Vice President Course Design and Production

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Reference: 10018/CC/10122018

2U’s Cape Town office, formerly known as GetSmarter, is looking for a strong, charismatic executive to report to the Chief Operating Officer of 2UGrad, a division of 2U. In this role, the VP of Course Design and Production will provide strategic leadership across multiple production and university-facing functions on the Short Course Product.

This role will bring together all teams working on the production of new short courses and the continuous improvement of 2U’s expansive portfolio of short courses as well as provide regional leadership for content teams working on the development of graduate degree programs in the US. These teams are the Learning Design, Learning Technology and Project Management teams.

As VP of Course Design and Production, you’ve managed large and diverse teams, scaled teams rapidly, and have a proven track record of accountability and talent management.

You will provide thought leadership on our short course product, guiding our technology roadmap while ensuring that we deliver new short courses on time, within scope and budget and to the highest levels of quality expected by our partner institutions.

More about the teams that you will be accountable for:

The Learning Design team is responsible for ensuring that new short courses are created to the highest level of quality, utilising the unique, tried and tested pedagogical model that 2U and GetSmarter have defined. These courses need to be delivered on time and within scope, which involves ongoing engagement with leading faculty during the development of a new short course.  

The Leaning Technology team is responsible for building all courses on our Online Campuses and the maintenance of these Online Campuses. Furthermore, they are responsible for working with our Systems and Technology team to lead the pedagogical requirements for our Online Campus technology roadmap, currently utilising Moodle, and other Learning Management environments in time. This team is also responsible for evolving our technology toolkit and ensuring that these tools are integrated with our technology stack in a meaningful way.

The Project Management team brings together all production team members into project teams, comprised of team members from Learning Design, Learning Technology and Creative Studios, in the build of a new short course. This team is ultimately accountable for ensuring that projects are delivered on time, within scope and in line with the allocated budgets.

Furthermore, as the portfolio of short courses grows, there is a need to ensure that the temporal nature of subject matter is kept up to date and relevant to the market, and that new technologies are integrated in an effort to constantly improve the Net Promoter Score of our various partner institutions and their respective courses.

Responsibilities Include, But Are Not Limited To:

Lead the production of courses to meet revenue objectives and partner demand: 

  • In collaboration with the SVP of Product and the Short Course Management Team, provide strategic input and direction for the production functions that report to you and collaboratively partner with adjacent internal functions to ensure mutual success and alignment on product requirements, scope, constraints, and delivery.  .
  • Directly manage the Senior Director of Education Operations, Director of Learning Design, Director of Learning Technology, and the Director of Project Management.
  • Conduct thorough resource planning to meet the growth objectives of the production pipeline YoY.
  • Ensure that partner requirements are met and exceeded in the development of new short courses.
  • Further refine and safeguard 2U and GetSmarter’s learning model from non-scaling tech and course administrative decisions.
  • Drive innovation within the learning and course production process to improve educational outcomes for students and drive efficiencies within the team to continuously improve margin.  

Digital education thought leadership:

  • Improve our ability to scale and deliver continuous improvement through the use of meaningful product performance data, team performance metrics and the application of best-practices.
  • Align Education Product teams and 2U and GetSmarter Technology teams to pursue a shared vision for product excellence, with a relentless focus on improving student outcomes.
  • Provide clear direction to Programme Management on the way in which short courses should be sold to universities.
  • Ensure the creation, development and management of consistent instructional design practices across 2U short courses and degree programs.
  • Consistently use student performance and user data to inform the direction of the product roadmap.
  • Use data from the student-facing teams to close the loop on the customer experience.
  • Consistently look to improve the Net Promoter Score of our various partner institutions and their respective courses and obsess over the vision to be seen as the very best in digital education.

Senior leader/executive presence: 

  • Provide high level guidance and real time feedback to senior and enterprise leadership teams across regions.
  • Lead the Education Team by providing vision, clarity, and context and constantly serve as an inspiration to team members.  
  • Establish and drive accountability for departmental objectives to contribute to the company’s growth and performance goals.  
  • Partner with HR, Talent Management, Facilities, Finance, and other appropriate teams to make recommendations to improve regional management.
  • Actively participate in staff development, talent planning, identify needed training, etc.  
  • Continuing to build and maintain our award-winning company culture as our employee population continues to grow larger and more diverse.

Things That Should Be in Your Background:

  • 10 years of experience managing, 3 years of experience managing managers, ideally with strong Product Management experience.
  • Knowledge of the edtech industry.
  • Experience working with Agile project management principles.
  • Bachelor’s degree required, Master’s degree and/or distance learning experience preferred.
  • Demonstrated success in recommending and implementing action plans to solve for immediate and long term challenges.
  • Demonstrated success leading multiple large teams and regionally dispersed teams.
  • Success in leading multiple parallel projects that meet time, cost and scope requirements.
  • Success leading in a dynamic culture and operating environment.
  • Passionate leader and professional development expert.

Other Attributes That Will Help You in This Role

  • Inspire trust and confidence, including ability to sell ideas and influence directly and indirectly
  • Excels in a high-energy environment characterized by high-growth expectations within an extremely competitive marketplace
  • Executive-level verbal and written communication skills, including ability to distill complex issues into actionable recommendations
  • Approaches challenging circumstances and relationships with confidence and initiative
  • Excellent listener balanced with ability to challenge colleagues constructively and stimulate the thinking of others
  • Confident decision maker supported by disciplined, logical thinking, attention to detail, and fact-based, documented conclusions and opinions
  • Demonstrated success securing high level cross functional collaboration/participation; ability to establish leadership credibility and inspire large teams to achieve common goals
  • Strong business acumen/sensitivity; thinks holistically, incorporates overall company objectives in developing team strategy and decisions
  • Leadership courage; ability to appropriately challenge status quo and influence others