Digital Education

Education in the digital age: An overview of worldwide trends

MOOCs – Massive Open Online Courses – have seen rapid growth in recent years, shaking up the academic landscape and leading some to talk of a genuine revolution in teaching. Beyond the fad effect, MOOCs highlight the tremendous potential of digital tools not only in transforming forms of transmission and accessibility of knowledge but also the spheres of influence of the world’s universities. Every year, SERI’s scientific advisors and swissnex are invited to talk about trends in the field of education, research and innovation in one of the nineteen countries where they are located. In 2014, they focused on digital education and provided articles for this blog. This a synthesis of their contribution, which allows us to take a closer look at the issue.



Going digital – insights into the production of a MOOC.

What does it mean to produce a MOOC? What are the challenges faced by professors when creating a course online? How does it feel to stand alone in front of a camera? While MOOCs have definitely the potential to challenge the politics of education and the very bases of the transmission of knowledge, they also encourage professors to test new educational possibilities and confront themselves with digital tools. To discover more about this adventure, we turned to the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), one of the earliest Swiss academic players to enthusiastically jump on the digital train and asked Jérôme Chenal, General Secretary of the Urban and Regional Planning Community (CEAT), to share his experience of producing a MOOC on urban planning in African cities. Written by Vitalia Bakhtina & Beatrice Ferrari, SERI, Bern.


Source: Excerpt from Chenal’s MOOC on urban planning in African cities


Event at the Università della Svizzera italiana USI

Digital Technologies in Education: local and global insights into digital initiatives in higher education

Friday 24.10.2014
Auditorio Lugano Campus

The fast development of digital technologies in recent years is offering new possibilities to reinvent higher education. Alternative forms of interaction are progressively complementing and enriching face-to-face forms of teaching and learning. At the same time, by making courses accessible to millions of students worldwide, the emergence of e-Learning and the growth of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) is reducing geographic distance while expanding the influence of major universities.

What are the possibilities and challenges brought by digital technologies in higher education? How are they reshaping the academic landscape worldwide? Is it hype or revolution? We invite you to join the debate and share local and global insights into digital initiatives in higher education.


MOOC series about water, sanitation and hygiene

EAWAG, a world-leading water research institute in Switzerland, just launched the MOOCs serie “WASH in developing countries”. The course is  a joint initiative of EAWAG and EPFL, which enables students and professionals to reach integral expertise on the wide breadth of the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) theme. The series contains courses about Water Treatment, Sanitation, Solid Waste and Excreta & Wastewater Management.  Yesterday, the next MOOC  of the series, entitled “Planning & Design of Sanitation Systems and Technologies” has been launched.  Participants can learn how to plan affordable and context-specific sanitation solutions. The course  is free, in English and has French subtitles. For further information please visit the course page.