Instructional Design: Inquiry-Based Learning

Understanding the Diffusion Process by Tracing the Rise and Fall of Google Plus

Topics: Technology, Research, Persuasion

Audience: College Students

Goal: To explore inquiry-based learning to understand systematic change theory as applied to Google+’s failure by tracing its diffusion through innovation, communication channels, time, and social systems.

Reflection: Google+ was doomed before it even launched.  By exploring the diffusion process, we see that the market was already supersaturated with social networking platforms, and the public did not want to commit to learning yet another.  Google then tried to use compulsion to force usage, which also backfired.  While excellent at creating many life-changing apps, Google was nowhere near getting this one right.  By analyzing this worldwide failure, we can understand how changes are or are not adopted in our society and how we can facilitate change in our spheres of influence.


“This is a great analysis. You fully examined all six factors. Your website was effective and easy to follow. So detailed and well thought out. Google has had many failed products over the years. They tend to do better buying a product than developing their own. Well done!”

S. Wagner, Instructor

Lesson Overview

Assignment Instructions

You will examine four areas in which your chosen innovation failed. Traditional papers will not be accepted.

Innovation: How was it created, invented, or discovered? Was there a significant flaw that caused it to be rejected? You will examine the six factors of an innovation: relative advantage, compatibility, complexity/simplicity, trialability, observability, and cost.

Communication Channels: How did the company/inventor/champion get the word out? Or did the company/inventor/champion NOT get the word out, and why?

Time: What was the speed of the spread of the innovation before it failed? Or how quickly did everyone reject or forget about the innovation?

Social System: Describe the social systems to which the company/inventor/champion tried to market the innovation. Look at the use of opinion leaders and change agents. Why did the social system reject the innovation?

Lesson Design Highlights

Annotated Bibliography

Find a minimum of five sources and create an annotated bibliography showing relevance to the thesis. Review biblography

Flow Chart of Failure

Create a flow chart of failure – how did the inventors/innovators attempt to disseminate their innovation? Do your best to illustrate the dates, geographic flow, decision process, etc. that you discover.

Primary News Tracking Timeline

Sentiment Tracking Timeline

Project Outline

You will submit an outline of their Paper/Project, detailing the structure and content of the final product.  In outline format, briefly describe the ideas, sub-ideas, causes-and-effects, timeline, etc. of what happened and why. Relate this to Rogers’ theory of how innovations are diffused — cite page numbers from the book. Review Outline

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