‘With KOIOS, we facilitate and stimulate lifelong learning’
Anyone who talks about KOIOS with lecturer-researcher Jordi Jansen can't help but get excited about the possibilities of this open source educational infrastructure that is being developed. This is how The Hague University of Applied Sciences facilitates and stimulates lifelong learning. KOIOS allows us to experiment with innovative ideas, such as developing new revenue models or new educational curriculum formats.
In addition to being a researcher at the Digital Operations & Finance Centre of Expertise and a lecturer in Blockchain Technology, Jordi Jansen is also a co-initiator of the KOIOS infrastructure. ‘The Hague University of Applied Sciences works together with the Municipality of The Hague and various other parties on this project. KOIOS is an open platform to which regional knowledge institutions, government and companies can link their networks. It’s a digital education and research highway that everyone can use: lecturers, students, alumni, but also someone who has become unemployed due to the coronavirus and wants to retrain or make a career change.’
‘As part of the KOIOS experiment, students enrolled in the Blockchain and Trading minors currently receive a unique badge as proof of what they have learned. Because the infrastructure is open, users can obtain knowledge from The Hague University of Applied Sciences (THUAS), but also from other universities of applied sciences institutions, as long as these institutions have linked their networks and curricula to the infrastructure. Non-students will not receive validation of the knowledge they acquire through KOIOS. To accredit this acquired knowledge as well, we are studying a new validation mechanism which consists of micro-certificates.’ In this article we focus on the importance of KOIOS for lecturers and students.
The world of education is divided into pigeonholes: each degree programme has its own curriculum. ‘KOIOS allows us to build an optional flexible umbrella above all those pigeonholes. This is especially important for subjects which are developing at lightning speed — such as data science or blockchain technology. Lecturers and students can use the research results which are shared on KOIOS.’
KOIOS can also offer another form of added value. ‘Within the Digital Operations & Finance Centre of Expertise, I am a researcher in Finance & Control (F&C). All F&C degree programmes provide accounting, cost accounting or external reporting. Each lecturer develops his or her own classes. Imagine that you ask the best accounting lecturer to prepare all the accounting classes. You then make these available to everyone on KOIOS. This means that all the other lecturers are no longer mainly teaching gurus, but educational coaches. They have more time for students. They connect their students to the curriculum on the platform and engage with them about it.’
‘Each regional degree programme gives a subject its own flavour. An F&C course in Rotterdam is focused on the port and harbour industry, The Hague will be more geared towards government organisations, etc. This combination of excellence, digital learning and regionally focused lecturers creates an inspiring intensification and enrichment of education and an even stronger connection to the practical experience. This way, we hope to connect the fragmented educational system through the use of digital technologies.’
‘When I upload a lesson and make it available on KOIOS, I receive feedback. A discussion develops. This can be more valuable than the lesson I created. Students and lecturers can go to KOIOS for a class, the feedback and discussions about the class. In the (near) future they can also submit suggestions for direct improvement for each clip. This is how you build a curriculum together.’
The KOIOS team consists of 75 per cent students and alumni. Jordi: ‘We work a lot with students. They are very enthusiastic. This is not only because of the platform's flexibility, but also because of the tokens we issue for performances achieved or services rendered. They do everything to get tokens: they help each other, start discussions among themselves and with lecturers, do research, make podcasts where they interview experts on a theme.’
You have to work together to make KOIOS a success. ‘We’re starting regionally and want to expand to national and international use. THUAS organises the educational activities in the form of minors. The Municipality of The Hague is investing in the KOIOS infrastructure via the Human Capital Agenda. We are also applying for a subsidy from React EU and/or the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) to expand the infrastructure and begin experiments with training non-students. This will facilitate and stimulate lifelong learning.’
Jordi and his team are currently looking for lecturers who want to share their teaching resources with the world. And for specialists who want to connect their expertise to them — by taking a critical look at these and, if necessary, by helping to build the platform. ‘But we are especially urgently looking for students who want to join our team.’ Would you like to join us? Then contact email@example.com.