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OCWC Global 2011: Systemic Planning for the Open Education Innovation

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Patrick McAndrew
5 May 2011

Vijay Kumar & Kim Thanos, running a session looking at a framework for innovation and how it has been applied - plus how to apply in the session.

Model of diffusion of innovation (Havelock & Huberman) ORACLE - building on experience from the early days of introducing technical innovation in developing areas. Success depends on a variety of factors: Object, Resources, Authority, Consensus, Linkages, Environment. 

  • Object - the value and expected benefit balanced against complexity
  • Resources - for OER not about "sustaining OER" rather what can be achieved
  • Authority - who is behind the idea
  • Consensus - getting everyone on board
  • Linkage - infrastructure technical/organisational/social
  • Environment - what is needed and how change can happen

Need these six factors but also there is a time for things to happen - readiness for things to happen. OER now becoming a key part of strategies for education.

Recognise the multiple perspecttive - use a 3 lens framework. Cultural, Strategic, Political. Organisations as institutions, machines, contests. Perspectives of people as well “where you stand on an issue depends on where you sit”.

Kim Thanos: works on sustainability so often looking at the ways to raise promise to impact and take pockets of innovation forward. Having done this repeatedly want to see how to stand back and apply models such as different lenses. Culture as habit - slow but sustained change that need not be negative. 

Two examples: Appied to Haiti education - Build Back Better. Devised projects and process. Needed to establish local ownership and leaderships as primary step. Projects: OER, immersion in technical environment, and national digital library. Second e.g. India's National Knowledge Commission. 

Common elements: infrastructure, staff development, content assests as OER, governance and leadership, vision or object.

Kick off meeting with NGLC wave 1 project next week - focus on at risk students. Looking for many different changes but the rallying point that is visible is the elimination of textbook costs. Very concrete, well understood,.

Survey before the conference:

Culture (6.38) v Strategic (7.24) v Political (5.48)

Strongest factor - thought leaders understanding and advocating open education.

Lead into discussion on enablers and inhibitors. Cultural lens - action through habit, strategic group - action through planning, political group - action through power.

Cultural group notes:

•Inertia – same for 10 years •Reverse – chance for change •Admin/technical as important – technical solutions can take over •Protection of values = protection of content •Toolkit – flag up know the culture and than can use it •Inculcate habit building on the culture •Connect culture: live up to reputation through openness •Not counter to culture •Incentive to change habit: not money (at least at Harvard) •Tenure promotion as route from Openness •Must first look outside •Success can be inhibitor – high production values intimidating •Enabler – cuts can be push towards experimentation •Automate the repetitive – save time as well as finance •Openness as route to sharing and recording own work •Hands on practice of colleges •National culture (French v English)

Strategic: •Lack of understanding of business models •Change needs greater information •Connect funders with institutions

Political: •Politics of environment as well as the institution •Political story needed to meet cultural and political situations •Not one size fits all – adjust message to circumstance •Recognition as a policy: not just Teaching & Learning •Money and resources – more money implies harder to get a result! Less money means the keen will engage!

Recognise that we are at the beginning of the innovation cycle and do not allow any set backs to kill the willingness to engage.

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