More Innovation, Less Frustration: Ed Tech Adoption Best Practices and Lessons Learned

Concurrent Session 7

Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Adopting innovative courseware and tools can be time consuming and frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be. Each of our panel members is at the forefront of adoption practice in their own way. They will share their current process, best practices for communicating, and what they see as next.


David Lindrum is the founder of Soomo Learning, home to a merry band of innovative curriculum developers who collaborate with college educators to improve course outcomes. David has worked with instructional designers and faculty at hundreds of schools to develop and evaluate countless pedagogical strategies. Today he designs courses, mentors course designers, and asks everyone who will listen, “how will this help students and how will you know?” David is always open for recommendations on a good place to find breakfast.
Mike Goudzwaard is a Learning Designer for in-person and online courses at Dartmouth College and a mentor and supervisor in the college’s Learning Assistant program. He works with faculty to empower student learning through community engagement, emerging instructional pedagogy, and educational technology. Mike is the Lead Designer and Developer for Dartmouth's digital learning initiatives. He leads the Learning Design group of technologists, faculty developers, and pedagogy experts who work to align space and technical resources for learning at Dartmouth. Mike writes at
Tracey is the Associate VP of Academic Resources at Southern New Hampshire University. She is currently part of the Digital Credentials Lab, exploring microcredential programs in the online space. While at the College of Online and Continuing Education, she lead efforts to source, procure and evaluate educational technology for more than 150 online degree programs while building strategic relationships with vendor partners. In 2017, she co-lead the effort for SNHU to be nationally recognized as one of three institutional DLIAward 2017 winners as part of the OLC awards program. With a background in instructional design, she has focused on adult learner success in both the higher education and corporate spaces. Tracey has a BA from Connecticut College and an MBA in International Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, Monterey.
Lauren is a learning leader with over 15 years of experience in higher education settings and expertise in curriculum and program design for online learning. She seeks to inspire her teams and institutions to solve complex challenges in adult learning and design. In collaboration with learning science and design thought leaders, industry experts, institutional leadership, and education professionals, she facilitates the design and development of exceptional learning experiences for the next-generation of global learners and leaders. Today, she applies her leadership and drive for innovation to the increasing demand for affordable, attainable, quality higher education through competency-based learning at Western Governors University. There, Lauren leads teams within the Program Development Department to design, deliver, and continuously improve programs to a growing student base growing maturing in their demands for a more sophisticated and integrated student experience.

Extended Abstract

Think about who manages innovation through technology at your campus. At many institutions, the job of managing innovation through technology falls heavily on the shoulders of a very small team, or even one person. These people have a tough job, made challenging by a series of seemingly irresolvable tensions:

  • innovate but maintain consistency
  • defend institutional standards while working with cutting edge approaches
  • support faculty whether they are optimistic or habitually resistant
  • manage schedules and budgets for projects that are often the first of their kind


The people on this panel understand. Between them they’ve worked on hundreds of such projects. They’ve learned helpful ways to uncover the real needs behind faculty requested adoptions, good questions to ask providers before signing a contract, and how to communicate well (or at least better) across their institution.


Panelists Include:

  • Tracey Osborne, Associate VP of Academic Resources, Southern New Hampshire University – fast growing school with a large number of Ed Tech adoptions.
  • Candis Shupe, Learning Resource Manager, Western Governors University – fast growing school with a large number of Ed Tech adoptions.
  • Michael Goudzwaard, Learning Experience Designer, Dartmouth College – frequently published on Learning OS and often thinking about where Ed Tech integration is going.
  • David Lindrum, Founder, Soomo Learning – veteran of hundreds of Ed Tech adoptions, from the provider’s side of the table.


Prompts for panelists include:

  1. What is your process for finding, reviewing, and launching new Ed Tech adoptions?
  2. What have you learned about communicating with your institution?
  3. What have you learned about communicating with your providers?
  4. What new tools or standards would most benefit you in the next year? 


Better processes can help prevent surprises, reduce risk to student experience, and strengthen relationships with providers. Adopting innovative technology may never be routine, but there are some routines that can make the process smoother.


These process help them make better choices, streamline adoptions, and reduce frustration. They are eager to share a little of what they’ve learned, and to learn more from audience discussion.


Whether audience members are new to ed tech adoption or old hands, they will hear useful ideas from experienced practitioners. And at a conference like OLC, it seems certain our panel will learn from the audience as we