Several years ago I wrote a post titled “Pilots: Too many ed tech innovations stuck in purgatory”, where I used Everett Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovations framework to explore why we have plenty of pilots but not very many large-scale adoptions of ed tech innovations.
What we are seeing in ed tech in most cases, I would argue, is that for institutions the new ideas (applications, products, services) are stuck the Persuasion stage. There is knowledge and application amongst some early adopters in small-scale pilots, but majority of faculty members either have no knowledge of the pilot or are not persuaded that the idea is to their advantage, and there is little support or structure to get the organization at large (i.e. the majority of faculty for a traditional institution, or perhaps for central academic technology organization) to make a considered decision. It’s important to note that in many cases, the innovation should not be spread to the majority, either due to being a poor solution or even due to organizational dynamics based on how the innovation is introduced.
This stuck process ends up as an ed tech purgatory – with promises and potential of the heaven of full institutional adoption with meaningful results to follow, but also with the peril of either never getting out of purgatory or outright rejection over time.
Accordingly, we have more information about institutions with quite a few pilots around digital courseware, but there is not much information about colleges or universities implementing at scale. What are the problems to be solved for large-scale adoption, and what lessons can be learned (both positive and negative)?
As part of our e-Literate TV series of video case studies, we had a chance this fall to interview several institutions that are dealing with this challenge – deploying courseware at scale – based on interviews at the Realizeit users conference.1 In a future episode we’ll describe more directly what Realizeit’s platform is and is not, but to start, let’s get a sense of the institutional perspective.
In this first episode I interview representatives from American Public University System (APUS) and Bay Path University, asking them to describe their programs. APUS has redesigned more than 1,600 courses based on active learning, as well as new competency-based programs, and Bay Path is applying courseware broadly across the entire institution.
(Video source: https://youtu.be/hUySDzoz_gE)
We’ll share additional interviews from this conference in the coming weeks.
This post is part of our e-Literate TV series, which is funded in part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The findings and conclusions (or views) contained within are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
By Phil Hill
- This post is not meant to endorse Realizeit’s platform over other companies’ platforms. We are focusing on institutional perspectives and lessons to be learned. [↩]