Diffusion of Innovations and Open Learning Systems

OK - model version 1 looks good - but be careful - availability bias means that it is very easy to believe that the model you have is complete when that may not be the case.


A few points:

Firstly, can I just mention that I'm not very keen on the idea of
labelling things with roles 'innovator',
'replicator', 'mentor'. Although you make clear people might perform
multiple roles, most people most of the time sit in one role. I would
prefer abstract verbs - innovate, replicate, mentor. I'm not going to
get upset if we don't do this in the bid, but it does colour what I say

  • What we are trying to describe here is a learning system. Learning sytems need an evaluation activity. Therefore evaluation or evaluator needs to be present on every single loop.
  • there is a dissemination activity going on, and some poeple who are great at innovating may not b egood at disseminating (and vice versa). The exchange will need a dissemination activity within each loop.
  • There is also an adaptation activity going on every time an innovation is moved to a new situation. Every situation is different, and things can rarely be purely 'replicated'. Work has to be done to assess the new situation and figure out how to incorporate the innovation
  • It seems the literature on Diffusion of Innovations needs to be considered here. Of course, the Everret Rogers' book looks at diffusion in an open market system., whereas the likely setting for this work is that government actions might favour / work against particular ideas
  • If it's a learning system, then we need to talk about double loop learning - how does the exchange learn about and improve it's performance?
  • Another view is that this is a Community of Practice, so how is that being supported?
  • I think that an exchange of innovation also needs to consider how it relates to the established world of exchange of research. We did a study for the Yorks & Humber Regional Forum a few years ago that looked at that. I would suggest that the academic research community (including the design research community) has built up a wide variety of practices (journals / librarianship / conferences / exchange visits) that are relevant here. These need to be part of the proposal.
  • It would also be worth showing linkages to the area of academic research. Links to Vol Sector Studies Network & our own AHRC project could lend a kind of credibility for this.
  • I think work on design patterns (see CPSR's Patterns for Living Communication project) is relevant, but I'm not sure where it fits.

Hope this is useful stuff.






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