Change Management Basics: Communication Planning considering the Rogers Features of Innovations
Authored by: Holly Whitaker, PhD, Learning Strategy Consultant at D2L.
As a change leader, you are likely responsible for the entirety of Brightspace operations at your institution, and then some. Planning communications around Brightspace can often make or break the overall initiative. When you're in the early stages of Brightspace implementation or when you're considering rolling out a new set of instructor tools, how thoroughly do you plan out the communications around the change?
Most of us know about the Rogers Innovation-Diffusion model, and it can help us target communications to different Adopter Categories. But did you know that this model outlines the Features of an Innovation - and that you can use the Features of an Innovation as an easy method to frame communications around Brightspace?
Here's how you can use Rogers Features of Innovations to design your communications to spur Brightspace adoption:
Compatibility is the extent to which Brightspace fits with your instructor's needs, values and past experiences. You want your instructors & faculty to perceive that Brightspace is highly compatible with their needs, values and past experiences. A perception of high compatibility will make Brightspace very desirable and enticing – which makes your job much easier.
Messages promoting high perceptions of Compatibility:
- You won't lose your hard work - here's how to easily move your content
- Tools to easily view student progress & easily send student communications
- This tool in Brightspace is similar to that tool in the old system
Relative advantage refers to whether Brightspace is an improvement over previous technology. You want to communicate that Brightspace is a huge improvement over previous ways they were delivering the same content.
Messages promoting high perceptions of Relative Advantage:
- Streamlined and upgraded appearance
- New tools that we did not have before
- Faster, more efficient workflows
Complexity refers to how difficult your instructors think it will be to use Brightspace. You want to leave the impression that Brightspace is not difficult to use.
Messages promoting low perceptions of Complexity:
- A simple interface with all the tools you need right at your fingertips
- This Quick Start guide will walk you through step-by-step
- These Brightspace Community user groups and resources are available for you 24x7
- Get started in Brightspace with just these easy steps
Trialability means that your instructors can try Brightspace before they make a decision on whether to start using it.
Messages promoting Trialability:
- Come to the open house where we will have instructional designers ready to help you explore Brightspace
- Early Bird access to try Brightspace tools
- You'll have a sandbox to experiment with Brightspace tools
Observability is the possibility of observing the technology in action before deciding whether to adopt it.
Messages promoting Observability:
- Watch this video where we show you how easy it is to get started
- Here's an amazing success story of someone you know who is using Discussions in a cool way
- Come to the lunch and learn where Professor Z will be showing us how she uses Brightspace
Adjust these messages to fit your institution because everyone's Brightspace instance is configured for their unique needs. You can also adjust these sample messages to account for differences between Adopter Categories because people with different levels of innovativeness are persuaded to adopt by different kinds of messages.
Check out the rest of the Change Management Basics articles: