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:

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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