Innovating Pedagogy 2019

As you may know, a group of academics in the Institute of Educational Technology at the OU, produce an annual report looking at innovations in teaching and learning. Led by Rebecca Ferguson and Mike Sharples, we collaborate with a different educational research unit each time, and this year it was the Centre for the Science of Learning & Technology (SLATE), University of Bergen, Norway. We skipped the 2018 one and nudged it into 2019, so here is the new report. It proposes ten innovations that are already in currency but have not had a profound influence on education in their current form. These are:

  • Playful Learning
  • Learning with Robots
  • Decolonising Learning
  • Drone-based Learning
  • Learning through Wonder
  • Action Learning
  • Virtual Studios
  • Place-based Learning
  • Making Thinking Visible
  • Roots of Empathy

I didn’t have much to do with the report this year, but in early rounds I was keen for ‘decolonising learning’ to be included, but I didn’t feel qualified (as a white, European male) to write it, so I am grateful that made the cut. One thing I’ve noticed as we’ve continued with this series is that it has become less technology focused – sure ‘drone based learning’ may catch the eye (and we were surprised how much of this was going on), but a lot of the innovations are very, well, human. It has also gained enough of an identity that it is not an uncritical view of these approaches, so has less of the breathless admiration you find in similar reports (mentioning no names). Anyway, it’s always a useful read, so I hope you enjoy it.


  1. It was really interesting (and wonderful) to see the decolonising section in the report. I wasn’t quite expecting that. Here in Canada, indigenization and decolonization are big topics, not only in education, with major reconciliation efforts being made by governments at all levels with First Nations peoples. I’ll put a bit of a plug into some work done by my BCcampus Colleagues Michelle Glubke and Dianne Biin that might be of interest to educators looking for some resources in this area. With extensive consultation with First Nations educators, they created a series of openly licensed Indigenization guides for post-secondary institutions.

  2. I too am glad to see decolonising there. I’m also happy that there is, by and large, less tech focus. The challenges and opportunities of innovation in higher ed are essentially human challenges and opportunities, not tech. Unfortunately there is still a tendency, when it comes to mainstreaming innovations, to drive them through tech solutions rather than human solutions.

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