After an issue has been identified, priorities established, a situation defined, the target audience is identified and described, intended outcomes and objectives, the program is designed it is time to move to the implementation phase Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Services Program Development Model.
When thinking about the implementation phase of the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service Program Development Model it is necessary to have an understanding of the Adoption-Diffusion Process (Rogers, 2003). The diffusion of innovation framework assists Extension educators in understanding how new ideas and technologies are understood and adopted in a community (Rogers, 2003). The framework is used for program planning, has been empirically tested, and has been subjected to rigorous review from various perspectives since its inception in the 1950s (Yates, 2001). Throughout the years, it has remained instrumental to Extension educators and continues to be useful in countless other fields, including medicine, telecommunications, information technology, and social marketing (Rogers, 2003).
Specifically, the adoption-diffusion model was originally developed to explain the educational processes that led agriculture producers to accept new idea. Rogers (1995) defines diffusion as, “the processes by which an innovation is communicated through certain channels over time among members of a social system. Diffusion is a special type of communication concerned with the spread of messages that are new ideas.”
According to Seevers and Graham (2012), an innovation is defined as an idea or practice that is perceived to be new to the clientele, where the clientele goes through a process to adopt or disregard an innovation. Based on Rogers (2003) adoption process, Seevers and Graham (2012) explain how Extension educators can use the framework. Check out the following information below.Powered by elearningfreak.com
A number of factors influence the rate of adoption, including the characteristics of the innovation and the traits of the target audience (Seevers & Graham, 2012). Five characteristics of an innovation, as perceived by the target audience, greatly influence the rate of adoption. The five characteristics are relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, trialability, and observability. Rogers (1995, p 15-16) defines these characteristics in Figure 2 as follows:
Adoption of new technologies, best practices, and individual behavior changes can usually be traced to one or more of these five factors.
Think through these factors when trying to convince clients to consider a behavior, best practice or new technology.
Remember that these factors are not absolutes; rather they are perceptions developed by your clients of the innovation. So, if you can successfully increase or improve clients’ perceptions of an innovation’s relative advantage, compatibility, observability, and trialabilty, while decreasing their perceptions of an innovation’s complexity you will increase the rate of adoption of that innovation by your target audience.
All individual in a target audience do not adopt an innovation or idea at the same time (Seevers & Graham, 2012). Clientele can generally be divided into “adopter categories” based on how quickly they adopt innovations or ideas (Figure 3). Initially only a small percentage of clientele will adopt an innovation or idea, then a larger percentage will adopt and finally the remainder will accept the innovation (Seevers & Graham, 2012).
The distribution of adopter categories can influence the rate of adoption of an innovation (Seevers & Graham, 2012). The five adopter categories below (Figure 4) are classified by the degree of innovativeness, or how quickly an individual will adopt new innovations or ideas (Seevers & Graham, 2012).
Each adopter category possesses unique characteristics and requires different strategies to influence desired adoption innovations or ideas. It is critical that the Extension educator recognize individuals in each of these adopter categories to achieve successful adoption of innovations or ideas (Seevers & Graham, 2012).
The diffusion process, built on the concept of change, embraces the Extension philosophy of helping to improve the quality of life by extending knowledge. Extension educators assume the responsibility for diffusing an innovation or idea and influencing its adoption (Seevers & Graham, 2012). Havelock (1973) suggests that there are four roles an Extension educator can assume to influence adoption decisions. Those roles are as follows (Havelock, 1973).
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Havelock, R.G. (1973). The change agent’s guide to innovation in education. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology Publications,
Rogers, E.M. (1995). Diffusion of Innovations. New York: Free Press.
Rogers, E. M. (2003). Diffusion of innovations (5th ed.). New York: Free Press.
Seevers, B., & Graham, D. (2012). Education through Cooperative Extension. (3rd ed.). Fayetteville, AR: University of Arkansas Bookstore.
Yates, B. L. (2001, May 24-28, 2001). Applying diffusion theory: Adoption of media literacy programs in schools. International Communication Association Conference. Retrieved from: http://www.westga.edu/~byates/applying.htm