The Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Teachers College, Columbia University has released new publications designed to help colleges evaluate their technological and cultural readiness for technology adoption - particularly online planning and advising systems.
With the increasing pressure to boost college completion rates and adapt to the constantly evolving technological needs of 21st century students, CCRC set out to develop a framework for identifying and addressing the need for new technology to support student success. The report focuses on the adoption of what CCRC refers to as Integrated Planning and Advising Services (IPAS), which CCRC suggests can address student support areas such as general education planning; risk targeting and intervention; counseling and coaching; and transfer and articulation.
The framework proposes four areas of readiness that should be examined in the initial stages of technology adoption, which include:
· Technological readiness – Refers to the capacity of a college as a whole to implement a new technology, make it reliably available for use, and train users to effectively employ it.
· Project readiness – Refers to the logistical and structural resources that are most directly related to ensuring a reform project is completed from planning to implementation.
· Organizational readiness – Refers to the institutional-level cultural practices or characteristics that influence a college’s ability to support and adopt reforms.
· Motivational readiness – Refers to the project-level cultural elements that influence the specific reform being undertaken and that play a role in successful technology adoption.
CCRC did not stop at the conceptual framework, however. In addition to the framework, CCRC also provided a self-assessment tool intended to assist institutions in determining the necessary steps for technology-related reform. The self-assessment tool breaks down each area of readiness further and discusses specific components of readiness to be addressed in the assessment process. The components to assess within each area of readiness include:
· Technological readiness –
o IT system maturity
o IT system stability
o Compatibility of new and existing IT
o Current patters of IT use
o Past experiences with IT implementation
· Project readiness –
o Administrative and technical resources
o Ongoing support
· Organizational readiness –
o Clarity of mission
o Decision-making process
o Openness to change
· Motivational readiness –
o Need for reform
o Vision of benefits
o Perception of functioning