Factors Affecting the Adoption of Faculty-Developed Academic Software: A Study of Five iCampus Projects

Unknown author (2007-08-20)

Initiated in 1999, iCampus is a research collaboration between Microsoft Research and MIT whose goal is to create and demonstrate technologies with the potential for revolutionary change throughout the university curriculum. The program was made possible by a $25 million research grant from Microsoft to MIT, and involves extensive collaboration between MIT and Microsoft staff.<p />This assessment study by the TLT Group addresses the question: The TLT Group has been asked, In light of the experience of iCampus, especially those projects selected by MIT and Microsoft for close study, what can be learned about priorities for educational technology initiatives in the future and about how the spread of such innovations can be more effectively supported? <p />The major conclusions are that the five projects studied improved important elements of an MIT education by making learning more authentic, active, collaborative, and feedback-rich. Nevertheless, wider adoption beyond MIT was extremely difficult to achieve, largely due to structure issues in universities that make it difficult for educational technology to spread beyond the initial innovators, even to other departments within the same institution. The report includes recommendations for universities, external sponsors, and for MIT in particular, about steps to take to achieve more effective dissemination.