Future priorities

The Education Incubator is committed to supporting the best ideas for enhancing learning from across the University. We work with students, academics, and other members of the University to identify innovative practice and Institutional priorities. 

Applying for a 2019/20 Incubator Project

The application process for undertaking an Education Incubator project during 2019/20 will be opened in December. The Education Incubator provides time and collaborative opportunities for academic colleagues (E&R and E&S) to focus on pedagogic innovation in research-inspired education, including those made possible through the digital revolution. Support can include:

  • One year of resource to backfill teaching or administrative duties (at 0.20 – 0.5 fte) for the Incubator Fellows;
  • Funding to pay for student engagement in Incubator projects;
  • Travel, conference attendance, and other incidental costs.

Incubator projects contribute to excellent education at the University of Exeter. Incubator fellows will be expected to work collaboratively to develop responses to the themes that are portable across disciplines and colleges. Outputs from projects could include innovative modules ready to run in the following academic year, MOOCs, resources to support other colleagues to adopt and adapt innovative practice, or systematic evaluation of innovations.

The themes for 2019/20 are:

  • Success for All
  • Global learning: MOOCification of Grand Challenges
  • Learning Reimagined
  • Ed Tech Exeter


Application Process

1) Calls for Expression of Interest.

The deadline for Expressions of Interest has now passed. Those who have already sent an EoI form are invited to the development workshops on the 20th April (Streatham) and 4th May (Penryn).

2) Development Workshops 

The workshop is a chance to develop your project in light of input from current Incubator Fellows and Professional Service colleagues, along with conversations with other applicants.

Feedback will be provided to those who have completed an Expression of Interest form.

3) Application deadline 

The application form is available here. Applications will be judged by a panel of members of Education Executives and Student Representatives. We will inform applicants about the panel’s decision as soon as we can.

Colleagues submitting a full application form should discuss their intention and project with their HoD and ADE in order to explore options for teaching-backfill and other workload implications.

An Expression of Interest form is not a mandatory requirement. You can complete a full application form even if you did not previously complete an Expression of Interest form.

Incubator Themes

Success for All

Exeter’s approach to personalised learning seeks to support our diverse range of students to succeed and to be the best they can be, regardless of their backgrounds and prior attainment. Our flexible, adaptive and inclusive learning environment, which utilises the best of educational technology, offers every Exeter student academic challenge, pace, rigour and opportunities for growth and development. It promotes a reflective and critical engagement with the curriculum, assessment and learning experience and encourages students to take active responsibility for their own learning.  It combines an intelligent use of data and learning analytics, presented in an accessible dashboard, to provide a rich and detailed understanding of student performance, attainment and achievement. This then enables us, together with students, to scaffold targeted academic, employability and welfare support and interventions where needed.

This theme seeks to explore the role of the personal academic tutor as an individual learning coach. Exeter’s Academic Tutor Framework enables students to embark on their development of the Exeter graduate attributes and enhanced employability prospects within a peer supported, values-based academic community. The theme will explore and develop potential resources, training and support for academics; and projects looking to trial approaches with personal tutees are particularly welcomed.

Contact: Professor Wendy Robinson, Academic Dean for Students

Global learning: MOOCification of Grand Challenges

Our MOOCs have demonstrated the richness of the global conversations that can be prompted and enabled through this distinctive learning environment. Furthermore, they have enabled some of our students to play an influential role in facilitating discussion regarding societal challenges. Our Climate Change MOOC was shortlisted in the global Reimagine Education Awards 2016 both for its role in knowledge exchange and the way it blurred boundaries between educators and learners and between education and research. The latter dimensions have recently led to the award of the ESRI UK Scholar award to Dr Damien Mansell (http://arcg.is/2qjjHsM).

Shortlisted for the global Reimagine Education award 2016 in the 'Cultivating Curiosity' category, Grand Challenges is an interdisciplinary, enquiry led learning experience which improves employability. Students engaging in Grand Challenges refer to it being transformational; however, the number of students taking part remains small.

The focus of this theme is to bring these successful threads together and develop a module in which MOOC-based delivery of Grand Challenge Themes can be integrated into the first (or second) year curriculum. The aim would be to develop key attributes in our students:

  • Understanding of the multidisciplinary nature of the 21st century societal challenges
  • Global citizenship through engagement in worldwide discussion and learning about key challenges
  • Digital literacy and skill in social online learning

The expectation is that several fellows will work collaboratively in this theme to design learning and assessment frameworks and instruments and, potentially, to create new MOOCs.

Contact: Tim Quine or Roni Roberts, Head of Teaching Quality Assurance & Enhancement

Learning Reimagined (Contact Time, Assessment & Feedback)

Two of the most significant influences on the new pedagogies that are emerging are Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and Computer Games. In MOOCs, it is essential that independent learners are guided through a compelling journey of learning, modulated by scalable assessment and instantaneous feedback. Similarly, assessment in MOOCs must be highly efficient and low cost and this has propagated exploration of integrated and independently formulated Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions to assessment and feedback. Delivery of a successful MOOC, therefore, demands high levels of skill, planning and pedagogic understanding.

In the most successful computer games, gamers develop knowledge, skill and expertise in an extraordinarily immersive environment that can consume attention for extended periods! Immersion and excitement are achieved through a careful balance between challenge, reward and progress. Overall goals are clear; however, multiple (personalised) pathways can be taken to achieve them. Progress is measured in achievements, accumulated resources and levels of skills, competencies and qualities of characters. In essence, gamers pursue a clearly defined curriculum of activities with specific intended learning outcomes in an immersive environment.

The focus of this theme is to reimagine on-campus learning and teaching (including some or all of: contact time, online resources, assessment and feedback) in the light of these influences and develop modules that capitalise on the potential offered by the digital revolution. Approaches could include gamification (e.g. PaGamo by Ping-Cheng Yeh or National Taiwan University, winner of the Reimagine Education 2014 http://www.reimagine-education.com/gamify-your-classroom-pagamo/); however, equally important will be taking learning from the conceptual framework of successful game development into the design of immersive learning.

Contact: Sarah Dyer, Director Exeter Education Incubator