Tagged: W2A6

Week 2 – Activity 6: Innovation in your context

Timing: 4 hours

  • Consider each of the questions below and log your reflections in your learning journal/blog.On the basis of your own experience:
    • Do you sense that your innovations (as supporters of learning) have been valued, encouraged, supported?
    • What evidence do you have to support your view?

    From the perspective of your context:

    • How widespread is innovation in your organisation?
    • Are there policies or statements that relate to innovation? If yes, how are they implemented?
    • What implications, if any, does this have for your attitude towards innovation?
  • Select a couple of the issues you consider most relevant to H817 and post a short comment to your tutor group forum. Discuss in your group and reflect on what this tells you about how innovation is encouraged and managed, or otherwise.

Answer:

 

On the basis of your own experience:

– Do you sense that your innovations (as supporters of learning) have been valued, encouraged, supported?

Within the OU I have found this to be the case in most of the modules I have completed. I normally have a broad range of options to chose from when selecting my research and approach, and have normally been given the freedom to use a range of tools that best suit my needs (including those outside of the suggestions).

– What evidence do you have to support your view?

Looking particularly at what I would consider to be the most innovative of the courses I have done (The Networked Practitioner), I was given enemies freedom in topic, tools, and the manner in which I delivered my research. We were encouraged to use the tools at our disposal to work towards a particular ed tech project. The use of web technologies of all sorts was encouraged, and we were given the reigns to do things as we pleased in an online conference.

The OU in general has appeared to have a ‘challenger’ and ‘innovator’ mindset, encouraging us to go beyond what is ‘normal’ if we wish.

From the perspective of your context?

– How widespread is innovation in your organisation?

I will look at the OU.

The OU seems to pride itself on its innovation. From their involvement with OpenLearn and MOOCs, to application development and tools such as iSpot, tailored blackboard software, wiki’s, and CloudWorks. Since I have joined the OU, I have witnessed changes in their support of different online materials (most recently possibly Google Apps).

Whilst the organisation is very large, I have found it impressive how I have been able to communicate with tutors even easier than was the case at my previous physical university. This as well has been done using newer technologies, through Twitter, OULive, and Skype.

– Are there policies or statements that relate to innovation? If yes, how are they implemented?

I recall the OU stating that it was as if the internet was developed for the university. It appears that as the OU grows, it embraces anything online that is relevant to its cause. As a result, their knowledge and experience with research into online accessibility, application development, OER, amongst others, is regarded as world class. Their use of Moodle as the backbone for their infrastructure is furthermore proof of their development within the internet landscape.

– What implications, if any, does this have for your attitude towards innovation?

It signals to me that their is often an element of risk when moving towards the cutting edge. I am sure many OU projects have failed as the technology they have planned to use fell out of favour. however, in the case of developing MOOCs, opening up their licensing for certain courses, using open source software, etc. this risk has paid off and led to them being regarded as experts leading the way.

 

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