Evaluating staff led initiatives in teaching and management innovation in an online university
Ferran-Ferrer, Enrech & Sancho
THE INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR INNOVATION AND QUALITY IN LEARNING 2013:1 PAGE 38
INTERNAL SUPPORT TOINNOVATION
The Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)
isan online university that has innovation as atransversal feature in all its activities andprocesses. Innovation is part of the annualobjectives of the entire academic andmanagement staff.The Office of the Vice President for Researchand Innovation provides a framework whereideas are collected and converted intoprojects. To support this, three mechanismswere established. These comprised of twocommissions related to innovation(Innovation Council and Innovation Support Council) and one Program of Innovation.The Innovation Council acts at a strategic levelin consultation with the Innovation Support Council to develop the selection andevaluation of internal processes related toinnovation. The Support Council is made up of one lecturer from each department, oneperson in charge of each of the management areas related to innovation and the Office of the Vice President for Research. Finally, theInnovation Program ensures that the mainideas of the strategic plan, as well as the mainobjectives of both councils, are achieved andmanaged in the most optimal way.Two type of innovation are fostered. The first,emerging innovation is bottom up and focuseson an internal call that looks for innovative
projects in learning support and management.The second, institutional innovation is topdown and closely aligned to the strategicvision of the university.The next section will describe the proceduresused in each case.
Emerging innovation: APLICA call
The Innovation Program manages an annualcall (APLICA). This call looks for innovativeprojects in learning support and management which arise from existing staff needs.
The last call (2012) had a budget of 60,000€
and received 70 proposals with 55 led byacademic staff and 15 by management staff. Asthe university has 725 employees more than30% (227) were involved. The 2012 call wasthe most widely participated in over the last 6years, as in total from 2007 to 2012, 963 staff took part in the process.
Graph showing distribution of APLICA 2012 calls from different academic departments