Some notes on behaviour change and improving L&T

The following is really just taking some notes for future use. Related to the idea that attempts to improve learning and teaching within Universities needs to think about more than just workshops, manuals etc. The idea being that the aim isn’t to improve the knowledge of learning and teaching of University teachers, it’s to help change and improve what they do. Something I’ve vaguely written about ages ago (though I don’t necessarily agree with all of that).

Behaviour change

Allen et al (2002) cite Kilvington & Allen (2001)

Behaviour change = Knowing what to do + Enabling environment + Imperative

A nice simplistic representation that resonates, but is likely limited.

Later Allen et al (2002) offer

Social Network Theory (Verity 2002) is a framework that looks at social behaviour through
behaviour change, it is necessary to develop a supportive, or enabling, environment. One major aspect of developing a supportive environment is about creating links between people, which allow information and learning to occur across social networks. The creation of these links is referred to in development literature as ‘social capital’ (p. 21)

and then

Studies into behaviour change have highlighted the following aspects:

  • Behaviour change is different for every person, and does not occur in one step.
    People move through stages of change in their own ways and in their own time.
  • The enabling environment influences these stages of change.
  • People adapt and improve the enabling environment through individual and
    collective capacity development.
  • The crucial goal for any programme, then, is to enhance people’s capacity to
    modify their environment so that it enables movement through stages of change.

(p. 24)

This resonates on a few possible levels

  • The ability to modify the environment has connections to the idea of protean digital technologies and their potential benefits.
  • The importance of diversity linking to the reusability paradox.


Allen, W., Kilvington, M., & Horn, C. (2002). Using Participatory and Learning-Based Approaches for Environmental Management to Help Achieve Constructive Behaviour Change (Landcare Research Contract Report No. LC0102/057). Wellington, NZ: New Zealand Ministry for the Environment. Retrieved from

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