We believe that the Digital Learning and Leading program at Lamar University must prepare educators to lead organizational change using technology innovations as a catalyst for change.
To do this, the Digital Learning and Leading program at Lamar University provides an innovative, collaborative learning environment which equips our learners with the necessary tools to effectively bring about change in their organizations.
The Digital Learning and Leading program at Lamar University prepares leaders who can create significant learning environments, lead organizational change, and drive innovation in a digitally-advanced century.
What is the COVA Model?
|C||The freedom to choose (C) how they wish to organize, structure and present their experiences and evidences of learning.|
|O||Ownership (O) over the entire ePortfolio process – including selection of projects and their portfolio tools.|
|V||The opportunity to use their own voice (V) to revise and restructure their work and ideas.|
|A||Authentic (A) learning experiences that enable students to make a difference in their own learning environments.|
Digital Learning and Leading Principles
The Master of Digital Learning and Leading (DLL) is a collaborative learner-centered program that embraces technological innovation through collaboration, active and authentic learning, and the creation of significant learning environments.
While technology is continually used to enhance the learning environment in the DLL, it isn’t just relegated to being another tool that teachers put in their instructional tool boxes. Innovative technologies are used as catalysts to enhance learning and when effectively employed, the technology disappears into the learning environment.
The DLL program is grounded in the approaches of Dewey, Bruner, and Piaget who advocate that learning is an active, dynamic, and social process in which learners construct new ideas or concepts based upon their current and past knowledge and experiences. The making of meaningful connections is key to the learning and knowing.
Similarly, the educator and philosopher Mortimer Adler suggests that:
teaching is a very special art, sharing with only two other arts — agriculture and medicine — an exceptionally important characteristic. A doctor may do many things for his patient, but in the final analysis it is the patient himself who must get well — grow in health. The farmer does many things for his plants or animals, but in the final analysis it is they that must grow in size and excellence. Similarly, although the teacher may help his student in many ways, it is the student himself who must do the learning. Knowledge must grow in his mind if learning is to take place (p. 11).
In the DLL program, we create and model significant learning environments where the learner takes control and ownership of their learning. Through authentic projects DLL students learn how to purposefully assemble all the key components of effective learning and create their own significant learning environments that will then, in turn, help their learners to learn how to learn.
Research and experience confirms that we learn most deeply through effective collaboration and feedback from our peers. DLL collaborative activities are structured so that students can bring their ideas to their group, examine and test those ideas, and then apply those refined and strengthened ideas to their own projects.
Collaboration is not used as a consensus driving process, rather it is part of the significant learning environment where learners are immersed and engage in productive thinking and problem solving and emerge with enhanced knowledge and skills that they can apply in their own classrooms and professional development.
In DLL the student will not be asked to sit and get professional development, but will be required to go and show what they have learned through the creation of their own learning ePortfolio. The DLL ePortfolio reinforces learner choice, ownership, voice and agency (COVA) which the DLL students are then able to share with their learners and their learning communities.