L3EAP online learning approach presented at UNESCO 2016 Technology4Development Conference in Lausanne

L3EAP online learning approach presented at UNESCO 2016 Technology4Development Conference in LausanneThe UNESCO 2016 Technology4Development conference, held in the beginning of May 2106, gathered more than 500 participants from more than 46 different countries in Lausanne, Switzerland. In a dedicated session on using ICT for the promotion of sustainable energies worldwide, the ACP project L3EAP (www.project-l3eap.eu), represented by Dr Dinesh Surroop (University of Mauritius) and Franziska Wolf (Hamburg University of Applied Sciences), introduced its innovative online learning approach to the international audience and invited the audience to join the 6-week course which is starting in the end of July 2016. Underscoring the relevance of such approaches and referring to the key theme of this year’s conference – from innovation to social impact – the UNESCO conference chairwomen Dr Sylvia Hostetter from the hosting institution EPFL, especially openly accessible online learning opportunities such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) can have a significant development impact.

Further panelists in this L3EAP special session elaborated digitalization is having a huge impact on the way people learn today and in future: Felix Seyfarth, a MOOC developer from St Gallen University Digital Campus, explained that learners are increasingly in the “driver’s seat” in terms of education. They skillfully master social media to steer their own learning process, and learning is not bound anymore to physical venues such as university campuses anymore. Instead, learners are more and more utilizing the power of ICT to gather knowledge, to exchange with peers, to co-create new knowledge and develop existing knowledge further. Sandy Bisaro, Global Climate Forum Berlin, showcased lessons learned from running a MOOC on climate change adaptation with more than 8500 registered participants. Finally, Ellen Pflaum, e-learning and media expert from Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, explained how the role of universities may be changing in future, drawing from experiences of the unique inter-university collaboration, i.e. the Hamburg Open Online University: This platform fosters the use of open educational resources, allowing maximum access and creativity, i.e. enabling the learner to use, re-use and develop further the content provided on the internet platform. Universities, then, are more and more required to guide, to foster networking, to provide learning spaces and motivate learners to pursue hands-on, project-based learning to sustainably develop competencies and skills.