Innovation starts with an idea. From there it can go in a number of directions. Our purpose for having an Institute of Academic Innovation is to be able to support these emergent concepts and their patrons, no matter the size or scope of the project or process.
We are open to any and all types of innovations, and things which break our flow chart are exciting to consider! However, there are three traditional modes in which people engage our office:
- There is an existing process on campus to support an innovation (for example, we have resources and expertise to support podcasting). Here, IAI works with the individuals and groups on ensuring resources and staffing are able to incorporate the idea into an existing workflow, and the objective of the idea fits with the specific product or process in question. We steer people to the domains of expertise, set objectives, run the innovation, and then determine if it needs to go into an operational process for all parties or if we need to transition to another means of support.
- An idea needs a space to germinate but no such place or product exists on campus. Here we create a sandbox to develop, implement, assess and then consider the future of the innovation. IAI works closely with the project to include all domains of expertise on campus, ensuring adequate staffing and allocation of existing and new resources. Based on the measurements used, we assess the trial and determine its success. Success as previously defined means we work toward operationalizing the innovation (process, funding, support, staffing, PD), missing the mark but finding positive gains means we likely reiterate the sandbox and test again, and missing the mark of objectives leads to finding alternatives for the objective behind the innovation.
- A new apparatus needs to be created in order to support a change to policy and/or product. Here we must build a coalition of campus leaders and find financing to support the project. This means creating a rationale for the resource allocation, receiving approval for testing, developing a process and determining the workloads of all parties, the measures of success, the target population and the timeline for the project. This apparatus then runs its initial course of action, assesses outcomes, and either works through the sustainability & staffing of the apparatus as a process on campus or determines the best course of action for phasing out the system.