Applying New Knowledge

After many late nights of reading and researching, I have found an abundance of information pertaining to implementation of e-Portfolios and innovation plans in general. I used this information to create an outline presentation of the information, problem areas, challenges, and obstacles that other educators have faced during implementation in the past.

I also worked diligently to create a literature review to house all of my findings, supporting evidence, and potential solutions to the challenges I previously mentioned. After developing these two projects, I had many new ideas, findings, and fresh insights to help me update and enhance my original innovation plan.

While this update is currently in progress, here is an outlook at the key findings I will be modifying, detailing, deleting, and adjusting:

Communication-

I have realized that before I begin to attempt implementation of e-Portfolios in the instrumentation program, I need to ensure we have sufficient, effective communication upfront. We need to establish clear goals with significant purpose. I included reasons why we should implement this e-Portfolio platform in my innovation plan pitch; however, I did not focus much on helping faculty members find and identify their individual driving forces and purpose. If we allow ample opportunities and time for collaboration of involved faculty members, the more likely they will be to find a true, personal purpose to motivate them during this implementation. When people are sincerely motivated, and not solely going through the motions, the end result is normally much more productive!

Communication will also be a vital component of success during implementation. We will need to establish a reliable, accessible form of communication to allow questions, concerns, and ideas to be shared between faculty members. I plan to set up Google Hangout sessions to make myself readily available to faculty members at a specific time each week. This will allow everyone a chance to gather the questions and concerns they have throughout the week, and bring them to the group to discuss.

Training-

We need to ensure each involved person receives in-depth, quality training before implementation to allow faculty members the opportunity to become comfortable with the material, the technology, the expectations, and the desired outcomes. I will be incorporating some of the professional development ideas I discovered previously into my implementation plan to help me solve this training issue.

The Google Hangout sessions will also help me identify where individuals stand on comfort and understanding of specific material, usage, and instructional benefits as the implementation progresses, and classroom usage increases.

Infrastructure-

Before my extensive research, I thought about issues with infrastructure, wifi networks, and IT needs, but I told myself that we already had campus-wide wifi that is readily available to students, faculty, and even guests. After my research however, I have learned that even though we have wifi access, it may not be sufficient enough to support full usage of multiple classrooms simultaneously. I will be talking to our IT department soon to verify this information. If any action needs to take place before we start our implementation, I will work out a plan with them to ensure successful implementation when the time comes.

I have also found that upfront communication and planning with IT will ensure that everything runs smoothly during implementation and remains that way during daily usage thereafter.  I will be adding an IT Communication outline to my innovation plan soon.

After reviewing my original innovation plan, I am fairly satisfied with the information I have compiled so far; however, I have recently discovered some extremely valuable information that I was not originally aware of. I am currently working on incorporating these valuable lessons learned into my innovation plan. By taking the shared data from other people, organizations, and institutions who have already been through the implementation process, we are able to reduce and possibly eliminate some of the trial and error that many people must go through when starting something new! Instead of learning from our mistakes, we are able to take advantage of the opportunity to learn from others’ mistakes and prevent some of the same failures or struggles from happening before they occur. 

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