Pedagogical use of Virtual Reality Applications

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The future of virtual reality has arrived already and is gradually moving beyond its gadget stage. With the introduction of Ocolus rift the access to immersive learning and simulation experiences has been widely opened. It looks likely that by 2020 computer systems that deliver convincing immersive reasonably reliable virtual reality will cost no more than a big screen television does not. The real-world-simulations make it difficult to distinguish what is still real and what virtual. With this blogpost we would like to build upon the results of a workshop we have done at the ITC-ILO where the pedagogical added value of virtual reality applications was discussed in the context of learning and training. 

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Green Gamification @ITCILO: Using Mobile Devices to Take Action in a Playful Way

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Gamification refers to:

the use of game mechanics, such as points, badges, leader boards and challenges in non-game settings.

As part of its Innovation mandate, DELTA has been experimenting with Gamification for Learning methods: from face-to-face methodologies towards integration of game elements into online learning modules and courses. In particular, we identified the potential of game elements to better engage learners and involve them throughout the learning experience.

Have a look at, which is the online portfolio were you can access the different projects.

Why gamification@ITCILO?

Games are suited to change the world for the better. Renowned author Jane McGonigal points out, “When we are playing games, we are tapping into our best qualities, our ability to be motivated, to be optimistic, to collaborate with others, to be resilient in the face of failure”. Therefore, games can also be a vehicle to promote green behaviours. The synergy between gamification and sustainability is based on the fact that, like gaming, greening is largely a social action that triggers an emotional response. Innovative companies and organizations recognize the opportunity to use “green gamification” to create shared value for individuals, communities and the environment.

As part of our gamification portfolio, in 2015 ITCILO partnered in the launch of Mobilize.Life, a mobile application suitable for building and deploying mixed-reality serious games. Developed for the purpose of “serious games” (crisis response training, security simulation exercises), Mobilize.Life can also have a number of fun applications for table-top exercises, team building events and peer-to- peer learning.

At ITCILO we decided to explore the use of mixed-reality and mobile supported games with a focus on “green behaviours” and therefore engaging staff on Campus in better understanding the reasons for environmental action and encourage them in adopting green behaviours such as correct waste management and recycling, green commuting or wiser energy consumption.

Watch the video below to have a snapshot of our experience:

Video credits: Andrea Agostini

Technology@Work MOOC: what’s the future of work?

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On 1st June, the Centre will launch a free, massive open online course (MOOC) exploring how new, disruptive technologies are reshaping the world of work in the 21st century. The eight-week Technology@Work course is the flagship element of the ILO’s Future of Work Centenary Initiative, and participation is free, on a full or part time basis.

“Our challenge is to continuously find new and innovative solutions as we look into the future of work”, said Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General. The unfurling technological revolution is so far-reaching in its labour-replacing potential, that is inherently different from what was experienced in the past.

(Video credits: Fausto Saltetti)

From 3D printers, the “Internet of Things”, to machine learning, new and emerging technologies are expected to profoundly change the way we work and the types of job, in the coming years. Harnessing the potential of these disruptive technologies will be crucial to meeting the ambitious targets set forth in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

With the participation of cutting-edge research, world-class thinkers, policy makers, technologists and UN staff , the Technology@Work MOOC will raise awareness of this global transformation, and provide a collaborative and innovative learning platform to crowdsource and explore policy relevant inquiries and insights into the nexus of the future of technology and work. It will ignite a much needed global conversation about disruptive technology’s impact on the future of work.

To learn more, visit, our new Technology@Work Blog,or contact

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Sustainable Learning Solutions for the Future

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Between 7 and 11 November 2016 the Centre will hold its bi-annual Training-of-Trainers (TOT) forum which this year will focus on sustainable learning solutions. In the world of learning and training trends, patterns and forecasts are identified on an annual base which will form the basis for reflection and discussion in this forum. Some of the questions we would like to launch already here:

  • How can we move beyond the traditional workshop factory model and move into more cost-effective learning solutions that have more impact? Which new trends can be scaled and can move beyond the pilot stage?
  • Which new forms of crowdsourced learning and peer-to-peer learning can really tap into the power of collective intelligence and views the ‘wisdom of the crowd’ hype from a pedagogical angle that adds value?
  • MOOCS, MOOCS and MOOCS … are there any other interesting learning modalities that focus on increased outreach, access and inclusion?
  • Can we move beyond our workshop interventions and dive into transformational learning solutions where the power of interdisciplinary thinking and complexity approaches are fully harnessed?
  • Which innovative learning interventions really made the difference this year (gamification, mobile learning, augmented learning, …)?
  • Which new metrics do we need to adopt to fully measure the quality of (e)-learning? What do learning and engagement analytics mean in the world of learning for development?

Which other questions and expectations do you have with relation to the theme of sustainable learning solutions for the future? Participate in this short survey or below and we will send you additional information on the upcoming TOT forum.




Massive Open Online Course On “Gamification For Development”

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As part of the Centre’s innovation fund we explored last year the added value of ‘gamification for development’, the integration of game elements into existing learning and training products to maximise their effectiveness. The results of these experiments are documented on the online portfolio There you will find 6 examples of gamified learning products in the areas of Market System Facilitation, Informal Economy, Employment Policies, Learning Methodologies. Two other examples regarding Sexual Harassment and Green Behaviours will be soon published.

After this experimentation phase, we think it’s now time to scale up this learning journey and we don’t want to do it alone. In collaboration with GIZ, UNITAR, CINTERFOR and thanks to the contribution of other valuable experts we want to engage YOU in a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). The objective of this collective networked learning experience is not only to share what we have learned already but to build upon this knowledge and crowdsource on interesting ‘gamification for development’ cases globally. 

If your organisation or institution is interested to explore the added value of gamification than joining this MOOC might be an excellent opportunity to transform your ideas into practice. The course will run over an 8-week period and will start on the 11th of April. Signing up is FREE and can be done here.


Before the MOOC starts on April 11th, we invite you to have a look at the MOOC Flyer which provides background information, details of the team, learning objectives and IT requirements.

A Facebook Community Page is also live: like the page and stay tuned with the latest news and information regarding the MOOC.


This MOOC adventure is for the Centre an interesting opportunity to assess the learning and knowledge sharing potential of the MOOC format in order to scale and to increase our outreach potential. In addition to this, it i salso an interesting experiment towards introducing game elements and features within an online learning environment: informal rewards, revealing content techniques, challenges and peer-to-peer collaboration will be some of the features that characterize the learning environment.

Last but not least, MOOCs are also in line with our strategic goal to become a more digital and connected training Centre which supports our learners with 21th digital literacy skills that are highly needed in this complex and fast changing societal context.

Tablets 4 teaching & learning: where does ITCILO stand?

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Photo by Chandni Lanfranchi.

Tablets and mobile devices are the most recent addition to the long list of technological innovation believed to support and enhance the teaching and learning process.

The Commonwealth of Learning has just published the Tablets for Teaching and Learning: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis aiming at investigating the evidence supporting the use of mobile devices in educational contexts.

Results from 27 primary empirical research studies confirm previous findings about the average effect of contemporary technology on students’ achievement, the benefits that go beyond mere performance on tests, and the importance of pedagogy in the successful integration of technology in educational contexts. Moreover, the findings highlight the need for providing teachers with professional development to support their ability to integrate tablets’ technology effectively into their teaching and to create teaching and learning environments conducive for meaningful learning.

Since 2014 here at ITCILO we have been experimenting the use of tablet technology for learning. Initial findings and reflections have been collected in a comprehensive publication regarding Acceptance and Educational Benefits of Tablet Computers during Training for Adult Learners. Furthermore, these experiences have led to the creation of a training manual for trainers and facilitators interested in effectively using tablets during learning events for adults. The manual is available for FREE on the IOS e-Book STORE or as a non-interactive PDF.


The CF4DEV MOOC: new learning paths towards unconventional financing for development

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From our colleague Alessia Messuti

Between May and June 2015, ITCILO launched and implemented its first MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on the topic of Crowdfunding for Development (CF4Dev).

The CF4Dev MOOC represented an interesting opportunity for ITCILO to assess the learning and knowledge sharing potential of the MOOC format. This adventure was fully documented by the Distance Education Learning and Technology Applications (DELTA) Programme.

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Mobile Learning with Tablets: Free E-Book for Trainers

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Photo by Chandni Lanfranchi.

We have recently written a post about the Learning with Tablets pilot, the first large scale ITC-ILO Academy supported by tablet computers, which took place in October 2014. The reasons behind the integration of tablets into learning activities were mostly related to creating interactive experiences for learners and gradually moving towards a paperless strategy where tablets are going to be used throughout multiple activities at the Centre. If you want to know more, there is a paper about the impact evaluation conducted here.

One of the key insights from this experience is that technology integration into learning is not only about the availability of devices but rather about trainers and facilitators effectively using technology. Therefore, despite all technical evolutions, trainers are the most important factor for success when using and integrating technology inside and outside the classroom. However to effectively use it, trainers firstly need to get familiar with it and acquire key competences. Media literacy is today recognized almost universally as one of the key competences in the educational system. According to UNESCO publication on Media Literacy and New Humanism, it is a basic skill that includes the individual capacity to using any media competently, a skill that supports many others.

That is why we are sharing the Mobile Learning with Tablets, a guide for trainers and facilitators interested in designing learning activities enhanced by tablet computers. The guide is available as a FREE eBook on the iBooks store for IOS.


You can also find it in PDF format on this ITCILO Community of Practice on Learning & Technology.

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Learnscapes. Towards new learning landscapes.

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The Centre is currently exploring new ways to combine design thinking, architecture and learning. This resulted in the ‘Learnscape’ project which gives you an interesting perspective on how to consider the importance of the physical environment for learning and training. The learning journey helped us to think outside the box of a typical classroom setting and made us aware that there is a fundamental need to introduce the important notion of a learning ecology. Feel free to download the publication and please share your views with us.





Learning with tablets

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In the  Green Economy Academy we are currently piloting our first large scale – learning with tablets– initiative. The use of tablets in learning activities is moving fundamentally beyond the idea of considering new mobile technologies as interesting gadgets. The following arguments are forming the base of this interesting initiative:

– The creation of more interactive and engaging technology enhanced experiences inside and outside the classroom setting. (cf. polls, surveys, audience response systems, evaluation, …) + the amplification of the learning outside the classroom by setting up backchannels.

– The need to initiate pre- and post-activities / field assignments that could not be achieved in the traditional classroom setting using contemporary technologies.

– The extension of the learning activity before and after a face-to-face training session

– The visibility that a contemporary training centre uses innovative mobile and flexible learning technologies.

– The transition towards a paperless strategy for all learning materials and resources. This aims to increase efficiency in the training processes by cutting costs linked to paper-based material printing, storage, transport etc.


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