Open education for refugees – Optimizing diversity through MOOCs

19 April 2017

Speakers: John Traxler, Jennifer Contreras, Paula Morais

Moderator: Alastair Creelman

Description: How can Open Education, in particular MOOCs, offer relevant solutions to help refugees gain access to higher education and employment in their new homelands?

Refugees face legal, linguistic, cultural, institutional and financial barriers to enter higher education. Furthermore, traditional universities can only offer places to a certain number of students, with funded places even rarer, and seldom have the capacity to cope with large numbers of refugees in a short time. The lengthy process of seeking asylum is lost time for most refugees. Utilizing MOOCs to support refugees in entering HE or employment market is a strategy currently being explored by various initiatives in line with ECs communication 2013 “wider use of new technology and open educational resources can contribute to alleviating costs for educational institutions and for students, especially among disadvantaged groups”.

Link to information and recording


Using MOOCs for social inclusion – building skills among HE students and supporting refugees

30 May 2017

Speakers: Blaženka Divjak, Ronny Röwert, Rene Mauer

Moderator: Anne-Christin Tannhäuser

Description: The offer of Massive Open Online courses is ever growing and gives more and more learners access to knowledge. Four years after the big hype about MOOCs there is no end in sight for universities and edtech companies (in collaboration with university teachers) to design and launch those courses openly to everyone. This webinar focuses on a next step within the field of open education:

  •  How can those courses become a more strategic tool for the teaching and learning in higher education, i.e. offering more individual learning pathways and granting students credits for achieved learning via MOOCs?
  •  How can those courses serve those potentially left behind, specifically refugees which struggle to enter formal education (and labor markets)?

The MOONLITE project consortium has set out to find institutional ways at our four partner universities (ESCP Europe Berlin campus, University of Wolverhampton, and UNED the largest distance university in Spain) to make use of existing MOOCs for our own students and/or refugees. In order to shape and inform our own interventions, we invited two speakers with pioneer experience in this field for a webinar. In the “spirit of open” all other interested individuals are welcome to join this online event along with our university staff.

Link to information and recording


Language Learning apps & MOOCs for refugees

25 October 2017

Speakers: Agnes Kukulska-Hulme, Timothy Read

Moderator: Alastair Creelman

Description: An important part of social inclusion is having the foreign language skills necessary for day to day life. ICT, including mobile apps and open online courses, forms an important part of the way in which languages are learnt in our modern society. The improvement in communication networks and online tools, accessible from a range of mobile devices and desktop computers, facilitate activities developed to improve the four basic language competences (written and oral comprehension and production). Furthermore, the wide availability of free language learning apps can help to supplement the online learning experience, especially when network access is limited.

The question being considered in this webinar is whether such resources represent an effective learning approach for refugees given their changing geographical, sociocultural and technological circumstances.

Link to information and recording


Why universities invest in MOOCs – the importance of the social dimension

1 December 2017

Speakers: Dr. Nathaniel Ostashewski, Darco Jansen and Timothy Read

Moderator: Charlotte Traeger

The MOOC hype in the media might be over, but investments in and the uptake of MOOCs are increasing significantly worldwide. There is no doubt that European HEIs joined the MOOC movement later, but contrary to the developments in the US, European HEIs are now engaging more with MOOC development and production. Various studies demonstrate that a large percentage (at least 40%) of European Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) seems to have developed a MOOC or is planning to develop a MOOC.

The question being considered in this webinar is why HEIs are investing in MOOCs, the role of political environments and educational values in different regions and if this support the use of MOOCs for social inclusion.

Link to information and recording


Webinar: Facilitated MOOC support – closed bubbles in a sea of openness

14 May 2018

Speakers: Alastair Creelman and Gabi Witthaus

Many of the people who could gain most from open online education lack the necessary study skills and digital literacies to participate effectively. Although most MOOC providers offer some online support services, they cannot provide personal, face-to-face support. Many people are unfamiliar with the principles of online learning and need practical support and advice from a trusted mentor or friend to learn effectively. By forming local support groups, various organisations and communities are providing that vital support to give learners the skills and confidence needed to complete an online course.

This webinar will present a selection of solutions to this issue, such as MOOC Meetups, wrapped MOOCs and support services for refugees.

Questions to be discussed:

  • In what ways can closed groups complement and facilitate open learning?
  • Is intimacy at scale possible?
  • What kinds of educational eco-systems can be developed around MOOCs?

Link to information and recording


Webinar: Refugees and online education – stepping stones to a new life

7 December 2018

Speakers: Abeer Albadawi, Chrysanthi Panagiotidou, Khaled Ksibe

Moderator: Alastair Creelman

How do refugees use online resources and tools to help them learn the language and culture of their new home? How do they use online courses as stepping stones to gain access to education and employment? In this webinar, you will meet refugees and teachers who will share their experience of online learning: the benefits and opportunities as well as the difficulties and barriers.

We discussed the following questions:

  • How do refugees use online courses and learning spaces to learn new skills?
  • How can refugees build online communities for language learning?
  • What are the main barriers refugees and migrants face in terms of using digital platforms and tools for education?

Link to information and recording


The practical realities of participating in a MOOC

27 February 2019

Speakers: Darco Jansen, Timothy Read and Beatriz Sedano

Moderator: Alastair Creelman

As part of the MOONLITE project we developed a MOOC about the application of MOOCs for displaced people (refugees and migrants) with a view to their social inclusion, employment, and access to higher education. The course has just finished and has dealt with the different aspects of this process so that anyone working with refugees and migrants, or considering doing so, can understand the benefits and difficulties of using MOOCs and acquire relevant knowledge and best practices.

During this webinar some of the key issues for MOOCs for displaced people were summarized. . Secondly, after having finishing this MOOC, what do the participants think about the suitability of these courses to help with social inclusion.

Link to information and recording

  • 1st MOONLITE online vision-building event

On the future of inclusive online education

10 May 2019

Speakers: Kate Borthwick, Mark Brown and Beatriz Sedano

Moderator: Alastair Creelman

Higher education institutions are beginning to use these open courses to support refugees and migrants but there are a range of issues that need to be considered for such initiatives to be extended to represent generally inclusive open education for society to help people toward social inclusion and access to higher education and employment

Link to information and recording