DATA ANALYTICS OF INNOVATION PROJECTS IN STEM ACADEMIC DEPARTMENT IN AN ONLINE UNIVERSITY: LEARNING FROM INNOVATION HISTORY
Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 13th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 9-10 November, 2020
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:Innovation is a way of gaining valuable knowledge that allows improving organizations, resources and processes. A lot of small innovations are done in most organizations, but their real impact in terms of organizational knowledge and learning is negligible when the innovations are neither implemented or when their lessons learnt are not made explicit and shared.
Four years ago, our Faculty of Computer Science, Multimedia and Telecommunications wondered about the real impact of innovation activities conducted and the human effort invested in innovation during the last years. The performed analysis and the discussion originated thereafter motivated the creation of both a common definition of innovation and a new knowledge management system that allows to detect, elicit and share innovations. The designed system, included an accreditation system that allows recognizing innovations every year. The accreditation system is applied yearly since 2016, on a voluntary basis and reviewed on a peer-review accreditation process. As a result, more than one hundred innovations since 1997 to 2019 have been elicited and stored into a database, which contains data entered by each project coordinator when presenting the project to the call for accreditation. The innovations elicited are very heterogeneous, even due to its topic, size, and context. They range from novel (antiplagiarism system for image content, finding out emotional feeling of the students meanwhile learning, the creation of a analytic repository to analyse campus data, use of robots to engage novel students … ) to more classical topics (use of videos in the classrooms, use of Moodle Quizzes or creating a document to make explicit the tasks of teachers in virtual learning environments).
The current paper presents the results of the analysis of this data (which has been polished and completed for our study). We have analyzed the project database mostly through network analysis of two main datasets: the composition of project teams, and the thematic keywords associated to each project. Also, data about categorization of innovations (into process, product and technological innovations) has been taken into account. This allows us to present a synthesis about types of innovation, topics addressed, teams’ composition and collaboration, interdependencies between projects, cocreation and open innovation practices, dissemination and impact of the projects. This synthesis includes a contextualized selection of more significant and representative projects, with related links so to get more information about them.
The case study presented in the paper may contribute the readers in realizing the potential of eliciting, sharing and analyzing innovations within university departments as a promising knowledge management practice.
Keywords: STEM, online university, innovation, knowledge management, project management, collaboration, data analytics.