Resistance to Change – The Triple E Strategy

New developments in educational technology and increasingly sophisticated learning technologies are beginning to have a major impact on multi-national organizations. It is clear that local organizations need to change to accommodate the impact of technology on learning.

Learning Technology has a main challenge which is “resistance to change”. While technology brings change, individuals and societies resist it. Learning and Development has its own sets of rules and expectations of behavior. Technology threatens to reorder those behavior patterns and can therefore be a threat.

A few years back, I had a task of implementing technology in a newly established institute. My secret of success was the Triple-E Strategy, developed by Tom Haymes, which helped overcome resistance from faculty and staff.

First, using technology in education must be Evident to the learners making their life easier and more enjoyable. Second, a technology must be Easy to use to avoid the feeling of inadequacy. Third, the technology must become Essential to the users in going about their businesses. If applied properly, this Triple-E Strategy will be at the core of every successful technology adoption in the future.

Let’s look at these concepts in detail:

Evident:

Faculty and staff must be aware that the new technology exists. There are various ways to promote your learning management system and other technologies used inside the organization. We have to recognise that the technologies we are implementing and presenting to faculty and staff are not self-evident to most of them and represent a threat to their comfort zone. It is imperative to market new technologies in positive and encouraging ways.

Ease of Use:

Technology must be easy and intuitive to use for the majority of the user audience. However, decision makers who have never been early adopters of technology are on the front line resisting change. To sell them new technologies, it has to be easy-to-use. The secret is in the graphical user interface (GUI). Twitter’s major success lies behind its simplicity. Users quickly abandon those applications they consider too complicated.

Essential:

Any new technology must become essential to users, particularly the productivity enhancers among faculty and staff. Technology must not be presented as an additional task to users. The main challenge is that educational leaders seldom understand the technology they mandate and their directives frequently have a negative effect on faculty’s willingness to adopt technology for use in the classroom.

Developing bespoke eLearning content or even buying off-the-shelf content can be the next step. Changing mentalities and applying the Triple-E strategy must be applied as the project evolves.

Some individuals will continue to push against adopting technology in education, but we have a responsibility to the rest to bring them along at a pace at which they are comfortable.

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