Global Trend Analysis
International Leadership Perspectives for Educators
Nova Southeastern University
September 14, 2014
Introduction to the issues
Nova Southeastern University (NSU) prides itself in being the innovator in offering degrees and professional development via distance learning. For years it has been able to attract students from all over the world; some taking advantage of a cohort type, face to face instructions while others opt to complete their degree program entirely online. NSU’s push to use technology to reach students worldwide, highlights the two major global trends that impact the school in a big way. The first is the technological boom that has for some time now, afforded students the luxury of earning a full degree using a computer, an iPad or even a smartphone. The second is the cultural diversity that has to be catered to, managed and understood, what with the offering of programs and degrees to an “international classroom”. Both can be challenging but if embraced and encouraged for their benefits can be equally rewarding.
Discussion of the issues
There is no doubt that with the rapid growth in technology, the way education is delivered has taken off exponentially. This has been made possible because of the easy access to the internet and abundant tools such as tablets, smartphones and less expensive laptop computers. This has caused the appetite for learning to grow as well as the competition to reach as wide an audience as possible with the same passion. Software development organizations (SDOs) had to dramatically increase their learning speed too keep up with the demand, according to Lyytinen, Rose & Yoo (2010). Some of the software that have been developed over the past few years are Blackboard with Collaborate that allows for not only online interaction between teacher and student as well as student to student, but there is also the ability to have a face to face conversation with someone thousands of miles away. If one prefers applications outside of the typical school oriented ones, there is Zoom which offers a more high tech feel and enhanced capabilities. Ten (10) years ago, people would be amazed to know that there were students who completed their entire degree on a computer, today people are going to be amazed to realize there are students who will complete their entire degree on a tablet or iPad.
Cultural diversity has always been a topic that grasped the attention of the society at large and then gradually became a human resources management focus. It is good that there has been a focus on this phenomenon as according to Andreassi, Lawter, Brockerhoff, & Rutigliano, (2014). “Studies have shown that human resource management practices, or in particular “high-performance work practices” (HPWP) have a positive relationship with organizational performance”. This became so because of the “shrinking” world and the ever growing appetite of humans to travel and integrate. While the human resource management piece has traditionally looked at the employment relations and employment law aspect, it is equally important to look at it from a school/instructor/student aspect as well because this too can be tricky and needs to take the same challenges into account.
The take away from some studies is that incorporating the correct human resource practices signal to employees that the organization is committed to them, which would be reciprocated by employees through positive attitudes and high commitment work behaviors (Andreassi, Lawter, Brockerhoff, & Rutigliano, 2014). Interestingly, the same can be said for the student who sees evidence that the school is committed to them, regardless of their culture and if they are on campus or in a foreign country.
Impact of issues on NSU
These two major global trends have impacted Nova Southeastern University (NSU) in big ways. The technological advances who some would refer to as a boom