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Education Innovation

Working Group

Chair: Nicoleta Laura Popa

Dr. Nicoleta Laura Popa is professor of educational sciences and vice-dean for scientific research and international relations of the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi in Romania. Her research interests and expertise cover intercultural education, mobility and migration, educational assessment and evaluation, gifted education. She has held teaching and research fellowships in several European universities, with activities connected to the theme of education and transnational migration. She coordinates the Research Center in Educational Sciences and is a member of the Research Laboratory for Studies on Intercultural Relations, Migration and Education. She has been a member of the Education Innovation Working Group (Coimbra Group) since 2016.


Vice-Chair: François Lecellier

François Lecellier is associate professor in Computer Science at the Institute of Technology of the University of Poitiers in France. His research interests are focused on image, videos and data processing and clustering. He also works in the field of Learning Analytics in the program Elans to allow a “tailor-made” follow-up, essential to better accompany students’ learning trajectories. He is also chair of Coda project regarding links between high schools and universities. In pedagogy, he works on gamification and use of video games to enhance students’ engagement.


Focus of Working Group

Changes in society and the widening of access to higher education call for innovation. This Working Group is dedicated to broadening cooperation among Coimbra Group Universities in education innovation in its many different forms and contexts, exchanging knowledge and experiences in the implementation of innovative approaches to teaching, learning and assessment. Our activities include analysing the opportunities and challenges provided by technologies, carrying out joint educational research projects, organizing seminars and contributing to the production of policy documents on these issues.

Recent highlights

  • Employability in the Curriculum Workshop. The event was jointly organised with the Employability Working Group, and hosted by Durham University. Academic and support staff working in student employability from several Coimbra Group Universities presented various approaches to including, and recognising employability in formal and non-formal educational activities. In addition to fruitful discussions on the topic of employability in the curriculum, participants approached effects of the pandemic on specific activities focused on students’ employment prospects.
  • Webinars. The working group organises webinars which are used to share knowledge and practices about themes and projects related to our field. The WG recently launched a new series of online events looking at “Digitalization after Vaccination. What will remain in HE teaching and learning?” (2021/2022 Webinar Series). The forced digital turn during the pandemic will certainly have long-term effects on teaching and learning practices, and the new webinar series addresses sensitive issues revealed in these challenging times.
  • Report on teaching and learning post COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic struck Europe in February 2020, and its impact on higher education has been huge, given that all universities have pivoted to emergency remote teaching. At the initiative of the Coimbra Executive Board, the report on Coimbra Group Universities’ responses to the COVID- 19 emergency published in May 2020 is to be followed by a new report capturing developments in a range of aspects central to academic life. Alongside all working groups, the WG prepares the survey questions on teaching, learning and assessment during the pandemic, and will contribute to analysing and reporting data collected from member Universities.

Ongoing/forthcoming activities

  • Learning Spaces. A web resource is being developed about innovative learning spaces with digital technologies and new, flexible learning spaces which allow for a wide array of teaching approaches and student collaboration in Coimbra Group universities.
  • Teaching, learning and staff development: The working group gathers and exchanges knowledge amongst member universities in relation to innovative practices in the different university contexts and is currently mapping activities related to teaching, learning and staff development, with a view to publishing a comparative report. The survey has been sent out to all members and results will be gathered soon.
  • Good practices in teaching and learning innovation. The first nine examples of Good Practices from the project of sharing information on innovative approaches to teaching and learning have been published on the CG website. The project intends to facilitate knowledge transfer and foster possible collaborations among member universities. This website will be further enriched in the future, with new examples to be collected in 2021/2022.

Contact person at the CG Office: Magdalena Kozula (kozula@coimbra-group.eu)