Summarizing the Messages to Various Adoption Groups

Originally posted on February 22, 2011 by Brian Beatty

Here is a summary of the last set of posts.

First Adopters, or Techies: (Developers/discoverers of innovative practices)
Risk tolerance: Very high
General message: “This is new, and it may apply to your field or work!”
HyFlex context: Faculty member or Academic Technology staff support person develops the capacity to teach both online and face to face students at the same time (HyFlex) in response to an immediate, unique need, typically in one class. A first adopter may hear about HyFlex through a conference, journal, blog, or other communication within the instructional technology field.

Early Adopters, or Visionaries: (Sponsors of initial projects; Department Chairs, Deans, Provosts)
Risk Tolerance: High
General message: This solution can help you resolve a big issue, or take advantage of a new opportunity to meet your important goals
HyFlex context: HyFlex courses can help you create an online program or serve online students by leveraging the effective classroom-based program you already have. HyFlex courses can provide your students with more participation and schedule flexibility, reviewable course (content) archives, and may improve their overall performance. HyFlex course may help your students complete graduation requirements more quickly.

Early Majority, or Pragmatists: (Faculty in Departments using/considering HyFlex for one or more courses)
Risk Tolerance: Moderate to Low
General message: “This new practice has been showing good results with others like you, in situations like yours, and it will probably help you, too.”
HyFlex context: The XXXX Department has been using HyFlex courses to [list the advantage they are realizing]. Your program might find some of the same benefits. Do you have one course you’d be willing to try this approach in?

Late Majority, or Conservatives: (Faculty in programs initiating HyFlex in many courses)
Risk Tolerance: Low to Very Low
General message: “This new way of doing our work is becoming the new standard. Doing the work the old way isn’t working for us anymore; we have to change or we’ll certainly suffer more.”
HyFlex context: We’ve been using HyFlex courses successfully in XXXX courses (or programs) and now we’re expanding our use of HyFlex to your course (or program). How can we help you transition? Here’s what others have done …

Laggards or Non-Adopters, Skeptics: (Resistant faculty in programs that have adopted HyFlex completely)
Risk Tolerance: Very Low to None
General message: “We are doing things a new way. If you won’t adopt the new way, you won’t be able to continue this work. Everyone else has adopted the new way and it is working out for them. You need to change.”
HyFlex context: We’ve transitioned our program to HyFlex delivery because [state reasons – at this point they should be compelling to the majority of the people in the organization]. We’d like you to join with us … but if you can’t, we’ll find something else for you to do.

One last time, the message you use to help others adopt should vary based on their perceptions of risk, reward (value) and the behavior of their peers. A common message to all groups at once is likely to work only with 1-2 groups, at best. Many monolithic broadcast messages end up being ignored by everyone. (Don’t let this happen to you.)

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