Decision Support - Sample Protocol for Technology Adoption (Part I)
The following made-up scenario is what we considered last week.
You have ascertained that many of your students do not have computers of their own; however, you have increased your reliance on electronic resources. Therefore, you have determined that an affordable solution would be to provide tablets to all incoming students so that during their tenure in medical school they would be able to gain easy access to the local area network and internet resources. It is the expectation that, since you have established increased e-capacity through investment in digital libraries and a learning management system, the students would utilize the tablets for their basic science coursework and clinical work as needed. To integrate this solution within the teaching practices of the faculty, you have also decided to provide tablets to faculty as well. However, you know that some faculty may not be as comfortable with the use of technology and others may be but do not see the value added.
What do you do next? Before rolling out a solution for all, conduct a field test to determine the most “accepted” tool for all including the support team and identify the implications for a full-scale implementation.
Let’s now unpack the above scenario by operationalizing the field test with a focus on faculty. We do so within the proposed 9-step process that follows:
- The e-learning team has already conducted its own testing in terms of tablet requirements and settled on a tablet device.
- The team now wants to determine how faculty will use it within their teaching.
- Concurrently, the team is rolling out the tablet for field testing with students.
- Purpose of the testing
- To determine the factors that enable or constrain faculty in using the tablet device as an instructional technology within their teaching, especially in relation to lecture capture.
- Record a preparatory mini lecture to introduce students to the topic and share with students
- Record in-class lecture
- Record annotations as follow-up to the face-to-face lecture
- 1 month: orientation and training
- 2 months: faculty use in teaching with progress indicators
- 1 month: evaluation and reporting of results
- Here is a sample web form that addresses the following:
- Agreement form for participating: Demographics (e.g., age; university role) -
- Asset Management acknowledgement
- Obligation to report back on activities outlined in testing plan
- The e-learning team will conduct an orientation and initial training workshop on identified tasks (see Step 2).
- Follow-up one-on-one training will also be offered per faculty request.
- Each faculty participating in the pilot will have a staff point of contact to be able to reach for support.
- The first time the faculty member plans to use the tablet and app within their courses for the identified tasks (see step 2), the e-learning staff will be available to provide just-in-time support.
- Weekly check-ins will also be taking place.
I will unpack steps 6-9 of the field test process, listed below, in my next blog. Note that this is still a macro-level process protocol. Each of the sub-steps below requires its own sub-process for operationalization. Such sub-processes however, have to take into into account the realities of the specific context in order to become operational.
6. Feedback collection process and procedure
- Instrument creation/identification to capture technology acceptance before, during, and after the testing
- Activities identified for collecting feedback such as focus groups, surveys, etc.
7. Participant Orientation
- Baseline information on applicant experience with technologies using the instrument created or identified
- Communication expectations throughout the testing period
8. Collection of feedback based on feedback collection process
9. Analysis and reporting of results