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Building Better Products with the Evidence-Informed EdTech Framework

The ELTE (Evidence-informed Learning Technology Enterprise) framework explored in the research this Byte-Sized piece is based on has both academic and non-academic impact.  The ELTE framework is designed to better connect academic research and EdTech enterprises.  It offers academics a context and structure within which an academic can explore: 

  • The way their research and/or approach may be appropriated by the EdTech company to secure valuable impact 

  • The possibilities for a collaboration with an EdTech company that might provide a ‘test rig’ for the further evaluation of academic research 

  • Highly relevant case studies for students engaged in master’s-level study of educational technology or entrepreneurship 

 

The ELTE framework can also guide EdTech enterprises to cultivate within their organisations the necessary capacities to build products that are grounded in sound evidence. 

Abstract

The goal of this doctoral work was to build a bridge between academia and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the educational technology (edtech) sector by bringing the rigour of academic research methods to start-up and scale-up environments so that they can conceptualise and realise products that are built with evidence from the learning sciences. The overall research question, What theoretical framework supports edtech enterprises to build evidence-informed products and services? is answered through a design-based research methodology with six Cycles of research, grouped into three Phases, each with goals that evolve in an iterative way. A design-based research approach was chosen after a highly exploratory Phase surveying London’s edtech ecosystem prior to Cycle 1. Part 1 (Cycles 1 and 2) focused on developing the construct in question (a practical framework for building research-minded edtech enterprises) through a participatory design process with key Participants. Part 2 (Cycles 3 and 4) focused on evaluating the new construct with Participants. Part 3 (Cycles 5 and 6) validated the framework developed in Parts 1 and 2 with edtech enterprises both from the EDUCATE programme and also the greater global ecosystem. The theoretical contribution of this study is the ELTE construct and its 7 Sub-Constructs, including Learning Culture, Leadership Vision, Sense of Purpose, Teamwork, Research Know-How and Action Orientation; the ELTE Survey outlining all facets each Sub-Construct in the framework; and the ELTE Sub-Construct Hierarchy Model, introducing Sub-Construct dependencies. Methodological contributions of this study include the ELTE Action Model, an effective boundary object for researchers when approaching edtech enterprises to understand how the ELTE framework has uniquely manifested within the structures of their organisations, and ELTE Hallmark Questions, an introductory tools for researchers to give context to enterprises regarding the ELTE model prior to a workshop, line of inquiry, or discussion regarding the model’s particular manifestation enterprise context. The contributions of this study represent an intellectual advancement in our understanding of evidence-informed design and development within the edtech sector, and it provides a tool of practical use to edtech SMEs that want to become Evidence-informed Learning Technology Enterprises..

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About the Author:

Dr Anissa Moeini

The resident EDUCATE Renaissance Woman, Anissa Moeini is a newly crowned doctor at the UCL Knowledge Lab and a seasoned tech entrepreneur, whose work identified the need to build research capacity in EdTech enterprises, sensitive to both the business rhythm of startups, and their pace of change.  The result of her doctoral research is the Evidence-informed Learning Technology Enterprise Framework (ELTE), a practical tool for EdTech companies and other non-academic stakeholders, to evaluate efficacy and build capacity for applied research.