Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM)
Video: Innovation Configurations

Text Transcript of the Video

Shirley Hord: "Innovation Configuration is a little bit different. What it does is to explicitly spell out what the new practice will look like when it is in operation in the classroom."

Narrator: Innovation Configurations, or IC, represent the patterns of use that result when different teachers put innovations into operation in their classrooms. By looking at Innovation Configurations, we can make sure the users are using an innovation in the same way and that they are using an appropriate configuration of the innovation.

Archie George: "The Innovation Configurations work, which came after we realized that not all teachers were using the same "flavor" of the innovation if you will, so that you had to decide Level of Use of "what?" Because a teacher might be at a Stage 3 Level of Use on something considerably different than another teacher in the same school even, who is at a proficient level but using a different configuration of the innovation."

Narrator: Innovation Configurations are recorded in a document called the IC Map. This map is made up of the Innovation Components and their Variations.

Shirley Hord: "A way the tool can be used in a major way is to define what the new program is and what the new practice is that we want to install or implement in the classroom. And so, what we do is to try and identify the major pieces, or components, of a new program. If it's a curriculum program, for instance, it's very likely to be objectives as one big component; another would be materials; another would be instructional activities; another would very likely be assessment; another could be how you're going to organize or group students for engaging in that new program. And then another component would be reteaching what kids didn't learn when you did your assessment."

Archie George: "If you're working over a period of time with, let's say, a district, and you need to know what the behaviors are that are occurring in the classroom, you would look at the Innovation Configuration, and through a process of interview and observation, determine what is occurring in the classrooms -- what materials are displayed on the walls, what behaviors the teachers are engaged in, and what the students are doing -- all very innovation-specific."

Shirley Hord: "And then, after that, we take each component and we think, "Alright, when this component is ideally implemented in the classroom, what does that look like?" And then we think, further, "What do we hope we never see in a classroom in terms of this component?" And then we can fill in, in various ways. It might be in diminishing quality. It might be a matter of looking at frequencies of the activity or intensity of the activity. "You all have read about this program, and you've selected it, and you have some knowledge about it. Who could suggest one of the major components of this math program?" And then, underneath that component, we have the variations, and this is what it looks like, so that the variations are highly descriptive and give us, again, a mental picture of what's going on in the classroom. So that is kind of the basic structure: Components and Variations."

Narrator: The IC Map shows which configurations are ideal, which are acceptable, and which are unacceptable.

Shirley Hord: "Frequently, you will see on an IC Map, you'll see some dotted and solid lines, vertical if you will. And what those indicate is: the ideal practice and the practice that's acceptable, and then to the right of all that is what is not acceptable, so that it helps the implementer, each person, to understand what is this program -- it's been spelled out -- what is it we hope to see people doing, and so the ideal establishes expectations. It helps me and others to know what we hope to see the teacher doing in a classroom with students when it is in place."

Narrator: Developing an IC Map is a complex process. It requires teamwork, information gathering, field testing, and multiple revision cycles.

Shirley Hord: "It's quite challenging, actually, to make one of these. They look deceptively simple, but it's hard to get these components clarified on a piece of paper."

Gene Hall: "One of the neat things about Innovation Configuration mapping is when you put together a team that hopefully includes some school site people as well as central office people, if you're working in a school situation, is that struggle of building the first draft of the Configuration Map builds a consensus image of what the innovation is supposed to look like in the classrooms."

Shirley Hord: "But the other part of it is, many times I say to people, "We're making out IC. I'm giving you this huge eraser, because it is not cast in concrete. We may learn new things over time, and so we may make modest adjustments in it, but doing the piloting or field testing of your initial document would certainly be a good idea before you invest a lot of time and energy in using it to facilitate or for research."

Narrator: Innovation Configuration is concerned with specific user behaviors with regard to a specific innovation. These behaviors are measured through interviews and observation, using the IC Map as a guide.

Shirley Hord: "There are various uses, and one is to just define the new program, and then secondly is to set goals, to say, "You know, three months from now, this is where we want to be on this map." And then another usage of it is to use it as a monitoring device, and so the change facilitator goes to each individual and, in collaboration with that individual, sits down and says, "Now let's see, let's figure out where you are -- how much progress you have made.""

Archie George: "The Innovation Configuration Map has to be developed separately for each innovation, and that would allow progress reports that are very detailed and specific to be developed and help all parties involved know what's actually happening -- what's been successful and what hasn't. That is some of the best data to feed into correlations of behavior with student learning outcomes, for example."

Narrator: IC data can be used to measure the progress of an implementation and to identify and address problems associated with the implementation of an innovation.

Shirley Hord: "So we would sit down and look at the map and together figure out where this individual is on each component, what they are looking like, and then, having done that, then it will be up to the facilitator, in conversation with the individual, to figure out, "What can I do? Or, "What can be done to help you to move further to ideal.""

Gene Hall: "What we're trying to do here is to learn more about innovations. We're trying to figure out more effective ways to support people engaged in implementation."

Shirley Hord: "In the research purpose, what we're trying to do is to study the change process without the researchers intervening or getting in the way of it. And so we would use the IC Map as a way of, and it's a research tool now, and we would use that as a way to know what's going on with people. We would interview people likely. We might observe people with the tool -- but again, not sharing it. Because what we want to find out is what is going on here in a naturalistic way, so that we can track the change process, we can know what interventions or support may be given, if that is what we're studying, so that we can find out then if the interventions or the assistance is effective. And so, very, very open for facilitating change. Everybody knows what it is. Everybody's had a voice in it, and so forth. A very different take on it if we're using it for research."

Narrator: IC Maps are versatile tools in the implementation of an innovation. At its core, however, the Innovation Configurations construct helps to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Shirley Hord: "One of the major failings, in my judgment, in the change process and in trying to bring new and improved practice to classrooms and schools, is that first of all, we don't have a clear understanding of what the new practice looks like when it is in the classroom, and IC helps us to do that."