Thematic dissemination agendas

JISC has identified 10 thematic dissemination agendas (see image below):

  1. Entrepreneurial spirit
  2. Exemplary Employer
  3. Best-Practice Management Systems and Processes
  4. Local, Regional, National, International Social, Cultural & Economic Development
  5. Reduce Cost, Generate Income
  6. Streamlined Integrated Admin Systems
  7. Environmental Quality and Sustainability
  8. Superb Student Experience
  9. Academic Excellence
  10. Organisational Development

JISC Agendas


These agendas point towards value outcomes (“exemplary”, “best practice”, “quality and sustainability”, “superb”, “excellence”). We observe work done and maybe also signs of local change. How do we know its value?

I suggest that we have two sets of criteria (and maybe others: the old school TRIZ theory of problem solving; infoKits, etc), by which we might rate value.

1) Original programme outcomes

The original programme intended outcomes are as follows:

  • Efficiency gains
  • Sustainable Technical Solutions
  • Enhanced Networks
  • Strategic Leadership
  • Service and Application Development

Innovation itself

  • aspiration
  • implementation

2) Programme outcomes

I have sketched a mapping of the five programme intended outcomes (above) to dissemination agendas (see below).

JISC Outocomes x Agendas

I suggest that for each JISC agenda, we try to understand how the intended/achieved programme outcomes contribute to that agenda. Putting it another way, for each agenda we/the JISC should be able to show how outcomes such as “efficiency gains” or “strategic leadership” contribute specifically to that agenda; how, for example, do “sustainable technical solutions” contribute to “best-practice management systems and processes”? Or, etc, etc.

Innovation itself

Innovation is a criterion too, but it needs to be defined. It has two broad modes:

1) genuinely-new-anywhere: the truly novel innovation, done nowhere before and 2) local-innovation: about which the project team and sponsors may or may not care or be aware, that their innovation has been done before or invented elsewhere; what is important is that it is genuinely locally new and ideally trialled/implemented for the first time, locally; how did they do that, here?

“Innovation” can be characterised by aspiration and implementation. You need both. It is no good to be aspirational without implementation; that is the realm of the armchair general or pub bore. It is no good to implement without aspiration; that’s just carpetbagging: following the vanguard. Innovation is, in part being entrusted with putting money where mouths are and delivering on the dare. In these projects there is always the characteristic of “success” in categorical terms. An idea or notion may be novel, aspirational, and implemented without achieving that which was aspired to. But, there are no failed pilot studies. It didn’t fly is an often useful outcome.

Most, if not all, projects have done good work, but have they necessarily been aspirational and implementable and implemented on either a local or wider scale?

Many projects show potential to be innovative in the genuinely new anywhere mode. We are seeking help from CETIS in pinning these down. Have they seen it done before? Have you?

Innovation may also be local, regardless if it has been done elsewhere. That is, there may well be local innovation which is genuinely, locally aspirational and implemented. For the purposes of eliciting lessons in institutional change management, we need to learn from local innovation as much as genuinely new innovation. Projects set off to do something; what was innovative about it? What ground-up Innovation themes emerged from the projects before the JISC dissemination agendas appeared? These are concrete contributions, which local outputs make to the new dissemination agendas.

By mapping programme innovation themes to the dissemination agendas (see third attached mapping below) we may be able to track back to or discover evidence in support of statements such as: Projects that have been engaged in this should have outputs that contribute to that in the following ways; or the reciprocal: we are interested in – say – best practice management systems for multi-media institutional publishing such as podcasting, lecture capture and even feedback conversations (see ASSET, ELTAC, STEEPLE). We are aiming to lead the field (our learners) in the creation and curation of new multimedia objects of knowledge. (See also advice on how to produce quality videos by Zak Mensah at JISC Digital media http://www.jiscdigitalmedia.ac.uk/video-assist/ )

Innovation Themes x Agendas

Our contribution to JISC agendas

Our contribution for each dissemination agenda should be to identify:

  • outcomes: how programme/project contributes to agenda
  • outputs: illustrate outcomes with portfolio of exemplars
  • innovation: Show outputs to be
    • locally innovative, for change management purposes
    • globally innovative, for strategic management purposes

George Roberts
groberts@brookes.ac.uk

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