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Creating the Golden Triangle of EdTech

Conducting impact evaluations of technology in education is challenging, particularly for early-stage technologies, as rapid cycles of innovation and change are part of the essence of their creation. The London, UK-based EDUCATE Accelerator Programme and its methodology of the Golden Triangle represents the pragmatic approach to evidence-informed EdTech design and impact evaluation, and has been developed and adopted by expert educational researchers at the forefront of the industry.  We begin by explaining why it is necessary to bring the three communities encompassed by the Golden Triangle together: those who build EdTech; those who use the EdTech; and those who understand how to make judgements about whether an EdTech intervention contributes positively to teaching and learning.


EDUCATE is a London-based programme that supports the development of research informed educational technology (EdTech), allowing entrepreneurs and start-ups to create their products and services, and simultaneously grow their companies in a more evidence-informed manner. The programme partners businesses with researchers who mentor, guide and support this research journey, a key aspect of which is the evaluation of the company’s EdTech product or service. However, conducting impact evaluations of technology in education is challenging, particularly for early-stage technologies, as rapid cycles of innovation and change are part of their essence. Here, we present the pragmatic approach to evidence-informed education technology design and impact evaluation, as developed and adopted by the EDUCATE programme. The research process is shaped by the core principles of evidence-informed decision making. We describe and illustrate this process through case study examples and conclude that there is great value in industry-academia collaborations. These collaborations are not without their challenges, but it is through reflecting upon these challenges that we are able to observe how the emerging EdTech ecosystem in London is being shaped.

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Evidence-informed EdTech, impact evaluations, stakeholder collaborations, Golden Triangle 

About the Authors:

Dr Mutlu Cukurova

Mutlu is an academic faculty member at University College London and has a particular interest in researching the potential of emerging Educational Technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Learning Analytics to continuously evaluate and support human development. In addition to this, Mutlu works with UNESCO’s international expert group on ICT in Education. He is Director of Research at EDUCATE and sits in the working group of UCL’s Grand Challenges on Transformative Technologies.

Mutlu's work is interdisciplinary and encompasses research in learning sciences, psychology, computer science, and Human-Computer Interaction. For more, visit his profile here.

Professor Rose Luckin

Cited as the ‘Dr. Who of AI’, Rose is Director of EDUCATE, co-founder of the IEAIED, and Professor of Learner Centred Design at UCL Knowledge Lab. She was named as one of 20 most influential people in Education on the Seldon List 2017, and her research involves the design and evaluation of EdTech using theories from the learning sciences and techniques from Artificial Intelligence.

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