Educational innovation projects in Dutch higher education: bottom-up contextual coping to deal with organizational challenges

Martine Schophuizen, Marco Kalz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

59 Downloads (Pure)


Understanding the process of initiation, design, implementation and embedding of educational innovations in higher education is necessary to develop better strategies for sustainable, large-scale educational innovation. Often early initiated educational innovation projects are not evaluated well enough, making it hard to identify lessons learned. The aim of this study is to investigate how project leaders of innovation projects in Dutch higher education institutions are coping with organizational challenges. To address this we analysed qualitative focus group data with innovators that run projects at Dutch higher education institutions through the lens of contextual coping theory. Results show that the innovators identified challenges (primary appraisal), proposed possible solutions (secondary appraisal) and also were able to take concrete steps (coping efforts) to overcome challenges to design and implement open online educational innovations. From these findings it can be concluded that bottom-up initiatives can create awareness and are capable of finding local resources to establish support for embedding innovations locally, yet, appropriate, synchronized and timely top-down action is needed in order to create a sustainable and institution wide support system for experimentation and embedding of educational innovations. These findings will contribute towards developing better strategies to develop innovative educational practices and quality education.

Original languageEnglish
Article number36
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


  • Coping theory
  • Educational innovation
  • Organizational embedding


Dive into the research topics of 'Educational innovation projects in Dutch higher education: bottom-up contextual coping to deal with organizational challenges'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this