Friday Five – Week 92

Here’s what we’re looking at this week…

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Annabell Bils

Probing, Sensing, Responding - How to implement digital learning innovations by using the Cynefin framework

When implementing innovations, decisions need to be taken at a systemic level. A useful framework is Cynefin, developed by Dave Snowden (Snowden & Boone 2007). In the Cynefin framework areas of contexts are defined that can be described as simple (obvious), complicated, complex, chaotic (or in disorder). These contexts differ from each other in the way cause and effect are related with each other. As there is an obvious relation in simple contexts, expert knowledge is needed in complicated contexts. In complex contexts the relations can only be recognized from a retrospective, while in chaotic contexts there are no patterns at all. Every field of context requires different decisions for actions. Contexts at universities can be described as complex, so, for example, trying to implement best practice is not an effective action strategy, whereas experimenting is promising. At FernUniversität in Hagen university management has established a dialogue with its learning and teaching practitioners. By openly supporting innovative digital learning projects through an internal funding program, an experimental field for digital innovation occurs. Ideas are supported that emerge from the faculties and thus an experimental field is provided. So, implementing digital learning innovations first takes probing into account before sensing and responding – which would mean to fully take them over into regular operation.

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