Even just writing that term makes me cringe. It’s vague and nebulous; simultaneously threatening and dull. Yet, it’s something that every professional in every profession must face—including, and especially, those who sit at the vortex of education and technology.
So let’s talk teaching and learning, specifically. And even more specifically, about how to get everyone at your institution excited about—and actually using—a new technology. For many, this responsibility may not necessarily be listed on your official job description. And yet, you’re thrust into the role of cheerleader/trainer/marketer. Trust me, you’re not alone.
I’ve asked the best in the industry—namely your colleagues and our in-house training experts —for real-life, actionable examples of how to effectively increase technology adoption on campus. Here’s what you/they had to say:
- Get the inside scoop on what people are thinking and feeling on your campus. Participate in faculty meetings, department meetings, etc., and listen. Note ideas, requirements, and concerns. Side bar conversations are often some of the most informative.
- Sympathize with your faculty. Acknowledge their fear and apprehension. When you talk about the changes, highlight the ways that the new technology will make their lives easier, and give specific examples.
- Build a professional development plan. Think about what you want to achieve. What are your goals for year 1, 3, 5? What is your timeline? Outline the steps you need to take to get you to your goal and share this with those involved so that everyone has a clear understanding of success.
- Stay connected with your campus. One announcement does not a change make. It’s a process that takes time, diligence, and sometimes, a little bit of creativity. Incorporate some of these best practices into your plan:
- Write blogs on a variety of topics and invite guest bloggers from other departments
- Offer drop-in labs whereby people can work alongside each other and ask for help when needed
- Host office hours to build face-to-face relationships
- Leverage provider-developed adoption toolkits (why reinvent the wheel?)
- [Here's a sample toolkit for Blackboard Collaborate.]
- Take it easy on yourself - it’s hard to get people to do something new. If you find yourself getting frustrated or ever disappointed with the results, remember it is hard to evoke change, but it is worth the effort.
In short, there are a lot of quick and easy ways to help “market” adoption at your institution that don’t require you to have a marketing degree. But whatever you do, don’t let “change management” get in the way of making things different.
What other tips do you have to share?