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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Concerns Based Adoption Model (CBAM)

When introducing change into an organization, the aim is to get meaningful acceptance and saturated use throughout the organization. Many professional development programs fail to take into consideration the needs and concerns of the teachers.

Attendance at a training session assumes that teachers are ‘trained’ and that change can then commence in the classroom.  The CBAM provides a framework to define and follow teacher’s attitudes and behaviour towards the technology being introduced.

The CBAM model:

  • Accepts that professional development is a journey, not an event (Christou, Eliophotou-Menon and Philippou, 2004; Hall and Hord, 2011).  The change process may stop and start depending on the concerns of the group.
  • Focuses on the individual as the most important part of the change process (McKinnon and Nolan, 1989); PD must be client-centered, using evidence to guide decision-making.
  • Regards change as a personal and potentially threatening experience for most people, therefore teacher librarians (TLs) need to work in an adaptive, yet systematic way to stay in touch with the progress of individuals within the organization to alleviate their concerns. (Hall & Loucks, 1978) 
  • Evidence based practice (Todd 2003) where methodologies can show a clear improvement in the level of understanding and acceptance of the introduction of a new type of technology in the workplace 

The CBAM Change management model is broken up into two sections, ‘Stages of Concern’ (SoC) and ‘Levels of Use’ (LoU).  The first addresses the fear that people feel when introduced to change and the second evaluates how they are using the technology. A teacher might be very comfortable with new technology being introduced, but they may not demonstrate a high level of use. Delivering a high level training session to a room of concerned teachers, can be ineffective and disheartening to the TL’s involved.

Stages of Concern

The ‘Stages of Concern’ aim to identify underlying attitudes, perceptions, reactions or anxiety towards the introduction of new technology (affective domain) (George, Hall, and Hord, 2012).  

The first three stages deal with preparation and making teachers feel comfortable so that when they are asked to use the technology, they are open to the experience given that all their concerns so far have been met.  The next four stages deal with how teachers concerns change once they are actively using the new technology.

Stages of Concerns
Applied to EduBlogs
Strategies for moving to the next level
Stage 0: Unconcerned
Unconcerned and have little involvement in supporting the introduction of EduBlogs.
Find an approach that might spark interest. Relevant examples (linking to national curriculum) personal examples. Do not inundate with information as it may lead to excessive concern (Hord, Rutherford, Huling & Hall, 2004).
Stage 1: Informational
I have heard about this, I am interested and I would like to know more. Shows willingness to learn more (Christou, Eliophotou-Menon & Philippou, 2004).
Fact sheets and simple case-studies.  Increase knowledge and involvement by showing relevant curriculum examples. Such as “Young Adult Books Central “ ( or the “Inside a Dog” blog
Stage 2:
How will using EduBlogs in my classroom affect me, and my teaching?
Appeal to the personal side (Goleman 2001) and map out journey showing examples of how it will make teaching more efficient or learning more effective. Use multi-modal training resources. Further one-on-one coaching may be required to alleviate concerns.
Stage 3: Management
How will EduBlogs affect managing processes, tasks and resources within my classroom? I don’t have time to do this! (Hall, Hord & George, 2012).
Start training on how to create, post and comment on a blog (use multi-modal support documentation). Provide both formal/casual opportunities to experiment with their skill levels. Explore the transference of processes from the traditional classroom to the online environment.
Stage 4:
Impact on student learning and engagement? Positive consequences provoke learning. (Christou, Eliophotou-Menon & Philippou, 2004)
Provide pedagogical support showing how EduBlogs can enhance teaching and learning. Encourage teachers to talk about their experiences. Online forums may be used within the school to share experiences.
Stage 5: Collaboration
Relating what I am doing to how my colleagues are using EduBlogs in their classrooms.
Which schools and networks can teachers use to increase their knowledge and engagement? Stage 5 teachers might be available as mentors to less experienced staff members as they are positive and comfortable with the technology.
Stage 6:
I am a confident user but how can I make the EduBlog work better in my classroom?
Reflection and refinement might take the teacher beyond what they are doing to a higher level of understanding.  Continue to develop the community of learners through the online forums and face-to-face time.

Using a quantitative measurement tool such as the CBAM SoC instrument before, during and post training will identify which stage learners are at and will guide the TL’s decision-making when choosing training materials. To refine their feedback they may use qualitative one-legged interviews and open-ended statements (Christou, Eliophotou-Menon & Philippou, 2004; Hall and Hord, 2011).

Levels of Use

The application change in the organization is measured as ‘Levels of Use’ (LoU) and the framework defines how the staff member is behaving and how are they acting with in regards to the change that is happening (George, Hall and Hord, 2012).  

Ideally the teachers would be positive and able to apply what is delivered into their classrooms. The LoU acknowledges that learners move through the levels of use differently. TL’s can strategically think of what resources and experiences might move the teacher on to the next higher stage. ‘Levels of Use’ are evaluated using a qualitative method through classroom observation and scripted interviews to ascertain where the teachers are on the scale.

Levels of Use
Applied to EduBlogs
Strategies for encouraging change in behaviours
Level 0:
Little or no knowledge of what EduBlog is. They have no involvement with blogs and they are doing nothing towards becoming involved.
Clear descriptions of what EduBlog can offer them, encouraging them to become involved by asking for advice or feedback on materials handed out.
Level 1:
Aquired or is acquiring some information about EduBlogs.
Distribute information about EduBlogs. Providing easy access to this information will encourage teachers not to be complacent.
Level 2: Preparation
Preparing to use EduBlogs for the first time.
Encourage teachers to attend a PD session on EduBlogs. Encourage teachers to start to think of and plan ways to implement EduBlogs in their classrooms.
Level 3:
Mechanical Use
Focused on day-to-day use and on mastering the tasks that are required.
Mechanical use is often disjointed and superficial.
Provide just-in-time support for mechanical users. Increased usage of the technology will move learners onto the next level.
Level 4A:
The teacher has stabilized the regular and ongoing use of EduBlogs and is making few, if any changes.
The teacher has identified their comfort zone and is sticking to it! Discussing how they are using EduBlogs and asking pertinent questions will force thinking about the effectiveness of their use.
Level 4B:
Refining use of Edublogs in order to increase the impact that it has on student learning.
Easy access to just in time support and information. If there is no support they will head back to routine.
Level 5:
Combining efforts with colleagues in order to have a collective impact on students.
What strategies is the school taking to encourage the development of a learning community and networks? Having teachers who are using the EduBlogs tool effectively
Level 6:
Teacher seeks modifications or alternatives to EduBlogs in order to increase it’s effectiveness and maximize the impact it has on students.
Introducing teachers to widgets and organizational strategies that can enhance the use of EduBlogs.

Innovation Configurations

An innovation Configuration map provides a ‘worded description’ of the changes that the classroom will go through if the professional development plan is effectively implemented (Hall and Hord)

What will the classroom look like when EduBlogs is fully implemented (best practice)?
What does an acceptable classroom look like with Edublogs, less ideal, but still okay (benchmark)?
What does an unacceptable EduBlogs classroom look like?
The classroom teacher is using EduBlogs regularly and consistently for collaborative tasks, publishing student work and encouraging students to review each other’s work.
The classroom teacher is using edublogs in an irregular fashion as a way of publishing student work, but no feedback is encouraged. Not used in a collaborative (higher order) sense.
Classroom teacher has not used EduBlogs or is using it at a minimal level to link to pages of interest. There is no student involvement, posts or opportunity for feedback.


McKinnon and Nolan (1989) used the CBAM model as a litmus test to evaluate the progress of introducing technology into the classroom. They demonstrated to stakeholders the usefulness of using the measurement tool to confirm or challenge their beliefs in they felt the implementation was going. 

CBAM establishes groundwork by fostering behaviours that are conducive to change, giving teachers an opportunity to become familiar and knowledgeable with the technology before organisational change happens (Mann 2006). McKinnon and Nolan (1989) observed that in order for the change to be effective, 75% or more of the teachers involved in the change must be at the “Routine Use” level or higher for the change to have a sustained effect on the organisation. 


Christou, C, Eliophotou-Menon, M & Philippou, G. (2004). Teachers’concerns regarding the adoption of a mathematics curriculum: An application of CBAM. Educational Studies in Mathematics. 57(2). 157-176. 

George, A., Hall, G., & Hord, S.(2012). Levels of Use. Retrieved from

Herring, J. E. (2011) Improving Students' Web Use and Information Literacy: a guide for teachers and teacher librarians. London: Facet. ISBN: 978-1-85604-743-2

Hord, S., Rutherford, W., Huling, L., & Hall, G. (2004). Stages of concern interventions. Retrieved from

Khoboli, B. & O'toole, J. M. (2012). The concerns-based adoption model: teachers’ participation in action research. Systemic Practice and Action Research,.25(2), 137-148. 

Mann, B. L. (2006). Technology Adoption and the Internet. In B. Mann (Ed.), Selected Styles in Web-Based Educational Research (pp. 35-50). Hershey, PA: . doi:10.4018/978-1-59140-732-4.ch003

McKinnon, D. H. and Nolan, P. C. J. (1989). Using computers in education: A concerns-based approach to professional development for teachers. Australian Journal of Educational Technology, 5(2), 113-131.

Potts, C., Lawson, J., Keane, T., Lawson, M. (2011). Information Technology Applications. Units 3 and 4. Cengage.

Schifter, C. (2008). "Making Teachers Better": A Brief History of Professional Development for Teachers. In C. Schifter (Ed.), Infusing Technology into the Classroom: Continuous Practice Improvement (pp. 41-57). Hershey, PA.

Todd, R.J. (2003). Irrefutable evidence: How to prove you boost student achievement, School Library Journal.

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