Massive Open Online Courses: promoting decent work at a scale

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On September 23rdITCILO’s Jobs for Peace and Resilience Training Programme jointly with the ILO’s Coordination Support Unit for Peace and Resilience released the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) about ILO’s Recommendation No. 205.

ILO’s Recommendation No. 205 on Employment and Decent Work for Peace and Resilience (2017) is the only international normative framework providing guidance for addressing world-of-work issues in response to crisis situations, including armed conflict, natural disaster, environmental degradation, and forced displacement.

Counting more than 600 registered participants, the MOOC aims to be a global awareness-raising tool about policies, approaches, tools, methods and case studies, which can be used to promote employment, and decent work measures that prevent crises, enable recovery, and build peace and resilience.

Watch on ILO’s YouTube the Opening Note by Sangheon LEE, the Director of the Employment Policy Department (EMPLOYMENT) of the ILO which leads ILO’s action for promoting full and productive employment by developing integrated employment, development and skills policies.

If you wish to join the global conversation, enrolment deadline is tomorrow 04 October! Link to register.

What are the opportunities of MOOCs?

If you want to use MOOCs for the world of work and promote decent work at a larger scale, we are delivering an online course on the benefits and opportunities of Open Online Education.  

Join ITCILO online lab in October

ITCILO’s experience

This is not the first time that ITCILO and ILO are using Massive Open Online Courses to target government officials, ILO’s constituents, partners and staff, and development practitioners to open up the conversation on employment and decent work at a global scale.

Between 2016 and 2019, ITCILO released the following MOOCs which contributed to promoting decent work at a scale:

What the hack?

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« To celebrate the centenary of the ILO and participate in its 24-hour Global Tour, the ITCILO organized a hackaton on the Future of Work and the Future of Learning« 

The word hackathon is probably one of the buzzwords you have heard in recent years and not only used in circles where coding specialists are building the next app which will revolutionise the world.

More and more organisations are using the methodology to address complex real world challenges. We have been observing these hackathons and learned from them. We have been starting to organise them and learned even more. Motived by the « Working out Loud » concept we compiled our lessons learned and translated this in a practical manual that you can access here.

Do not hesitate to contact us in case you want to organise hackathons yourself!

The Future is a Mindset

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Last week we participated in the ILO Global Tour which traveled across 24 offices from Fiji to Lima. While in Turin we were joined by 30 local and global students who participated in a hackathon on the Future of Learning. Their stories were compared with the ideas of futurist Gerd Leonhard. The recording of this event is now available and can be watched here. The future is a mindset and « The illiterate in the 21th Century won’t be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn » (Alvin Toffler).  More of these ideas and insights can be captured on the following slidedeck.

Innovation Sprint @ITC-ILO. Making use of interactive video-walls.

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Learning Innovation is one of our crossing cutting strategic drivers that highlights the comparative advantage of our Center. To communicate this idea we made use of an 8 meter long video-wall (composed of 80 micro-tiles). For us the ideal opportunity to test digital storytelling in a large format. Interactive video-walls are used in exhibition spaces or musea to transform communication into an experience. Explore the following visual impressions that generated a new learning experience. Thanks to all colleagues who have contributed to this event!



Designing Open Education: how is your organization tackling the scalability challenge?

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Technological progress makes constant learning a must. In this respect, Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs, appear to be an ideal alternative to traditional formal education. MOOCs emerged from the open education resources movement and are since then considered helpful to improve access to quality education.

However, despite the advantages MOOCs have over a traditional education, there are several challenges remained to be solved:

1. The effectiveness of Open Online Education is frequently questioned because of the low completion rates. Hence, while an effective system to measure and validate learner progress is needed, we should find a better way to boost learner engagement.
2. MOOCs require instructional design that facilitates large-scale feedback and interaction. In fact, at the ITCILO, we have identified a quality mentorship as one of the main obstacles to the scalability of Open Online Education.
3. As the idea of Open Online Education builds upon information technologies, digital literacy could be a barrier to scalability. On the other side, educators also need skills to teach in an open and online environment, as well as the ability to develop and design online education [1]. Additionally, in terms of supporting mechanisms [2] within an institution, OOE demands organizational support on multiple levels to steer towards embedding of OOE [3].

Studies show that the institution’s level of scalability is determined in part by the relative presence of ten following factors [4] :
1. interaction,
2. learning levels,
3. student class standing,
4. faculty tenure or continuing status,
5. completion rates,
6. cohort versus non-cohort settings,
7. degree- versus non-degree-seeking programs,
8. market type,
9. tuition costs, and
10. Profitability.


Besides, at the ITCILO, we agree that the attempt to improve online courses is often hindered by pedagogical effectiveness, interactivity, audience, faculty incentives, retention, program type, and profitability [5]. In order to fully leverage the potential of Open Online Education, we need to address this scalability challenge. Therefore, the course Open Online Education (05 November- 02 December) is developed to explore how the internet and networking technologies have enabled new learning models mediated by digital resources.

By the end of the course, participants will be able to:
• Define why Open Education is relevant;
• Identify the different options for development and implementation of Open Education;
• Understand evaluation approaches for Open Online Education;
• Identify challenges and define solutions for scalability.

More information about the course:

Alessia Messuti (

Mirella Scabini ( 


[1] Challenges and opportunities of open online education: a group concept mapping study. Retrieved from

[2] Schophuizen et al. 2018. Eliciting the challenges and opportunities organizations face when delivering open online education: A group-concept mapping study. The Internet and Higher Education. Retrieved from

[3] Idem.

[4] Ten Scalability Factors in Distance Education. Retrieved from

NEW ToT Certification Programme: supporting trainers in a continuously changing workplace

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Several Programmes have been designed and implemented in a competency-based manner at the Centre. Among those, there is the Competency Based ToT, which has the vision of blending the competency-based approach with learning innovation.

A competence is a fusion of values, psychomotor skills and knowledge that leads to valuable and effective performance in different environments.

The Training of Trainers (ToT) Certification Programme is a recurring capacity-development event that serves as a meeting place for capacity-development policy-makers, practitioners, trainers, facilitators, knowledge brokers, chief learning officers and staff development specialists. The goal is to facilitate the exchange of knowledge on the latest methodologies, technologies and approaches to learning innovation, and to prepare participants for official international trainers’ certification.


The ToT Certification Programme offers a wide spectrum of innovative learning approaches, tools, methods and technologies, that participants will experience and contextualize. Each participant will be treated as an individual, with their specifi c background, values and challenges to overcome. Similarly, each participant will be regarded as a valuable contributor, with a unique perspective, experience and stories to tell.

The programme has three components:

tot structure


The ToT Certification Programme is open to all practitioners who design, implement and evaluate courses for human development. Trainers, teachers and facilitators who are aiming to improve their pedagogical competences and seek certification are welcome to this Forum.

What happened in 2016 edition?

TOT Forum on Sustainable Learning Solutions for the Future. by Delta ITCILO on Exposure

Do you want to join? 

Mobile Seamless Learning for the 21st century

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How can mobile technology benefit learning?

Using mobile devices for learning is a logical extension of our life in this tech-centric world. Undoubtedly, technologies affect learning in various ways. Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) grant access to knowledge to all people regardless of where or who they are. We can now learn whenever the need arises. Learning is no longer limited to one location, nor does it follow a strict schedule.

However, despite the opportunities ICTs present, there are certain constraints mobile learning needs to deal with, such as digital literacy, data security, and infrastructure[i]. A customized mobile learning experience should be able to address these challenges.

How mobile learning can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?[ii]

The idea of learning in contexts builds upon the fact that learning does not happen in a vacuum, but is closely linked to objects and experiences in the real world so that knowledge becomes meaningful to learners.  Mobile learning provides “Just in time, Just enough, and Just for me” experiences. Therefore, learners have the mobility and are able to decide what and how to learn depending on the contexts which makes it different from being simply eLearning on a mobile device.[iii]

The ITCILO has developed a series of mobile learning projects since 2011.

By offering a learning solution flexible to learners, mobile learning can boost engagement and knowledge retention. « Mobile technology offers unprecedented power for users to access information and services that can create life-changing opportunities in education and employment, » said Brahima Sanou, Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), at the Policy Forum on Mobile Learning held in Paris last year.

Moreover, UNESCO’s “Mobile Learning Project in Education for Sustainable Development and Micro-Gardening” [iv]has shown that ICTs can contribute positively to Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), literacy and skills development.

Register for the upcoming course on Mobile and Seamless Learning

Building upon internal expertise and partnership with internationally recognized institutions such as the Open University of the Netherlands, an upcoming course Mobile and Seamless Learning will be available in September 2018:

By the end of the Mobile and Seamless Learning course, participants will be able to:

  • Have a global overview about the history of mobile learning research and development;
  • Have a basic understanding of related theories (e.g. situated cognition, experiential learning, anchored instruction, cognitive apprenticeship);
  • Explain how various learning contexts can be connected and integrated enabling a continuous learning experience (seamless learning);
  • Explain what are the existing gaps between different learning settings;
  • understand the challenge of learning transfer between different contexts, and
  • Be aware of the essential technologies, tools and principles that enables seamless learning (e.g. storytelling, collaborative and networked, project-based and competence-based learning).

More information about the course:

Contact person: Alessia Messuti


Photo Credit: Alessia Messuti (Nairobi, Kenya)


[i] (2017, June 28). Chinese spend 3 hours a day on their smartphones, ranking second in the world: survey. ChinaDaily. Retrieved from

[ii] (2018, June 19). Social media use continues to rise in developing countries but plateau across developed ones. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from

[iii] Alhajri, R. (2016, October 10). Prospects and challenges of mobile learning implementation: a case study. Retrieved from

[iv] (2017, March 24). Harnessing digital skills and mobile learning for inclusive sustainable development. International Telecommunication Union.  Retrieved from

Knowledge Management: share your experience at the Academy

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We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.

T.S Eliot

It’s hard to say “I manage knowledge” when prompted with the question “What do you do?”.  All the same, for all of us, knowledge is our business, this is what we do. And managing knowledge is part of the practice of every individual, team, network and organisation.

The ILO’s strategic vision attaches great importance to enhancing the Organization’s knowledge base and strengthening its role as a knowledge leader facing the transformative changes in the world of work. Becoming a global centre of excellence in labour statistics, research, knowledge management and policy development also means working collaboratively with others in ways which strengthen knowledge management as a means to achieving this transformative change.

In building a knowledge-centric environment we aim to create a regular rendezvous, which we are calling an academy, for practitioners interested in better creating, applying, sharing and managing knowledge at their workplace. This is our starting point.

This autumn, the International Training Centre in Turin and the International Labour Office will run their first ever Knowledge Management Academy (“the Academy”), developed in collaboration with world leading experts.

We’d like this post to cultivate your curiosity, pique your interest in this event, convince you to join us and invite others along too. Perhaps you’ve already committed to participate, or would like to learn more before deciding if this is the right programme to join or tell others about.

Knowledge management is a very broad subject, and there are lots of ways to view it.

As it is not one swallow or a fine day that makes a spring” we count on your participation to turn what we hope to be an excellent curriculum into a regular must for knowledge workers.

So, whether you’re interested in surfacing and sharing knowledge, building networks, exploring narratives and storytelling, or defining the enabling environment for Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Management Academy 2018 is the place to be this coming October.

Most of the diagnostics run in the field and headquarters showed that – while we are making progress in coding explicit knowledge – tacit knowledge, knowledge in networks, and the relevant skills for application remain a big unknown in our work routines.

You’ll find a brief tour of the topics on ITCILO Online Catalogue

Photo credits: jannoon028 / Freepik 

Bridging Learning Gaps through Seamless Learning Design

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The idea of “learning in contexts” builds upon the fact that learning does not happen in a vacuum, but is closely linked to objects and experiences ‘in the real world’ so that the knowledge becomes meaningful to learners. Besides, context offers non-language related information, such as smells and weight, which interweaves implicitly with experiences in context, and contributes to learning ‘unconsciously’. In other words, by relating concepts and principles to the real world, context help learners better internalize the knowledge.

In its report “Leveraging technology to support education for refugees, the UNESCO recognized mobile learning as a context-responsive solution to improve learning opportunity and promote education in displacement settings. Mobile learning is regarded as an alternative to address individual challenges, education system challenge, as well as challenges related to specific levels and types of education.

Knowing the importance of “learning in contexts”, since 2013 ITCILO has been developing a portfolio of mobile learning products that can be found here



Building up on internal expertise and partnering up with internationally recognized institutions such as the Open University of the Netherlands, an upcoming course on Seamless Learning Design is available as of July 2018:


By the end of the seamless learning design course, participants will be able to:

  • have a global overview about the history of mobile learning research and development;
  • have a basic understanding of related theories (e.g. situated cognition, experiential learning, anchored instruction, cognitive apprenticeship);
  • explain how various learning contexts can be connected and integrated enabling a continuous learning experience (seamless learning);
  • explain what are the existing gaps between different learning settings;
  • understand the challenge of learning transfer between different contexts, and
  • be aware of the essential technologies, tools and principles that enables seamless learning (e.g. storytelling, collaborative and networked, project-based and competence-based learning).

More information about the course: 

Contact person:

Cover image credits: 

Learn4Dev Annual Meeting in Turin

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From 28th to 30th May 2018, 47 people from 28 organizations came to Turin for the Annual Meeting of the Learning for Development (Learn4Dev) network, organized by the ITCILO.

Founded in 2003, Learn4Dev is an international network of development organizations from different backgrounds. As the most important event of the network, the Annual Meeting is an occasion not only to strengthen connections within the network but also to create learning scenarios together with new partners and stakeholders.

The theme of the 2018 Annual Meeting was “Potential Futures of Learning for Development”. Participants shared their ideas about the potential futures of the Learn4Dev network and provided possible solutions to the changing learning settings.

The three-day-long meeting focused respectively on potential learning scenarios regarding the future network. Divided in different groups according to a specific topic or common area of interest (learning innovation, Fragility and Crisis Management, Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning…), participants brainstormed and came up with potential joint initiatives and ideas to support implementation of Sustainable Development Goals.

future of learning by Delta ITCILO on Exposure