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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh Futures Institute : Edinburgh Futures Institute

Postgraduate Course: Educational Technologies (EdTech) and Entrepreneurship (fusion online) (EFIE11069)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh Futures Institute CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryHow can we be both entrepreneurial and ethical when creating and selling educational products? This course critically addresses this question from an entrepreneurial perspective. With a hands-on interactive approach, we explore cutting-edge learning research and the EdTech industry, and then how to identify a core opportunity and develop a market entry strategy that is economically and socially sustainable and engages with data-driven innovation in education.
Course description The course explores theories, processes, and critical debates in the domain of Education Technology, with a focus on customers, users, and various other stakeholders. The course aims to provide students with the knowledge and confidence to critically evaluate and potentially start an ethical EdTech venture.

Outline of Syllabus:

The course is broken into four sections. The first is an intro to the history, context, and theories of Educational Technology, followed by an introduction to Entrepreneurship. The second focuses on the challenges of identifying customer needs. The third examines some of the key complexities/challenges, in particular the use of learner data and the diverse needs of multilevel stakeholders. The fourth and final section looks at the steps of building an ethical EdTech venture (in particular, data-driven entrepreneurship) and introduces the assessment by considering a key step of raising early finance.

Each section will involve an EdTech Case example involving hands-on experience and/or input from an invited/recorded EdTech entrepreneur.

Student Learning Experience :

Students will begin by drawing on their own prior experience as well as class materials to identify an unmet need facing learners, parents, and other potential customers. From this they will come up with a solution which they will develop into a prototype.

Synchronous classroom discussions and workshops will help students understand how to identify entrepreneurial opportunities and gather data to validate business ideas. These discussions will also explore critical areas specific to the EdTech market, such as the morality of education as a business and the ethics of gathering and storing learners' data.

The sessions will provide an emotive experience by moving between intense critical debate to more playful hands-on experiences to help ground discussions.

The assessment will have students working in small groups to develop crowdfunding pitches for their ideas (50%), which involve using different media and rhetorical techniques to both demonstrate their knowledge of the market and to convince investors and users about the importance of the product. This will be accompanied by an individual reflective essay (50%).

Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI) - Online Fusion Course Delivery Information:

The Edinburgh Futures Institute will teach this course in a way that enables online and on-campus students to study together. This approach (our 'fusion' teaching model) offers students flexible and inclusive ways to study, and the ability to choose whether to be on-campus or online at the level of the individual course. It also opens up ways for diverse groups of students to study together regardless of geographical location. To enable this, the course will use technologies to record and live-stream student and staff participation during their teaching and learning activities. Students should note that their interactions may be recorded and live-streamed. There will, however, be options to control whether or not your video and audio are enabled.

As part of your course, you will need access to a personal computing device. Unless otherwise stated activities will be web browser based and as a minimum we recommend a device with a physical keyboard and screen that can access the internet.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  6
Course Start Semester 1
Course Start Date 18/09/2023
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 5, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 4, Formative Assessment Hours 2, Other Study Hours 5, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 82 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) Other Study: Scheduled Group-work Hours (hybrid online/on-campus) - 5
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Summative Assessment:

The course will be assessed by means of the following components:

1) Collaborative Crowdfunding Pitch (50%)

In groups of 4-5, students will collaboratively create a crowdfunding page (equity) demonstrating understanding of market need. The page should include multimodal presentation of the product (image/video). This should focus on a particular product idea - developed from collaborative formative work or a new idea.

After task submission, peers in group will anonymously score individuals within their group according to two criteria: a) conceptual input and b) practical input. This peer score moderates the group mark by 20% (i.e., 20% of 50% assessment = 10%) to create an individual mark. For instances where individuals do not wish / are unable to work as part of a group collaboration, they will be offered an alternative individual written assignment (details to be confirmed - likely to be c. 1500 word essay).

2) Individual 1000 Word Critical Reflection (50%)

Students will also supplement with an individually-produced 1000 word critical reflection of the collaborative task and ethical challenges of data-driven innovation in education.
Feedback Feedback on the formative assessment may be provided in various formats, for example, to include written, oral, video, face-to-face, whole class, or individual. The course organiser will decide which format is most appropriate in relation to the nature of the assessment.

Feedback on both formative and summative in-course assessed work will be provided in time to be of use in subsequent assessments within the course.

Feedback on the summative assessment will be provided in written form via Learn, the University of Edinburgh's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

This course will be characterised by ongoing and dialogic feedback from tutors and peers. This will include the use of discussion forums alongside the dialogue that takes place during the intensive 2-day conference. Tutors and peers will provide comments on ideas and work in progress.

There will be a more structured formative feedback opportunity in the form of written verbal and feedback by tutors on a mock version of the assignment task carried out in collaborative groups. Students will have access to formative feedback for their own and other groups.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Identify, define, conceptualise and analyse ethical challenges arising from commercialising education including those concerned with the use of learner data.
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of learning debates and processes relevant to educational technologies and entrepreneurship.
  3. Critically analyse customer interaction to identify an opportunity and develop a business model to pursue it.
  4. Plan and create an investment pitch and crowdfunding template.
Reading List
Indicative Reading List:


Blank and Dorf. 2012. The Startup Owners Manual. K&S Ranch Publishers: Pescadero, CA.

Ben Williamson (2021) Meta-edtech, Learning, Media and Technology, 46:1, 1-5,

Luckin, R., Bligh, B., Manches, A., Ainsworth, S., Crook, C., & Noss, R. (2012). Decoding learning: The proof, promise and potential of digital education.


Mascheroni G., Holloway D. (2019) Introducing the Internet of Toys. In: Mascheroni G., Holloway D. (eds) The Internet of Toys. Studies in Childhood and Youth. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Manches, A. (2018). Evaluating technologies for children's learning: The challenges, and steps to address them. In L. Hamilton, & J. Ravenscroft (Eds.), Building Research Design in Education (1 ed., pp. 213-236). Bloomsbury Academic

Osterwalder and Pigneur. 2010. Business Model Generation. Wiley: Hoboken, NJ.

Constable. 2014. Talking to Humans. NYU Entrepreneurial Institute: New York City, NY.

Dillenbourg, P. (2016). The evolution of research on digital education. International Journal of Artificial Intelligence in Education, 26(2), 544-560.

Papert, S. A. (2020). Mindstorms: Children, computers, and powerful ideas. Basic books.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills The course contributes to the following graduate attributes and skills:

- Curiosity for learning that makes a positive difference;
- Passion to engage locally and globally;
- Creative problem solvers and researchers;
- Critical and reflective thinkers;
- Effective and influential contributors;
- Skilled communicators.
KeywordsEdTech,Education,Educational Technologies,Technology,Entrepreneurship,Industry,Innovation
Course organiserDr Andrew Manches
Tel: (0131 6)51 6242
Course secretaryMiss Abby Gleave
Tel: (0131 6)51 1337
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