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Creating a rich ecosystem in higher education: Ewoud reflects on the Leadership Award for Integrated Assessment

Nhi Nguyen
Rebecca LeBoeuf
Rebecca LeBoeuf
October 2, 2023
Table of Contents

The 1EdTech Europe conference is an annual event hosted by the 1EdTech Consortium, which unites innovators and leaders in higher education to discuss the challenges, solutions, and opportunities to develop a connected, sustainable ecosystem across institutions. 

Besides providing a platform to exchange ideas, the 1EdTech conference also honors the individuals and organizations who have gone above and beyond displaying leadership via The Power Learner Potential Organizational Awards and the Individual Leadership Awards

FeedbackFruits has been an active member of the 1EdTech Consortium since 2015. The collaboration deepened in 2021, with our CEO Ewoud de Kok joining the 1EdTech European Leadership Board to work with other leading educational leaders to establish an open, trusted, and innovative educational ecosystem for interoperability standards, in which products work together to enable more integrated teaching and learning experiences. 

This year, we are delighted that Ewoud has been awarded the Individual Leadership Awards for Integrated Assessment. This represents a recognition of Ewoud and the entire FeedbackFruits team's effort in working toward a flexible, equal, and authentic assessment. 

Following the conference, we had an opportunity to sit down with Ewoud and interview him about his thoughts and reflections on this achievement and the collaboration with 1EdTech. This article summarizes the key insights of our chat. 

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First of all, congratulations on winning the Individual Leadership Award for Integrated Assessment! What does this award mean to you and the entire FeedbackFruits team?

Yeah, receiving an award is always a wonderful recognition of the work that we do, especially with this coming from 1EdTech. 1EdTech has a long history of establishing interoperability standards with a core vision of driving an ecosystem that properly integrates educational technology. It is because of their work that we (FeedbackFruits) can exist. Our team is dedicated to enriching the existing learning management systems to support more advanced pedagogical use cases. This mission couldn't be achieved without the LTI standards. 1EdTech is an organization of visionary people working pragmatically to establish standards not only in Europe but on a worldwide scale. Their work has generated a huge impact on higher education for now and in the future. This is why I wanted to become a board member of 1EdTech. And for me, receiving an award from such an organization is of course not something I take lightly.

Ewoud receiving the Individual Leadership Award for Integrated Assessment
Ewoud receiving the Individual Leadership Award for Integrated Assessment

As a long-time member of the 1EdTech, how has this collaboration with the 1EdTech Consortium helped you to advance your company's mission and vision?

At FeedbackFruits, we believe that the transformation in teaching and learning requires diverse pedagogical solutions. It is then important that these solutions should integrate well and seamlessly with each other. The 1EdTech’s initiative in building open standards for product integrations, data privacy, and accessibility in data processing has allowed FeedbackFruits as well as other technological providers to work seamlessly with the LMSs. 

One of the big new integration or interoperability questions that has arisen recently is the process of educational data. The use of different pedagogical solutions has generated a growing number of learning interactions and data, which give obviously valuable insights into students' progress and achievement, but also the effectiveness of  the learning design of courses and curricula. However, these data are distributed among different digital resources and are difficult to synthesize. That's why 1EdTEch has developed the Caliper standards, which enables institutions to collect learning data from different sources to better understand and visualize learning activity and product usage data. For me, Caliper is definitely the future, especially with the rise of AI technology. 

I was also greatly inspired by how Rob Abel – CEO of 1EdTech succeeded in engaging different private vendors to adopt the interoperability standards. The way Rob brought together many stakeholders to share the goal of building a connected ecosystem is indeed pioneering and significant. 

In your opinion, how has FeedbackFruits contributed to creating effective, integrated assessments?

Since the beginning, FeedbackFruits has been providing solutions to support inclusive and authentic learning assessments. We believe that assessment needs to encourage and nurture a growth mindset through continuous and constructive feedback. It is important that students are motivated to continue learning beyond the end of their school year. This aligns with the vision of integrated assessment developed by 1EdTech, which are: 

  • Address and support diverse students' needs 
  • Create authentic and flexible learning experiences that improve progress and personalization 
  • Provide students with access to suitable evaluation methods
  • Enable faculties to access real-time data to measure progress
  • Develop open standards for the authoring of content, launch, delivery, scoring, and data to enable the integration of a wide variety of assessment tools.

That’s why we develop tools to help institutions implement formative assessments where students can receive feedback to identify their strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement. Most importantly, our solutions aim to generate meaningful learning data that reflect students’ progress toward mastery of lifelong skills and knowledge. Our plan and vision for the future is to enable institutions to synthesize the generated data and gain insights into the learners’ achievement. 

Panel discussion on building the Ecosystem at 1EdTech Europe 2023
Panel discussion on building the Ecosystem at 1EdTech Europe 2023

The Individual Leadership Award is a testament to your personal contributions to the EdTech industry. Can you share some insights into your vision for the future of education and assessment, and how you plan to continue innovating in this space?

Learning design is still in its infancy, and we as an industry need to explore and collaborate to develop better learning and assessment designs. This should be done through a healthy ecosystem of public and private players, each contributing their expertise. We need to set standards for this ecosystem so that we can share resources and work together in the best interests of students, institutions, and the public. This is what excites me about the future: making sure we create this ecosystem correctly.

To contribute to a healthy ecosystem, I’m on the board of Dutch Edtech and an initiator of the TrustFramework. The Trust Framework is an initiative to strengthen public values in public/private partnerships in Education. Part of this work is inspired by the work from the European Council on building “Equitable Partnerships of Education Institutions and the Private Sector”. 

To me, building this ecosystem is essential for improving teaching and learning. A thriving ecosystem will benefit all its contributors, which is why I believe it makes perfect sense for FeedbackFruits to also take part in its development.

Thank you so much for sharing Ewoud. It has been an inspiring and thoughtful conversation!

Winning the Individual Leadership Award for Integrated Assessment is not just an accolade for our CEO, Ewoud de Kok, but a testament to the collective effort of the FeedbackFruits team in advancing a vision of flexible, equal, and authentic assessment. The collaboration with the 1EdTech Consortium has been instrumental in furthering FeedbackFruits' mission to enrich learning management systems with advanced pedagogical solutions.

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