Adoption of Technical Innovations: A Case Study of the ASSESS Website

ABSTRACT

In engineering education, assessment instruments are often developed to evaluate programs and projects. Unfortunately, these innovations are not always adopted by intended audiences. Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovations (DI) Theory provides a framework to analyze characteristics of an innovation that will affect adoption. The Appraisal System for Superior Engineering Education Evaluation-instrument Sharing and Scholarship (ASSESS) is a user-driven, web-based catalogue of assessment instrument information. The purpose of this study is to develop an understanding of ASSESS’ adoptability as well as to characterize lessons learned and how to apply them to other technical innovations. Interviews with potential users were used to explore user perspectives of AS­SESS. It was found that the innovation’s Use as an Alternative and its Functionality of Design were the primary categories important for adoption. These categories relate to the Relative Advantage, Complexity, and Compatibility DI characteristics. Focusing on these categories and DI characteristics is recommended for developers of engineering education technological innovations.

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Sarah Brooks
Washington State University
Pullman WA

 

Shane Brown
Washington State University
Pullman WA

Denny Davis
Washington State University
Pullman WA

Jennifer LeBeau
Washington State University
Pullman WA

 

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