Are we there yet?

Pip Cleaves presented recently to the CSU MEd INF537 cohort about her journey leading learning and she mentioned the Diffusion of Innovation (Rogers, 2003). Tom Fishburn from captures the Diffusion of Innovation cycle perfectly in his cartoon that primarily deals with the cycle of new product adoption, but the same cycle works for the adoption of technology in the classroom environment.

Diffusion of innovations - this model can be adopted by many sectors from marketing through to education.
Diffusion of innovations – this model can be adopted by many sectors from marketing through to education.

This made me reflect on what category I naturally fall into and I would say possibly the early majority group is where I fit best. However, the challenge for me is that I’m in a job role where I have to be an innovator and early adopter so that I can mentor others in the uptake. To be honest when I first started I felt like a fish out of water having to take risks, learn rapidly and eventually share widely. But I can say the more that I have been challenged in my role the more comfortable I am.

This is the difficulty and the challenge that I face when I am training VET practitioners from all around Australia in the ways technology can support and augment their training. Through the wide variety of programs that I have put together we now cater for people from early adopters all the way through to laggards.

Resrouces, Infrastructure, Poeple, Policies, Learning, Evaluation, Support.
The RIPPLES Model (Surry and Ensminger, 2005)

The RIPPLES model that  Surry, Ensminger and Haab (2005) created and Jaskinski (2006) used as the basis for the VET sector research project Innovate and integrate: Embedding innovative practices, has formed the basis for much of the professional learning series of sessions around elearning implementation and modelling of a champion model that I develop for organisations and for the Department of Training and Workforce Development. RIPPLES is the acronym for the seven components of the model: resources, infrastructure, people, policies, learning, evaluation and support.

The champion model picks up the innovators and early adopters and encourages these individuals or groups to share their stories with others. The E-learning Quality Model developed by the National VET E-Learning Strategy in 2014 and helps our champions by defining quality expectations of elearning more clearly. It is designed to help RTOs and to give them a competitive advantage. But it does assist practitioners in aligning their resources to a framework.

Review and reflection should become commonplace as best practice to improve teaching.
Review and reflection should become commonplace as best practice to improve teaching.

In my dynamic and technology rich life it is interesting to reflect on my teaching to see how I am tracking against my peers with integration of technology to support my pedagogical practice. This personal reflection is something that we as teachers need to do often to ensure that we are still meeting the needs of our clients (the students), to ensure that they are going to have the lifelong skills to succeed in this New World.


Jasinski, M. (2006). Innovate and integrate: Embedding innovative practices. 1st ed. [pdf] Canberra: DEST, Commonwealth of Australia. Available at:

Fishburne T. (2007, Februaru, 26). Brand Camp [Image]. Marketoonist. Retrieved from

NVELS (2014). E-learning Quality Model. Accessed from:

Rogers E.M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York: Free Press

Surry, DW, Ensminger, DC and Haab, M (2005), ‘A model for integrating instructional technology into higher education’, British Journal of Educational Technology, vol. 36 (2), pp.327–329.

2 thoughts on “Are we there yet?”

  1. I relate to your comment Yvette about seeing yourself naturally fitting in with the early majority on the Diffusion of Innovation continuum, yet having to step outside your comfort zone into the role of innovator/early adopter in your workplace. I too think the continuum is reliant on the context you are in. Whilst you may be considered part of the early majority in one context, you are seen as an innovator in another. This course has exposed us to many thought leaders who I recognise as innovators, and I sometimes question what my not-so-innovative-in-this-context practice can contribute to this conversation. The Diffusion of Innovation model, and the reading I have been doing about digital scholarship have helped me better recognise and own that I do have a voice that needs to join this conversation. I think many of our “state of the actual” stories inspire and support each other. Its like belonging to a great big mothers’ group – we may not have the answers to questions that we are asking, but we do have some ideas we can share with each other about what has and has not worked for us; and its very comforting to see other educators striving to implement meaningful change in their workplaces struggling with that just as much as I am. I’m not alone.

    1. I think Jo you hit the nail on the head when you said we may not have the answers but we all have ideas we can share.
      The sharing I think can often help us solve our problems as suddenly there will be that light bulb moment when a solution becomes crystal clear because of something someone is sharing.
      That is why our own learning journey through this course and the need to share what we are working through is so important. Yes it is peeragogy, but I feel it goes further than that. Through sharing our stories, digital artifacts and finally knowledge formed from assessments then we can support education and impact the global learning community through what we are working on as teams and individually.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *