3 Questions for the Director of BU's Digital Education Incubator

A Q&A with Romy Ruukel.

September 13, 2018

The Digital Education Incubator is part of the Digital Learning & Innovation at Boston University. Romy Ruukel, the director of the Incubator, graciously agreed to answer my questions.

Q1:  What is the Digital Education Incubator?

We’re a group of agile, education-minded project managers at BU, eager to encourage and nurture innovative ideas and approaches to improve our students’ university experience.

We incubate pilot projects in areas of emerging technology, lifelong learning, student advising and mentoring and new credit/credentialing pathways.

We are pleased to offer funding and development support from inception to pilot implementation and evaluation.

Q2:  How was the Incubator born?

We began in 2013 as the Digital Learning Initiative, conceived to take advantage of emerging possibilities offered by technology to revamp all aspects of the student experience. Towards these ends, we begun to investigate and experiment with ways that we could increase academic flexibility for BU students; improve the quality and diversity of our offerings; promote and leverage our strengths; and extend our reach to new prospective students, professionals, alumni, and lifelong learners.

We are both more mature and more focused five years later, and still believe that our pilot projects have the potential to positively change the way in which BU delivers value to our students, both in and outside the classroom.

The structure of our incubated projects has changed over the years, but that is how it should be -- we are deliberately flexible and value bold initiative, collaboration and transformative potential through thoughtful ideation.

Q3:  What was your path to lead the Incubator?

I have been working in the field of education for the last 15 years and joined the team at BU after program managing at edX.

My work here at BU brings together some of the best of what it means to work in this space of education and change management: collaboration, human-centered design, capacity building, and continuous improvement.

What would you like to ask Romy about BU's Digital Education Incubator?

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Joshua Kim

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