Executing a Plan for Blended Learning

February 15, 2017

Thanks to a few recent graduate courses, I have developed an idea to implement a blended learning environment on my campus, click here to view my plan to implement blended learning.  After developing my plan to implement blended learning, I needed to develop a strategy to successfully execute my plan.  I am going to use the book, The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals to execute my plan to implement blended learning on my campus.  Having goals is easy, but successfully carrying out goals with the daily whirlwind we call life is not.  The 4 Disciplines of Execution provides a framework to ensure the successful execution of goals.

The 4 Disciplines of Execution

Discipline 1: Focus on the Wildly Important

According to 4DX, the first discipline of execution includes focusing efforts on one or two key goals.  The execution of a plan requires one to develop a Wildly Important Goal, or WIG.  I have developed a WIG that will help to implement blended learning onto my campus.  I used the Influencer Model and the Six Sources of Influence found in Joseph Grenny’s book Influencer: The New Science of Leading Change to help develop my goal to implement a blended learning environment on my campus.

Wildly Important Goal: Increase the blended learning environment at Baker 6th Grade Campus by having all core teachers implement two blended learning assignments a week by June 26, 2017.

I want to implement blended learning on my campus because with such an increase in the use of technology in society, and subsequently, education, it is extremely important to expose students to blended learning environments.  Being exposed to blended learning environments will prepare students for the future of education and potential jobs and careers.  In order to continue to implement my goal, I will meet with a team from my campus to come up with a plan to develop lead and lag measures for implementing blended learning.

Discipline 2: Act on the Lead Measure

Discipline 2 involves developing measures that help to achieve a goal. This 4DX principle focuses on developing the lead measures which in turn, helps increase the success of the lag measure.  I will be putting together a team on my campus to help develop our lead and lag measures.  This blended learning implementation team will be focusing on advancing the lead measures which will be a major key in the success of the blended learning implementation plan and lead and lag measures.  The team will play a vital role in ensuring the goals are measurable and trackable.  I developed a few rough draft ideas for lead and lag measures that I will present at the meeting.

“While a lag measure tells you if you’ve achieved a goal, a lead measure tells you if you are likely to achieve the goal.” -Covey, Huling, McChesney

A few ideas I want to bring to the meeting to create lead and lag measures include:

Lead Measures:

  • Ensuring that teachers are well versed in forms of technology that can be used to implement blended learning.
  • Having support on campus to help teachers develop blended learning lessons.
  • Ensuring students have access to the internet at home, if they do not, setting up a time for students to be able to complete their blended learning assignments on campus.

Lag Measures:

  • Students are well versed in various forms of technology.
  • All teachers will develop two blended learning assignments a week for students.

When looking at the lead and lag measures in a plan, it is extremely important to maintain a way for the participants to be able to see where they stand in the process.

Discipline 3: Keep a Compelling Scoreboard

“The third discipline is to make sure everyone knows the score at all times, so they can tell whether or not they are winning” (McChesney, Covey, & Huling, 2016, p. 65).  Without an accurate way to measure progress of a goal, people often discouraged when they are unable to see the progress being made.  Discipline 3 encourages the leaders to develop a ‘scoreboard’ that is easily accessible and updateable daily. The purpose of a scoreboard is to let people know the progress of the goal; As humans, we are more encouraged to perform better if we are being compared to others and able to tell if we can win.

Characteristics of a Compelling Scoreboard:

  • Is it simple?
  • Can I see it easily?
  • Does is show lead and lag measures?
  • Can I tell at a glance if I am winning?

The blended learning implementation scoreboard will be placed near the sign-in sheet where teachers and staff are required to sign in daily.  The sign in sheet will be updated at the end of each week to demonstrate the subjects that are developing lessons to implement blended learning.  The updated scoreboard will also be uploaded in Office 365: OneNote, where our campus collects information to be shared.  The implementation team will develop a simple scoreboard that demonstrates the lag and lead measures that will easily be able to determine which subjects are developing blended learning lessons or assignments.  Once the implementation team develops the final lead and lag measures, we will be able to create a compelling scoreboard for teachers.  In addition to having a way for teachers to know where they stand in the process of implementing blended learning, there needs to be a plan for accountability to ensure goals are being met.

Discipline 4: Create a Cadence of Accountability 

The fourth discipline encourages responsibility by accounting for past performances to ensure the goals are being met to plan for moving the plan forward with success. Discipline 4 maintains the accountability for the team and the school; Knowing there is a team that’s sole purpose is the success of the blended learning plan, will hopefully motivate teachers to implement blended learning lessons and assignments.

The blended learning implementation team will meet once a week, on the same day at the same time, for about ten minutes to establish accountability to encourage progress and discuss the results of the WIG.  The meetings can include sharing lessons and accomplishments, but most importantly, should encourage accountability; If sub goals are not being met, the team needs to take steps to determine the changes that can be made to increase successful execution.

The Five Stages of Change

Stage 1: Getting Clear

In order to ‘get clear’ on implementation of blended learning, the implementation team will:

  • Finalize the WIG
  • Determine the lead and lag measures
  • Create a scoreboard to display the progress of the WIG
  • Commit to attend regular WIG sessions

 Stage 2: Launch

After setting clear goals and expectations, the team will introduce the plan to the rest of the campus.  As with any new idea, there will be people willing and people who are not so willing to participate.  I am hoping with positivity and an implementation team that is clear on how they can help the other teachers, we can persuade most teachers that implementing blended learning will benefit all teachers and students.

Stage 3: Adoption

Once the WIG has been launched and the implementation team has encouraged others using positivity, the resistors will hopefully realize the benefits of a blended learning environment.  The implementation team will begin to become accountable for setting expectations and measuring the progress of the plan. The team can make adjustments and provide training in developing blended learning lessons as needed.

Stage 4: Optimization

During the optimization stage, the team will look for ways to encourage and recognize ideas by other teachers in how they are implanting blended learning. The team should recognize and celebrate success as well as positive potential.  At this point, teachers should be regularly implementing blended learning lessons and are willing to share ideas with others. Teachers as well as students are developing their technological skills which will benefit them in many areas of life in the current and near future.

Stage 5: Habits

When teachers and the implantation team are at stage 5, they should be on a clear path to success of encompassing a blended learning environment.  Teachers will be familiar with areas of technology that benefit their areas of study and the implementation team is regularly available for assistance (if it is still needed). As weekly goals are met, teachers will be celebrated for their accomplishments and the scoreboard will show that teachers are ‘winning’ blended learning.  Challenges have been met, faced, and overcome and the campus will soon be a blended learning environment.

Influencer Model and 4DX

The Influencer model and the 4DX complement each other; The Influencer model helps to develop the ideas that are needing/ wanting to be accomplished and the 4DX is a way to successfully carry out the plan.  The Influencer model and 4DX can work together; While both models have unique characteristics, these two models can be used hand in hand to develop and execute a plan.  I felt the Influencer model was significant in helping me create/ develop the goals I am trying to accomplish and 4DX is substantial for how to carry out a plan.  Both the Influencer model and 4DX have helped me to develop my plan and I think they are both going to be beneficial in in the implementation of my blended learning plan.

References

Grenny, J., Patterson, K., Maxfield, D., McMillan, R., & Switzler, A. (2013). Influencer: The new science of leading change: 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.

McChesney, C., Covey, S., & Huling, J. (2012). The 4 disciplines of execution: Achieving your wildly important goals. New York, NY: Free Press.