July 2022 reading activity

Someone is standing on a ladder applying a coat of paint with a roller, one-handed

Welcome, everyone, to our reading for July.

The TELedvisors SIG reading activity is intended to be a monthly ‘slow chat’ where you can engage with your peers and discuss a current topic related to educational technology. Each reading is openly accessible and not too long, on a topic to support our ASCILITE SIG community.

Our facilitators this month are:

  • Stoo Stepp
  • Keith Heggart
  • Wendy Taleo

This month: ‘Instructional innovation – just a new coat of paint?’

When the university technological environment is described as an “ecosystem”, I have always understood that to mean something very complex, a finely balanced arrangement of different organisms, each occupying a particular niche.

I picture the battered old jackal of a student enrolment system, the crushing serpentine grip of text matching software, the shrill meerkats of notifications, the underground aardvark of portfolio software, herds of file content roaming the Serengeti, and the lumbering learning management system shaking the ground as it walks.

A hippopotamus opens its jaws
An LMS in the wild?
Image: Riccardo Cuppini, via flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/7977981@N06/2527521045
cc by-nc-nd 2.0

Dr Stoo Stepp wrote about the learning ecosystem in his post, late last year, on Instructional innovation through leadership, support and agency. Stoo has experience of each of these instructional functions, having been a learning technologist, a learning designer, and now an academic in the School of Education at UNE. His post, however, highlights a different aspect of an ecosystem, the “system” part. People in a system depend on each other, and a change in one area has crucial effects on others. Innovation, and change of any kind, is not one-dimensional.

In the TELEdvisor reading for July, Stoo lays out his analysis of how the instructional innovation system operates. The technology that an institution chooses (or fails to choose) will govern what work is demanded, what innovation is possible, and what kind of support will be necessary from the TELedvisor and academic workforce.

As you read Stoo’s post, please let us know how you have experienced the relationships of institutional change and work.

Access the article by

  • either logging in to hypothes.is or using the Hypothes.is Chrome browser extension and then
  • clicking the direct link to join the conversation.

Direct link: https://stoosepp.com/instructional-innovation-framework/


Here are some starting points for discussion, to consider as you read:

  1. Do IT leaders still influence decisions in educational technology?
  2. Technical or technological – what do we expect from educational platforms?
  3. How fragile are the learning ecosystems that you know? What is being crowded out? Where is the waste?

In the interests of building our community as a reading group, why not share your responses?:

  1. Annotate together. Sign up for hypothes.is and then use the above link.
  2. Tags: #TELedvisors #Julychat
  3. Go social: Twitter mostly but, hey, you might have your own blog, be in Mastodon, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok or the next place!

Bonus readings:

Innovation in higher education. Wait, what? by Alexandra Mihai (24 May 2022)

Leadership in learning development, Carina Buckley and Kate Coulson

Header photo by Patrick Goossens on Flickr

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