The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.Archimedes
Much of the work we do in educational technology helps people understand where they are, where they want to be, and then support them to achieve it. In the book Intervention, Dan John‘s process working with athletes has many parallels with our work with academics.
Some teams, departments, or universities know precisely where they want to be-Point B, but they are not clear on where they are now, Point A. In this situation, our job is to identify their current position, then create a plan to reach their goal. Others know exactly where they are but need help to see a realistic goal, requiring ideas, standards, and progressions. A third more common group is unrealistic about their Point A and/or Point B and needs help to identify both before making a plan and starting work. We need to know both point A and point B to draw the line between them.
There are things that everyone we work with needs; ideas of innovative practice to improving student experience, more straightforward and better-integrated technology, comprehensive training and support, and a clear development process. We also need effective project management and a schedule that takes into account the academic calendar. But some tools can help assess where a team is on their journey and the next step in their progression, such as the Quality Matters Standards, the OLC’s Quality Scorecard, and the SAMR learning model.
- If people know the goal, assess where they are and connect the dots.
- If people know where they are now, but either want an unrealistic goal or do not know what they want, show them the next step and connect them.
- With everyone, always focus on the process and the keys to success.
If you are currently working on your service offer, spend some time on a set of questions and a collection of principles to find Point A, Point B, and the most direct route. A systematic approach to educational developments will help you find the straight line.