IMPLEMENTATION SCIENCE AS A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN HIGHER EDUCATION
The first three decades of the application of information technology (IT) has been met with some successes and many failures. While the efficacy of well designed and delivered asynchronous courses is on the way to being well established, the economic and faculty support issues are a long way from resolution in many environments. Implementation Science brings a different, more holistic view of the adaptation/innovation of new practices that is oriented towards speeding up the process for interventions we know that work.
The authors argue that for a large part of the world's population the only feasible route for higher education is that greatly assisted by information technology. The Hexagon Evidence Based Practices (EBP)/Evidence Informed Innovations (EII) Exploration Tool is applied to the case of Nigeria as a template for rapidly expanding the nation's higher education capacity and in part resolving this problem. Given severe budget constraints and the numbers of students making up the population of potential clients for the higher education system, the innovative use of information technology to support the traditional face-to-face system needs to be addressed. An analysis of resources, evidence, needs, capacity, fit, and readiness as outlined by the Hexagon Tool reveals that an online-based university degree program is a promising means to tackle some of the most pressing issues in Nigeria’s tertiary education sector.