This month in EDUCAUSE: Digital transformation, a culture of innovation

Educause logo

My name is Irene Knokh and I’m the EDUCAUSE ambassador for U-M. I share articles of interest, upcoming trends, and advocate on your behalf for EDUCAUSE.

Digital Transformation (DX)

In the “Flexibility, Agility, and the Three Dx Shifts: Culture, Workforce, and Technology,” the authors write about Digital Transformation in practice. The discussion centers on four (4) areas of DX and seven (7) aspects of these areas:


  • Culture of the organization
  • Organizational structure
  • Leadership
  • Employee roles
  • Skills (employees, students, and faculty)

DX 7 aspects:

  • Digital learning technologies
  • Instructional modes
  • Personnel and support services
  • Organization policies
  • Faculty development
  • Learner development
  • University partnerships (including those beyond academic).

Review figures 1 and 2 for a thorough visual representation of areas involved in DX and teaching modalities. The authors thoroughly describe what’s involved in each area including 24/7 technology support for students and faculty, expanded academic services, faculty development, accessibility, equitable and robust access to digital technologies/tools, collaboration with instructional designers, and flexible learning modes (see table 2 for descriptions and needed support).

Clear guidance on digital teaching and learning, evidence based course evaluation, funding for professional training and development, policies and planning are necessary to put all these aspects into practice. Student learning requires full support (managing time and accessibility, for instance). It is essential for faculty to be recognized for the effort to improve courses by presenting material in various modalities and striving to improve pedagogical approaches.

Partnerships with nonprofits, other schools, and industry are critical to give students optimal learning experiences and for institutions themselves to stay nimble.

More on Digital Transformation: Flexibility, Agility, and the Three Dx Shifts: Culture, Workforce, and Technology (one of 2021 key resources).

Read about Spectrum and EDUCAUSE partnership in looking at key areas and challenges of DX.

A culture of innovation

Shifts in institutional culture, workforce development and opportunities, IT adaptation and connecting silos are not new issues. They have been brought into a sharper focus during the COVID-19 pandemic; the “Acceleration of DX” because of the pandemic shows that organizations must adapt even faster and evolve their practices for learning, teaching, and technology.

Evaluating IT means reviewing, adapting, and extending connections IT departments have with other functions at their institutions. For a more thorough treatment of workforce development and adaptability, especially in IT, see 2022 EDUCAUSE: Evolve or Become Extinct Showcase). Look into the “Future Proof: The Flexible IT Organization” Resources and Showcase 2022 Page.

On that note, “food for thought” article by Teri Abbo and Amy Pelkey, about “Creating a
Culture of Innovation
,” is worth a read. The authors encourage everyone to start and grow an innovative mindset.

They identify five key areas:

  1. Continuous improvement and the three C’s
  2. Value statement that supports the mission statement
  3. Incorporate the Core Competencies of Innovative Organizations
  4. Emphasize Culture As the Heart of Innovation
  5. Change the Method of Discussing Ideas

Review the Conversation Starters infographic and recommendations for “being that one person to inspire the change.”

Bookmark EDUCAUSE Showcase Series and let me know what you’d like covered in more depth.

Thank you, and “see you” next month! 


If you have any questions about the content, tidbits you’d like to share, or anything EDUCAUSE related, email Irene Knokh, instructional design and technology consultant, Professional Development and Education for Nursing, or Chris Eagle, EDUCAUSE coordinator for U-M.