Authors: Peter Joore, Ron Barendsen and Roelien Bos-Wierda
In this research, the development and application of an online educational platform, called MySchoolsNetwork, will be described and analysed from a multilevel design perspective. By doing this, new insights will be attained about the way that complex educational renewal may take place, and how more operational classroom oriented goals, and more long term ambitions about global citizenship, can be mutually related to each other in a systematic manner. The multilevel design model that has been used was successfully applied to other application areas like transport or healthcare (Joore 2010, Joore 2012), but it has not been applied in the area of educational innovation before. The research has been conducted by doing a historic case analysis based on discussions between the original developers and administrators of the MySchoolsNetwork, and the developer of the Multilevel Design Model. As a result, a matrix incorporating the four phases and four hierarchical levels of the MDM have been filled, both with a concise written explanation, as well as two graphic visualisation of the research. The results of this analysis have indicated that the systemic multilevel approach can be usefull to analyse and explain complex educational innovations, and can help to clarify the relationship between more short term oriented actions on the one hand, and more long term societal objectives on the other hand. In this case, it explains how the a practical classroom oriented online platform can contribute to societal objectives like global citizenship and the bridging of the world-wide ‘digital divide’ between developed and less developed countries. So far, the multilevel design model has mainly been applied for ‘ex ante’ analysis, and further research is needed to determine how the model can be applied for ‘post ante’ purposes, helping designers and educational developers to develop and implement their improvements even more successfully.