The Retrofit Conundrum

  • SumoMe

Sometimes you need to find a solution to a problem.  A quick fix.  It might not be pretty you might be able to find something on a shelf or in a drawer from a previous project that will work.  You might have a file down a few ridges or drill a new hole here or there, but it will work.  You’ve just retrofitted an exterior security door to your fridge!  Congrats!

Retrofitting is sometimes a necessity based on limited resources or a change in circumstances.  In the 1960’s and 70’s the world realized that building codes related to earthquake resistance might not have been up to par so everyone played a solid round of ‘seismic retrofit’ to make sure the didn’t come crashing down around us.

It’s clearly important that buildings stay standing but as technology and knowledge grow we see new ways we can accomplish things or new standards that should be observed.

What happens when you stumble on a that you’re team is responsible that might have been created prior to certain standards being observed.

What’s the difference between ‘updating’ and ‘retrofitting?’ Maybe it’s using an old presentation template, or the fonts aren’t aligned with the current corporate image. An update would be required.  What if the class doesn’t have objectives?  To me, this is more of a retrofit.  Building requiring retrofit seismic support look different once retrofitting is complete.  Additional supports and re-enforcements will change the esthetic of the building.

By adding objectives to a course that was created without objectives in mind, the course may change.

If objectives weren’t used in the first place the course may have been created without a specific purpose in mind.  I know what you’re thinking, ‘Dan, of course these a purpose for it.  Maybe it’s part of a bigger program or curriculum!”  You might be right, but without objectives to guide us in the creation of a course, we might not be accomplishing anything.  Courses that throw a bunch of stuff out there and don’t have a direction can frustrate a learner.

So this means once we actually have objectives, we might find that course content needs to change to meet the new objectives.  This might mean adding, removing or some combination of both.  If the changes are too significant, a retrofit might not be worth it, demolition might be a more appropriate choice.

Who might be responsible for coming up with these objectives?  I would say the document owner.  If they need assistance you can step in.  We shouldn’t assume that intentional beglect was the issue.  Maybe the reason for a lack of objective/activity/whatever is that, just like with the seismic retrofit, it wasn’t a recognized requirement when it was created.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *