Impressions from the EPIC conference 2022

Photos by Marcel Krijgsman

EPIC. That’s the word. The Educational Pioneers and Innovators Conference 2022 is behind us. As an output of the Dutch Acceleration Plan Educational Innovation with IT (a national four-year programme running from 2019 to 2022) The EPIC conference provided a lot of interesting insights and outputs that we can use to further support  our teaching staff in improving education.

Key messages from keynotes

On the first day of the conference, minister of education Robbert Dijkgraaf shared his pride in what universities and universities of applied science have achieved through the acceleration plan. This was followed by Adam Finckelstein (McGill University), who inspired us with how through using the concept of proximity, we can shape and use learning spaces (such as lecture halls) in more valuable ways. He also used this model to structure the use of educational tooling.  

The keynotes which followed, showed an interesting connection between innovation and long-term transformative change. The conference ended with a keynote from Farshida Zafar (Erasmus X) and Anka Mulder (Saxion) emphasizing the need for space to innovate, and the opportunities to take the pressure off successes in the innovation process. A valuable lesson in educational innovation - although we shouldn’t forget the ecosystem or processes for embedding the results of innovations. This was an interesting contrast to the key message of the day before, shared by Dirk van Damme (OECD). In his more critical view on education, universities were depicted as resilient institutions, where a focus on long-term transformative change helps us get through difficult times, but makes it more difficult to keep the pace set by technological innovations. Lifelong learning was not forgotten and addressed by Roger Dassen (ASML), through his view on supply chain ecosystems.

Key contributions from TU Delft 

From TU Delft many contributed sessions to the EPIC programme, including many from Teaching and Learning Services and the Extension School

  • Nicole Will &Michiel de Jong (TU Delft Library) presented the Odyssey of an OER policy: from development to implementation, which is intended to be implemented at TU Delft in the coming two years. Also, a view on Open Pedagogy was shared.  

  • Calvin Rans (AE) inspired the audience with his experiences using the Student Flight Data Recorder: Building a culture of learning from mistakes 

  • Michael Wolfindale (TLS & EEMCS) and Marvin Soetanto (TLS & AS) shared a glimpse of the future, in their session ‘What will the future of digital education look like?’ 

  • Loes van Hove (EEMCS, PRIME) and Martijn Ouwehand (TLS) provided a Workshop on the process of (contributing to the) writing of an Open Textbook on Linear Algebra with our interfaculty Math teachers, where we shared our experiences so far. Read more about our efforts here

  • Wilma Elston and Grant Penny (TLS) presented A mind shift towards more flexible assessments: are we there yet? 

  • Naomi Wahls and Martijn Ouwehand (TLS) shared a Poster presentation on what we learned about designing blended learning experiences from the Pandemic, as result of the Digitel Pro workshop we contribute to, and Atefeh Aghaee (TLS & A+BE) and Ofke Teekens (TLS & TPM) presented their poster on An integrated blended module of Academic Writing in a graduation course 

  • Wiebe Dijkstra (TLS) presented how we took blended learning at TU Delft to the next level 

  • Maaike van Buul (Extension School) presented the Extension School efforts in providing global lifelong learning in the presentation Flexibility: the need to widen the discussion to professional learners 

Besides our contributions and the fruitful discussions we had during the conference, TU Delft has also been an active contributor to the Acceleration plan from the beginning in 2019, as core member to the first theme, Towards (open) educational resources, which for instance produced an interesting and useful walkthrough process on creating open textbooks, a report on reuse of open educational resources and more.

Key Resources 

We look forward to seeing all of the presentations and resources of the EPIC conference become available to learn from and reuse. And besides that, as the Acceleration plan runs into the final months of the project duration, many very useful products become available as a result. Many useful products we might be able to use in our university. Strawl around the many useful resources made available through the acceleration plan. At TLS, we will do so…


We’re currently working on making all presentations of those who have agreed to it, available. You can access the presentations here.


You can have a look at the pictures when you click on the right day: day 1 | day 2 | day 3. Feel free to share the pictures with #EPIC22.

Photos by Marcel Krijgsman.

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