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 International Journal of Education and Development using ICT > Vol. 6, No. 1 (2010) open journal systems 


Defining innovation: Using soft systems methodology to approach the complexity of innovation in educational technology

Glenda Jayne Cox, University of Cape Town, South Africa


Abstract
This paper explores what educational technologists in one South African Institution consider innovation to be. Ten educational technologists in various faculties across the university were interviewed and asked to define and answer questions about innovation. Their answers were coded and the results of the overlaps in coding have been assimilated into a definition. Soft systems methodology (SSM) was used as a method to make visible the complex nature of innovation in educational technology in one setting. The initial definition formed the ‘situation definition’ in SSM terms. The method proved useful in producing a picture (based on rich pictures drawn by each person) and a root definition (based on CATWOE a mnemonic that enables the interviewer to ask each participant to identify processes and role players). Participants discussed changes in processes, structures and attitudes at the institution.


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International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology. ISSN: 1814-0556