Centralized vs Decentralized

If I were appointed to the New Online Programs Committee in a newly created private university, I would recommend a mixture of centralized and decentralized management of educational technologies. The goal would be to “develop a system that encourages teaching units to be innovative and able to respond quickly to changes in subject matter, student needs, and technology” (Bates, 2000).  A mixed model would allow for the best of both worlds and fewer disadvantages.  In a mixed model there would be a central unit, but also have area specialists.  In having a mixture there would not be chaos or overlaps of services.  A decentralized model alone can have overlap of services, no regular funding, and lack in standards.   “A central unit can ensure that quality standards are followed in the development of technology based teaching and learning” (Bates, 2000).  A mixed model would have a director to coordinate collaboration in teams, services, focus areas, and meeting standards.

My recommendation would go on further to say management of technology of online programs is very important and “information technology now is a core, mission-critical area for all universities and colleges, and it includes academic as well as administrative needs.  Consequently, the use of information technologies needs to be coordinated, and policy, and investment needs to be planned at the most senior institutional management level” (Bates, 2000).

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