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Educate-it works with teachers to evaluate all educational innovations, determining whether they make valuable contributions to the quality of education at the university. Thanks to the methodology employed, which minimises teacher effort and shares results across the university. The results of these evaluations help us continually improve the teaching that takes place at UU. Scientific research into the educational innovations has also been conducted, mostly by the Educational Science group at the faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences.

Research into educational innovation

Educate-it uses CIMO logic to evaluate courses where innovation has been implemented. This process describes a (C) Context where a specific (I) Intervention has been performed to activitate (M) Mechanisms in students that lead to (desired) (O) Outcomes.[1]

The idea being that the intervention will trigger specific mechanisms and that those mechanisms will lead to certain outcomes. The idea behind this approach is to encourage teachers to carefully consider why they want to implement a given tool or innovation. The goal should be to improve the learning behaviours and academic outcomes of students, which is to say that any innovation must serve some specific didactic goal. Teachers also benefit from this kind of research because it allows them to improve their teaching and develop as teachers.

[1] Denyer, D., Tranfield, D., & Van Aken, J. E. (2008). Developing design propositions through research synthesis. Organization studies, 29(3), 393-413.

Are you a teacher with a great and/or fun idea about how to make your course more blended? Would you like to know, at then end of the day, what real-world effect your innovation has actually had? Contact Educate-it. The quality and research project leader will examine the possibility of not only evaluating the effects of blended learning in your course, but to study it scientifically. For projects where such a study appears feasible, a research supervisor will be found. That person will support the teacher implementing the innnovation.

Would you be interested in having your courses evaluated (scientifically), with an emphasis on the application of didactic knowledge and theories in your teaching? Seek out the Centre for Academic Teaching, where they encourage UU teachers to keep growing in their craft and to keep evaluating their teaching methods and courses.

Completed research reports on studies commissioned by Educate-its will soon be available from the Figshare external repository.

Repository: Figshare