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Comenius 2019: proposals discussed at EDLAB

On 11 September, members of staff from across UM came to EDLAB to share their proposals for the Comenius grant-programme. The Comenius programme stimulates innovation in Dutch higher education and contributes to the improvement of higher education in the Netherlands.

There are three tiers of the programme (teacher, senior and leadership), ranging from €50,000, one-year projects to €250,000, three-year projects. Given the size of the grants and the fact that they enable higher education professionals to implement exciting innovations, it’s vitally important to write reflections on the proposal with your peers.

The pitches and tips

The ideas and pitches covered a wide range of ideas. They included introducing more personalised assessment methods, improving resilience by promoting well-being practices, empowering students through coaching, developing a sense of global citizenship, using offline analytics to improve courses and much more!

Despite this diversity, there were also some common strengths, and lessons which had been learned from unsuccessful applications in previous years.

So, what makes a strong pitch?

  • Make it innovative…

The Comenius programme is designed to stimulate innovation, so it’s vital that your proposal represents a real innovation, rather than regular curriculum maintenance and updates.

  • …but not TOO innovative

Some previously unsuccessful pitches were described as almost too innovative – that is to say, that it was not clear how educators or students would be able to put the ideas into practice in the real world. Make sure the project is concrete and will have measurable outputs and impact.

  • Think of the wider potential applications

Many educational institutions face similar challenges. This means that although the project will only be implemented at UM, it’s worth thinking about its wider use. A simple innovation that can be used by other institutions and in other scenarios is a very attractive proposition!

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