Showcase of Innovators – using technology to support teaching and learning


In recent years, it has become clear that technology can offer multiple ways to enhance our teaching. Technological tools can address particular challenges in higher education, for example engaging students, or communicating with a diverse student cohort.

But where to start? If you think that using technology in your teaching might be helpful but are unsure how to begin we’re here to help.

Here in the Educational Design and Engagement team in Information Services, we’ve been creating a Showcase of Innovators – a series of webpages containing mini case studies showing how people are using technology in their teaching.

We have a wide range of case studies from different schools, featuring different technology. You could learn about…

  • Using electronic voting in the classroom to facilitate peer instruction from Ross Galloway in the School of Physics and Astronomy. Ross found that this made “contact time more focused and effective”.
  • Giving verbal feedback using GradeMark from Amy Burge in the School of Literatures, Languages, and Cultures. Amy reported that the students loved it, and that they found the feedback particularly helpful.
  • Encouraging self-reflection during internships using PebblePad from Jenni Dixon in the Careers Service. Jenni found that PebblePad “allowed students to be more creative in their submissions”.

We started the showcase so that those involved in learning and teaching could get quick inspiration about how they could use technology to create rich experiences for learners.

Even more importantly, we hoped that the Showcase would spark conversations between case study authors and interested readers. I’ve had reports that this has indeed been happening, and I’m delighted!

“The Innovators Showcase is a great tool – not only is it rewarding to be able to share recent technological developments within the MBChB programme, but it’s really helpful to be able to see what else is going on in the University. I’ve already used it to arrange one meeting to share experiences with fellow users.”

Lydia Crow, School of Medicine

Showcase poster
View the full-sized poster

The Showcase links to five different themes, each containing case studies reflecting a different way that technology can be used in learning and teaching:

  • Interactive learning and teaching, which focuses on digital tools that can support learning and teaching by offering opportunities to interact in new ways both in the classroom and beyond it.
  • What assessment? What feedback!, which includes tools and services that offer flexible delivery of feedback and assessment. Find out what options are available that best support your needs.
  • Open Educational Resources, which refers to openly-licensed teaching materials. There are also some case studies on Massive Open Online Course, or MOOCs, in this section.
  • Shakers, makers & co-creators, which has student-led initiatives and students as curriculum creators and collaborators.
  • Exploring spaces, which considers navigating teaching and learning spaces, both online and physical.

If you’d like to discuss your ideas with us, we’d be very happy to chat. Pop us an email through

Ellen Spaeth

Ellen Spaeth is a learning technologist at the University of Edinburgh. She’s recently completed her PhD, likes playing video games and music, and is interested in how technology can facilitate engagement and enrich assessment and feedback. Ellen tweets at @ellenspaeth.

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