Cultivating a Culture of Innovation on Your Campus

Concurrent Session 5
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

Innovation is critical, but challenging in higher education, given the traditions and incentives that define it. So how might we, from the roles we’re in, cultivate a culture of innovation on our campuses? In this design thinking session, we’ll explore what innovation looks like in higher education, identify obstacles on our campuses to fostering innovation, and ideate on solutions to address our shared challenges.

Sponsored By


Kate Miffitt is the Assistant Director of Innovation at California State University's Office of the Chancellor. Previously, she served in different roles in instructional design and digital learning at The Pennsylvania State University. She holds a B.A. in English from Stonehill College and an M.A. in education in instructional technologies from San Francisco State University.
Keegan Long-Wheeler is an educational technologist in the Office of Digital Learning at the University of Oklahoma. Keegan uses his background in science, pedagogy, and technology to provide instructors with holistic solutions to their instructional and technological needs. Additionally, Keegan passionately creates open source professional development curriculum to engage faculty in digital literacy, experiential learning, game design, coding, and more! In particular, Keegan loves working with Domain of One's Own projects and his open professional development programs: GOBLIN, eXperience Play, WebFest, Canvas Camp, and more!

Extended Abstract

Higher education institutions need to be more innovative to adapt to broader trends: increasing costs of education, declining enrollments among “traditional” students ages 18-24, and decreasing public support. Innovation - in the ways we support students to succeed - is critical, but challenging in contexts steeped in tradition and pockets of people and processes resistant to change. So how might we, from the roles we’re in, cultivate a culture of innovation on our campuses? 

This design thinking challenge will include three parts. To begin to explore this question, we’ll kick off with a discussion of what innovation looks like. Which institutions are the most innovative? How so? What are the structures that enable that innovation? 

We’ll then move on to understanding the challenge. What are the obstacles to innovation on your campus? We’ll facilitate a full group discussion on these obstacles, and identify overlapping challenges. 

Finally, we’ll work towards solutions. Participants will select an innovation challenge to work on in groups. Groups will brainstorm solutions, refine the top idea, and share it with the full group. 

Participants will walk away having identified models for innovation in higher ed, articulated shared challenges to innovation on their campuses, and having collaboratively brainstormed actionable solutions. Join us in the exciting Innovation Studio space to tackle this design challenge.