This house believes that MOOCs can enhance the cross-institutional collaboration and European policies necessary to support refugee HE and employment
This Oxford debate is being conducted as part of the MOONLITE Project.Join this Debate
Do you agree with the motion?
ModeratorCharlotte Traeger - Charlotte is a research associate, PhD student and the local coordinator of the project MOONLITE at the ESCP Europe in Berlin and has led an output on the possible pathways for the development of skills and knowledge of refugees and students via online learning to promote their access to the labor market and HEI.
Thank you, John and Caroline and to all the participants who made this debate so lively and interesting.
To the question of whether ‘MOOCs can enhance the cross-institutional collaboration and European policies necessary to support refugee HE and employment’ 63% of the participants agreed, while 37% disagreed.
Practical recommendations for the use of MOOCs for refugees have been presented in this debate:
• Firstly, when designing MOOC content it is crucial to take into account the social context of the targeted audience (language, education, background, needs). Specifically, a range of sociocultural, technological and pedagogical factors should be taking into account, as highlighted by Read, Sedano & Barcena (2018).
• Secondly, refugees’ learning experience should be improved by actively promoting a sense of social inclusion. This can be done through the provision of support and face-to-face guidance, which reinforce their social experience. For instance, blended learning methods have been presented as a promising way of addressing social inclusion needs (see e.g. Webinar from Divjak B., Röwert R., Mauer R., Tannhäuser A.C.)
• Thirdly, teachers and volunteers supporting refugees should be familiarized with the use of online resources in order to exploit their full potential. The Erasmus+ project Reopen (http://reopen.eu) provides useful training tools to teach teaching staff to use online learning methods.
• Fourthly, it is essential to ensure the open and inclusive character of MOOCs, for example by putting in place geographical and linguistic means.
Resonating with the arguments presented in this debate we encourage future initiatives to further explore how MOOCs can be used and developed to foster the inclusion of refugees into a new place of living. Specifically, it would be particularly useful to develop ways to certify the skills developed in MOOCs. While certifications and badges have been developed, there is still no official recognition in the labor market of the knowledge and skills developed through MOOCs. Similarly, we lack an understanding of the social experience of MOOC users and the means to measure MOOC success are still lacking.
Furthermore, as part of the MOONLITE project, we have been exploring the effectiveness of a cost-benefit analysis tool for institutions wishing to include MOOCs as part of their business model. The initial results of this work will be available shortly on the MOONLITE website: https://moonliteproject.eu.
Finally, most initiatives have approached the refugees as a homogenous group, we suggest the need for future research to further explore their uniqueness and develop tailored solutions for this cohort as a very diverse group of individuals (e.g. qualification, language, education). By placing refugees at the core of the design and development of MOOCs, we empower them to create their own MOOCs.
Read T., Sedano B. & Barcena E. 2018.Tailoring Language MOOC design for migrants and refugees. In T. Read, S. Montaner & B. Sedano [eds] Technological Innovation for Specialized Linguistic Domains: Languages for Digital Lives and Cultures Proceedings of TISLID’18. Mauritius: Éditions Universitaires Européennes, 383-396. https://bit.ly/2DBoESP).