and satisfaction of all stakeholders. Proper selection and usage of such tools can be very important for the future of a project like this one. Forums, blogs, wikis, Facebook, constituent relationship management systems (eg. CiviCRM) are just a few of the tools we can use.

Case Studies