The word ‘innovation’ is creating a buzz in the education world o be precise, in the higher education segment at the moment.
Yes, almost all the colleges and universities across the world are talking to power learning and wherever talk are on to power learning, the word innovation definitely finds a central stage in the entire discussion. Now, the question that arises, well how do they do it? Well, in many cases the innovation centers help the higher education campuses in powering the future of learning.
But, what you as a responsible stakeholder of any institute need to note is that, it’s not so simple to introduce innovation centers into a higher education setting just as you press a button. However, reading this should not leave you in utter disappointment. There is an alternative step which will help you create an on-campus innovation space. You, may also want to know, how some research fellows of University Innovation had founded the design engineering collaborative at UC Berkeley. Read more about it here.
Steps to Strategically Plan Out Campus Innovation
- The first step in planning out campus innovation is to clarify the goals and gaps. Clarifying the University’s goal is important because in general, the higher education institutes have complex missions with many goals. It also makes the need for intentionality important; in fact, an institution's goal can be multifaceted. It includes measures around enrollment, revenue, costs or productivity, students’ success, student composition, culture, faculty growth or diversity, community, engagement, curriculum or course design and links to employers. And once the goals are clarified, the university can see its gaps and evaluate from it, how far the institution can go to achieve its aims.
- The second step is to build a strategy which involves in building a specific strategy to help an institution address its gaps and also achieve its targets. What’s important to determine what it can be done is to clarify what it does not want to do.
- The third and equally important step is to implement a portfolio approach. This step is important, because here, not only the university goals and gaps are mentioned but with it, the institution will get a clear roadmap of where they need to start off their investment in innovations. But, here comes another problem and this being, how would the university determine which innovation it should invest in so that all its strategies are met with? Well, the best way is to try out investment in different types of innovations, ranging from the routine improvement of a course to the transformational launch of a new online, competency-based and low-cost schools.
For colleges, understanding the various mixes of projects is important as this helps them understand where they need to invest so that they can realize its goals as well as its organizational capacity to take on projects in the future.
Institutions also needs to create a rhythm to surface innovative ideas from faculty, students, alumni and others so that such data can be regularly compared with other similar type of ideas.
Creating campus innovation is easier said than done. But how so ever difficult it may be, it is necessary as with time, there is a shift in the ambitions of students and changes in institutional funding streams, colleges and universities- who are all embracing ‘learning by creating,.’ This kind of modern makers approach has really helped the students in many ways as they are able to leverage the traditional spirit of an education community and simultaneously also grow their entrepreneurial focus.
So, plan out innovation with the steps mentioned above and observe as much as you can because as it is, innovation is a difficult process. But, one thing that’s a surety with innovation is its impact and the reward at the end of the day. The reward is significant and allows any institution to grow manifold.