Covid-19 has caused a shift in learning, moving away from more traditional to digital methods. One year into the pandemic UNESCO estimates more than 1,5 billion students still affected by school closures either full or partial. Without the capability to physically go to schools, online learning opened an opportunity to adapt education systems and support students during the ongoing crisis. Consequently, the sudden shift to online learning indicates potential opportunities to improve on making it effective in engaging and stimulating learning and retention.
Starting point in improving online learning
In April 2021, a journal article was published in the Muallim Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities written by Dr Nicole Flindt (Heidelberg University of Education, Heidelberg, Germany), Miganoush Magarian and Gretta Hohl (TeachSurfing gUG, Hamburg, Germany) outlining a groundbreaking approach to creating online learning content that was used and tested in the European Union-funded project, Youth Volunteer Education e-learning program (e-VELP). The e-VELP project uses non-formal teaching methods and intercultural exchange to train young migrants and refugees to share their knowledge and culture with their local communities. The main activities are (1) creating an online platform with online courses, forums, community and event management to scale the Volunteer Educators Program and; (2) developing online courses with brain-stimulating training content for the Volunteer Educators and Volunteer Educator Trainers.
Making online learning more stimulating
The e-VELP project pioneered this new approach by combining elements of classic didactics and elements of neuroscience and neurodidactics to improve on learning interest and knowledge retention. The research proposes that by understanding the structural changes to the brain, a function of neuroscience, educators can adapt online learning content that facilitates longer-term memory. Neurodidactics is hypothesised to help create more brain-interesting tasks and support learning goals.
Continuing the path to online learning success
Already halfway through the project, improving online learning content by combining it with neurodidactics has shown positive indications in the learning progress of the youth migrants and refugees. It has also opened new ways of viewing the traditional role of a trainer as an equal learner and can affect how teachers’ and professors’ roles are seen in the traditional education system by continuing neurodidactics research in education science. To learn more about the methods and results, read the journal article.
TeachSurfing has expertise in non-formal education and training individuals interested in sharing their knowledge. For more information on the e-VELP project, click here. To sign-up for updates, visit the page. To learn more about collaborating with TeachSurfing or to join the community, visit the TeachSurfing platform or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.