Unit 11: Change & Innovation


After studying this unit you should be able to:

  • Discuss some of the traditional models used in change and innovation theory.
  • Play the Diffusion Simulation Game.
  • Discuss Innovation Diffusion Theory as it applies to instructional technology and distance education
  • Develop a proposal to use a new technology to deliver a distance education course.


Surry, D., & Farquhar, J. (1997). Diffusion theory and instructional technologyJournal of Instructional Science and Technology, 2(1). Available at: http://www.usq.edu.au/electpub/e-jist/vol2no1/article2.htm.

Hansen, S., & Salter, G. (2001). The adoption and diffusion of web technologies into mainstream teachingJournal of Interactive Learning Research 12(2/3), 281-299. Available at: http://www.editlib.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Reader.ViewAbstract&paper_id=8423.

Completing MDDE610 has provided many opportunities to consider the nature of change and it's relationship to innovation; creation, adoption and sustainability. The role of Change Agent is one that is often assumed by the instructional designer who may, or may not, also be the topic expert or instructor. In my work, I'm often in all three roles at once and have encountered many barriers to change. Some of these were my own internal barriers such as frustration with learning new technologies or fear of giving up methods with which I was comfortable. As I've proceeded through the MDDE program I believe I have addressed many of these personal barriers and have become more interested in trying new things, championing for change, and supporting others in their efforts to also adapt.

At this point in my career, I have not had the opportunity to design or teach a fully-online course. However, there is considerable push in my organization to increase the number of hybrid and flipped classrooms and as a result I find myself designing with online education in mind. The benefits of applying universal instructional design methods and considering the online learner benefit students in face to face classrooms as well. I've grown to see a much more blurry line between what constitutes face to face versus online education. Technology is found at every level, and increasingly our use of technologies in our everyday lives are influencing the expectations of students and the very ways we learn.


 Dr. Dwayne Harapnuik provided us with an excellent discussion on the ideas of change and innovation. The recorded session can be accessed here: https://connect.athabascau.ca/p8gueko8h77/









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