The Education Innovation Framework
Change is a feature of education. One of the key challenges is deciding between innovations, in order to maximise the positive impact of the investment made. This begs the question about how to evaluate the benefits of any particular innovation. The Education Innovation Framework (EdIF) is presented here as one tentative approach to answering this question.
The EdIF is based around three key questions:
- Q1. What impact do you want the innovation to have on the curriculum (what we teach)?
- Q2. What impact do you want the innovation to have on pedagogy (how we teach)?
- Q3. Could these impacts be achieved in any other way?
The following movie shows how these three questions form the basis for the Impact dimension of the EdIF
EdIF distinguishes between three different categories of impact:
- Support - the curriculum (what we teach) is fundamentally unaltered, but pedagogy (how we teach) is more efficient or more effective.
- Extend - the curriculum and/or pedagogy are different. However, these changes could realistically have been achieved without the innovation.
- Transform - the curriculum and/or pedagogy are different, and these changes could only realistically have been achieved with the innovation.
These definitions are summarised in Figure 1.
Of course, for any impact to take place the innovation needs to be in use - so there is a relationship between the amount of time that the innovation is in use and the impact that it has, which is illustrated in Figure 2.
The relationship between the amount of time that the innovation is in use and the impact that it has is not a direct one. It depends upon how the innovation is implemented. Thus we need an intermediate dimension in the model, the Implementation dimension, which is illustrated in Figure 3.
The Implementation dimension identifies that the time when the innovation is in use falls into three categories:
- Initiate - when the use is focussed on learning about the innovation and how to implement it
- Ineffective - when the use is not effective
- Effective - when the use is effective
The EdIF assumes an innovation has intended impacts and that these are achieved as a result of effective implementation, as illustrated in Figure 4.
Where learning about the innovation (Initiate) takes place through its implementation that time should be recorded under Ineffective or Effective implementation rather than as Initiate.
One of the limitations of the EdIF is that it does not represent the unintended consequences that might occur from ineffective implementation of an innovation.
Value of the EdIF?
The EdIF is useful as a tool to support thinking about the implementation of an innovation. It starts by forcing you to address your educational vision - what impacts you are hoping that the innovation will achieve.
It then provides some indications of ways in which the impacts of an innovation might be enhanced by increasing the amount of time that the innovation is being used effectively. Two ways of doing this are illustrated below.
Figures 5 to 8 illustrate how you can increase the impact by increasing the total amount of time available (Figure 5), leading to an increase in the amount of time that the innovation is in use (Figure 6), which enables the time when it is being used effectively to increase (Figure 7), and ultimately increases impact.
Figures 9 and 10 illustrate how you can increase the impact by spending less time on ineffective implementation and thus more time on effective implementation, leading to greater impact.