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					Taming the Beast – Managing Educational
         Technology Adoption


                      Sandra Dowie, MA, MBA, PMP
                    E-Learning Development Officer
         Office of the Provost, University of Alberta
                          sandra.dowie@ualbert.ca




       CANHEIT | On the EDGE | June 15-18, 2008 | University of Calgary
                     Session outline…

U of A’s strategic framework for supporting teaching and
learning
Strategies for promoting innovation
Educational Technology Adoption Process - A continuum of
innovation & services
Effectively engaging stakeholders in researching new
educational technologies
Challenges & next steps




     Please feel free to ask questions.
                Decentralized vs. Centralized
               Educational Technology Services


Pressure to decentralize services to:
ØMeet local educational needs
ØIncrease responsiveness
ØTake advantage of emerging technologies
ØImplement Web 2.0



                      Pressure to centralize services to:
                      ØAchieve of economies of scale
                      ØMinimize redundancies
                      ØIncrease reliability
                      ØBuild critical mass of expertise
                     Achieve a continuum of
                    technology innovation….



Rather than focus on centralization versus decentralization,
academic versus administrative, or best organizational
models, …focus on the effective delivery of IT services
over a continuum of technology ‘innovation.”

There are dozens of innovative IT applications knocking at
the enterprise door, the challenge is how we can facilitate
letting them in.

                                     - J. A. Bielec (2007)
Educational Technology Adoption Process
             Ed. Tech. Adoption Process:
            Balancing Agility with Stability

Faculty-based activities
provide:
  ØInnovative instructional approaches
  ØDisciplinary expertise
  ØUnderstanding of students
                                         Central services
                                         provide:
                                           ØControl
                                           ØReliability
                                           ØSecurity
                                           ØEfficiency
            Centralization vs. decentralization


…there is a deep literature…that on the balance,
decentralized approaches are best suited to
organizations where innovation is the primary objective,
whereas centralization is best where efficiency …is
paramount.

…the glue (in our world) that will make it possible for
us to create rich hybrid services that balance the
Institution’s need to economize & account for outcomes
will be IT governance.
                                    - R.N. Katz, 2007
               Valuing contributions of both
              central & decentralized services
Faculty-based IT exploration:  Centrally provided services:
  Ed IT services aligned with     Ed IT services aligned with
  departmental priorities         institutional priorities
  Experiment with                 Offer deep IT expertise
  technologies too immature       Support more mature
  & costly for wide use           technologies to enable
  Provide a discipline-           wider use
  specific perspective            Control costs through
  Open the potential for          economies of scale
  transformation                  Control backup,
                                  versioning, availability,
                                  disaster recovery, etc.
    Maximizing innovation & minimizing cost
 depends on effectively managing this transition
                 Participants in the
            Ed. Tech. Adoption Process

Vice-Provost (Information Technology) –
Educational Tech. Adoption Process oversight
Teaching, Learning, & Technology (TLAT) Council
– leadership & communication
Teaching & Learning Enhancement Fund (TLEF) –
resource ($800K a year)
Discovery Learning Network (DLN) – resource
Academic champions – frontline innovators
Central service providers – partners & resource
Faculty-based staff – partners & resource
               The Ed. Tech. Adoption Process
                 provides a framework for…

Generating innovation & change through adopting
educational technologies appropriately
Central service providers proactively engaging stakeholders
in decision making
Researching the benefits, costs, & risks of employing a
technology institution-wide
Assessing resources & services required to support larger
scale implementation
Ensuring central service providers are sufficiently well
resourced to support selected educational technologies
Improving transparency & communication
U of A's Educational Technology Adoption
             Process Stages
  Phase 1: Exploration & Innovation

  Phase 2: Incubation & Development

  Phase 3: Deployment & Integration


  Each phase has core research questions
  that build on the preceding phases.
          Three primary types of projects

Off-the-shelf hardware & software that require
little modification
Applications & technologies that require some
customization
Custom built applications & resources
          Ed. Tech. Adoption Process is
           described by the phases’…

Goals
Nature of the projects & their scope
Research questions
Support services & funding
Project management & dissemination of research
findings
                           Goals for each phase
                         Goals for each phase

Phase 1: Exploration    Phase 2: Incubation   Phase 3: Deployment
& Innovation            & development         & integration

• explore educational    • identify viable    • build phased support
  potential of new         technologies for     for broader
  technology               broader              innovation through
• conduct small scale      implementation       selected technology
  pilot tests within     • develop support    • develop support
  limited contexts         models               systems for full
• benefit from           • determine            implementation of
  grassroots               infrastructure       selected technology
  innovation               requirements       • make final selection
                     Nature of the project & scope


1: Exploration &       2: Incubation &          Phase 3: Deployment
Innovation             development              & integration

•   smaller scale      • broader initiatives    • last stage prior to full
                       • wider range of           implementation
•   single course
                         applications of the    • larger projects
•   one discipline
                         technology             • team includes central
•   only a few
                       • 2 or more Faculties      service providers,
    instructors
                       • consider feasibility     faculty-based staff, &
                         for extensive use on     educators
                         UofA campuses          • technology used in
                                                  diverse programs of
                                                  study
                   Research Questions –
              Phase 1: Exploration & Innovation

What are the educational technology’s costs, risks, &
barriers to use?
What learning outcomes might be supported?
What are the educational best practices associated with the
technology?
What resources are needed for a pilot project?
Who are the initial stakeholders?
Should this educational technology be considered for
broader use & central support?
                   Research Questions –
             Phase 2: Incubation & Development

How widely might this educational technology be used? (e.g.
disciplines, teaching methods, type of students)
What are the risks, & obstacles to campus-wide
implementation?
What support is necessary to ensure its effective utilization?
What are the ed. technologies’ indirect & direct costs?
What other technologies does this replace &/or augment?
What are the opportunity costs if the technology is
supported?
Should this educational technology be considered for
broader implementation?
                   Research Questions –
             Phase 3: Deployment & Integration

How effectively is the educational technology being used?
Is the use of this educational technology aligned with the
University’s strategic direction?
Are the PD & support systems associated with this
technology optimal? If not, how could they be improved?
What are the longer term institutional outcomes we might
achieve through using this technology?
Should this educational technology be fully implemented?
                       Support – Services & Funding


1: Exploration &       2: Incubation &           Phase 3: Deployment
Innovation             development               & integration

• Project champion     • Champion –              • Approved by VPIT &
  – faculty member       instructors               Director of central
• Faculty-based e-     • Faculty-based e-          support services
  learning staff         learning staff          • Ongoing partnership
• Might include        • Increasing central e-     with other central
  central e-learning     learning services         service providers &
  service staff                                    faculty-based staff
                       • Additional support
• Might have TLEF &      through TLEF & DLN
  DLN support            important
                      Project management (PM) &
                      dissemination of research
                      findings
1: Exploration &        2: Incubation &         Phase 3: Deployment &
Innovation              development             integration
• typically ad hoc      • PM is more            • Detailed project
• project plans &         structured              plans & schedules
  schedules are         Request:                • Change control
  loosely defined       • Project plans &         documentation
• may create report       schedules             • Validated best
  and/or article        • Evidence - informed     practices
                          practices             • Approved
                        • Reports/research        PD/support services
                          articles              • Final reports &
                                                  articles
                   Example: Student Response
                   Systems (SRS)

1: Exploration &      2: Incubation &        Phase 3: Deployment
Innovation            development            & integration
• Fall 2006: Early    • Winter 2008:
  adopters supported    preferred SRS
  through DLN related   vendor announced
  program             • Fall 2008: AICT
• 2006 to 2008:         Classroom Support
  Research outcomes     installed SRS
  & potential of SRS    receivers
• Reported to VPIT &  • Bookstore sells
  TLAT Council          student remotes
                      • DLN provides
                        support & research
                 Challenges & next steps

Communicating Ed. Tech. Adoption Process to University
Increasing buy-in & engagement of central service units
Enhancing the smooth transition between phases
Funding innovation is not cheap
Evaluating process results for University
Introducing Phase 4 – outsourcing
                                 References

Bielec, John A., “Fostering Innovation in an Enterprise Environment,” in
“The Organization of the Organization: CIOs Views on the Role of Central
IT,” EDUCAUSE Review 42, no. 6 (2007):52.
Frederick, Lawrence W. “Recasting the Centralization – Decentralization
Debate: Advancing the Innovation Support Cycle” (Research Bulletin, Issue
10). Boulder CO: EDUCAUSE Centre for Applied Research, 2008, available
from http://www.educause.edu/ecar
Katz, Richard N., “IT Matters: Centralization or Decentralization May Not!”
in “The Organization of the Organization: CIOs Views on the Role of Central
IT,” EDUCAUSE Review 42, no. 6 (2007):52.
Morse, A. & Puleio, J. “Centralization vs. Decentralization,” prepared for
DEA 453: Planning & Managing the Workplace, Cornell University, Spring
2001. Downloaded on June 13, 2008 from
http://instruct1.cit.cornell.edu/courses/dea453_653/01student/asheley_jona
than/index.html

				
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