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Institutional support and impact: key criteria

Create SSBR Online Event 9th July 2009

The following questions are adapted from Gwen van der Velden’s[1] presentation Engaging the sector: An institutional perspective of raising awareness to embedding new and emerging technologies“. The core issues that Gwen raised are presented below under four interrelated themes and provide a starting point for thinking about practical ways forward to tackle the where, when, what and how of institutional impact and support related issues:


Where is the buy-in?

- Is your project about technology, practice or innovation?

- Are you planning change or replacement?

- Who initiates change?

- Where are you embedding? e.g. financial systems, staff practice (takes time)

- How do you rate your institution’s ability to change? This may depend on the nature of the institution – devolved or centralized - and its’ ethos.

- Change agents – who drives change? Are you targeting the correct stakeholders?


When does embedding work?

- How are you getting buy-in? Sell the argument – give the tools for the need to change to be passed on

- How have you planned for user engagement: user and provider

- Are you embedding solutions, not enhancements?

- Can you create patronage?

- Do you have a user-friendly presentation?

- Can you leverage institutional reputation – what are the competitors using?


What are the drivers for embracing technology?

- Are you addressing students and incoming staff?

- Have you taken into account relevant institutional strategic agendas?

- Will your results be credible?

- Do you have access to technology-wise institutional managers?

- Can you argue that risky times call for risky solutions?

- Do you know you key change agents – they will be the implementers? Or are you depending on middle managers when you should be going more senior – e.g. see it as staff development.


How do I convince my stakeholders?

- What is your strapline?

- Are you solving non-existent problems? Do you have a good definition of the problems you are solving?

- Why would I support you?

- What problem do you solve for you me?

- What do managers want to hear – the management discourse? This is not the same as Web2.0 discourse.


[1] Gwen Van der Velden is the Director of Learning and Teaching Enhancement at the University of Bath, UK