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Beyond Prototypes: enabling innovation in technology-enhanced learning

Project website/blog

What research questions the project addresses, aims & themes

The Beyond Prototypes project is an in-depth examination of the processes of innovation in technology-enhanced learning (TEL).  It explores the complex and evolving relationships between educational technology research, innovation, commercialisation and impact. The project proposes a model for understanding and improving the process of moving from academic research and innovative prototypes to effective and sustainable educational products and practices. 

How the research questions are addressed by the project (methodology and activity/environment)

The team conducted a mixed-method study across university and non-university innovation and across apparent successes and failures to achieve substantial impact (commercial or educational). For context and comparison exemplars from sectors outside education were also considered. Desk research, case studies and interviews were used to examine a selection of these in depth. Project team members, with a range of expertise in different fields, worked together to analyse the data. A list of the people interviewed and the case studies conducted are given in Appendix 1.

Findings and outputs

The final report is available at

It contains the following sections:

  • Executive summary
  • Introduction
  • Methods
  • What is TEL?
  • Achievements underpinned by TEL
  • TEL Innovation: challenges and misconceptions
  • The process of TEL innovation
  • Implications for research
  • Implications for policy and for funding
  • Challenges and opportunities

An appendix is available separately at Beyond Prototypes: Appendix 1

Project impact

There is no impact to report yet 


Technology enhanced learning

People involved

Eileen Scanlon (IET)

Mike Sharples (IET)

Rebecca Ferguson (IET)

Simon Cross (IET)

Mark Fenton O'Creevy (OUBS)

James Fleck (OUBS)

Caroline Cooban (Mighty Creatives)

Peter Waterhouse (Consultant)

Jan Jones (IET)

Project partners and links




Start Date and Duration

April 2013 - September 2013 


Research & Innovation