InZone, an academic centre at the University of Geneva, uses connected learning to pioneer innovative approaches to multilingual communication and higher education for refugees and their host communities.
The centre supports refugees from the Great Lakes region, South Sudan and Somalia in Kakuma camp and in Dadaab camp in Kenya, and in Azraq camp and in Amman, Jordan, and has also worked in Khartoum, Kassala, Kabul and Nairobi.
Its mission is to design, develop and scientifically validate learner-centred and technology-supported pedagogical models in camps and urban settings with detailed studies using control groups (see earlier section on Evidence of benefits of using blended learning with refugees).
It documents the effectiveness of pilot studies and its approach as it is tested and implemented.
InZone uses its own and other learning platforms through which it carries out summative and formative assessments. These tools assist in offering multilingual courses taught through the medium of English, French and Arabic. The courses also support a host of other languages spoken by refugees, particularly in the context of training humanitarian interpreters.
It offers short-cycle or foundational courses for a degree. The students gather together in a learning hub in the refugee camp and study courses online using a mixture of face-to-face on-site and virtual tutoring. They are encouraged to take a collaborative problem-solving learning approach relevant to promoting conflict resolution and peace-building.
InZone’s approach takes into account the likelihood of refugees finding it more difficult to maintain continuity of study and pieces together portable credits towards a degree from groups of MOOCs, with particular reference to human rights. The credits conform to the European Credit Transfer System, making them internationally recognized.
In mid 2015 it was supporting around 130 students, 78 of whom were undertaking non interpretive HE courses, while the rest were studying humanitarian interpreting.