Educational Innovation as a Verb, Not a Noun

Thomas Carey, Inside Higher Ed, Aug 28, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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To me this is old news because the model has been repeated frequently inside NRC to describe the organizational changes we've undertaken over the last few years. But it's worth posting this link because it's a lucid account from someone close to the source and because it describes a trend coming to an institution near you. It's based on a "‘triple play’ framework of exploration-experimentation-exploitation seems to me to give us a working criterion for innovation as an overall process:

  • Discovering new knowledge or ideas (including both invention and discovering what others may have begun to do) 
  • Translating and testing the new idea or knowledge as a working artifact (product, service or practice) 
  • Adapting and extending the artifact for wider use to generate organizational/social value."

The big change at our institution was move down the criteria, to shift from "discovering new knowledge" to "translating and testing" and even "adapting and extending". The view has been that there is no shortage of discovery (especially in Canada) but that there is a greater need to adapt knowledge to create social and commercial value. But I fear this will become a wider trend absorbing all our institutions.

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