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Inclusive Technology

Ensuring universal access to career training and higher education

The past decade has seen increased recognition of the need to ensure that people from under-represented and marginalised backgrounds have clear pathways into post-secondary, university, or career training programs. DEFI and the Cambridge Partnership for Education joined forces in this event to look at the role that technology has in creating a more inclusive education experience and increasing universal access to further education and training.

This fast-paced session explored a variety of sub-topics, including adaptive technology, creative online courses, and human development. Watch now to hear how our panellists are working to build inclusive solutions, followed by an in-depth discussion session.

This online event was held on Thursday, 21 October at 1700. Watch the video on YouTube or jump to a topic below:


2:08 Teocah Dove – Bridging the Gap
13:06 Nic Rebne – Adapativity and Agency
23:10 Deirdre Cijffers – Inclusive Design

Q&A Session:

43:03 Q1 – (For Deirdre) Are the courses open access and what devices did people use?
44:15 Q2 – How to enable digital learning in remote or rural areas with limited tech access?
51:07 Q3 – Has education become more inclusive since COVID?
53:03 Q4 – Which subjects work particularly well with adaptive tech?
56:49 Q5 – How can platforms make their content more broadly accessible?
1:04:14 Q6 – How to engage shy or reluctant students in online learning?

With support from:

ARM education logo


Deirdre Cijffers

Deirdre Cijffers

Head of Learning Design and Development, Cambridge University Press

Teocah Arieal Ainka Dove

Teocah Arieal Ainka Dove

Social Innovator and Development Strategist, Hacoet Social Innovation Solutions

Nic Rebne

Nic Rebne

Chief Operating Officer, CogBooks


Kristi Robson

Kristi Robson

Director of Early Careers at Arm

Individual presentations

Bridging the Gap - Teocah Arieal Ainka Dove

Teocah’s presentation looks at Energy, Climate Change, Technology and Education in the Caribbean.

About Teocah:

Ms Teocah Arieal Ainka Dove is a Social Innovator and Development Strategist. Teocah’s diverse expertise has seen her serving in leadership positions in the international development sector over the last decade, either communicating on, designing, providing technical direction on, implementing and/or managing development programmes.

Teocah dedicates her efforts in the Caribbean as an interdisciplinary consultant with development organisations, through her eponymous foundation and as a pro bono advisor with civil society. Teocah works at the intersection of ICT, social innovation and communications, on policies, programmes and strategies for social change. She works collaboratively to advance human-centred solutions through action research, evidence-based policies and programmes, innovative human and social development interventions, social and behaviour change communication, capacity development, stakeholder networking and philanthropy. Teocah’s thematic areas of focus are Social Development (Youth, Gender & Community Development), Public Health, Sustainable Energy & Climate Change, HIV/AIDS and Poverty Eradication. Teocah specialises in multi-stakeholder programmes, projects, and processes.

A British Chevening scholar, Teocah holds an MSc in Gender and International Relations from the University of Bristol, a (BA Hons) Media and Communications from the University of Greenwich and an AAS in Journalism and Public Relations from the College of Science Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago. Teocah is presently an MSt Social Innovation student at the University of Cambridge.

Adapativity and Agency - Nic Rebne

Nic’s presentation is titled Where Adaptivity and Agency Meet to Educate Everyone Uniquely

About Nic:

Nic Rebne is COO at Cogbooks, where he brings over 10 years experience in sales and business development in US Higher Education. He has a great track record helping those institutions meet their innovation goals. Prior to joining CogBooks, Nic helped successfully launch online, adaptive and assessment products for a major publishing company. 

Inclusive Design - Deirdre Cijffers

Session description:

A key part of equitable access to education and careers is the organisation welcoming and retaining non-traditional applicants. The other side of the interaction is that potential students need to actually apply. There are plenty of factors that might inhibit them from putting themselves forward or persevering with a course. In this presentation we’ll look at two interventions that were designed to address confidence and belonging, STEM Start and Exploring Law.

What you will learn:

  • 2 key causes of self deselection
  • How to address these in online courses
  • Building confidence
  • Fostering belonging

About Deirdre:

I am a teacher at heart – I have a level 7 diploma in teaching adults, 13 years teaching face to face. I made a slow transition to online and blended learning as I completed my MA in Online and Distance Education, online part time. At Cam Press, I first worked as a blended learning consultant, working with educators in universities worldwide who were trying to get their language programmes either wholly or partially online. I then progressed from lots of remote teaching and travelling to creating and delivering a set of online training courses for administrators and teachers, all within English Language Teaching division. Then I moved to Academic and left ELT behind and found myself working on business and finance courses, hard sciences, medieval manuscripts, palliative care and so much more!