The InZone model encompasses:
- Skill acquisition and the development of expertise: to acquire education, learners need to access information, transform information into knowledge through interaction with trainers and other learners, and to apply their knowledge in relevant contexts.
- Adaptability (and innovation): are key to the success of programs in order work in different contexts and community needs as well as to cater to different levels of learner competencies, to provide appropriate learning opportunities and to nurture motivation. This includes working with local communities, organizations and universities to develop and refine sustainable and applicable solutions.
- The building-block approach: learning in the unpredictable conditions prevalent in conflict zones and protracted emergencies lends itself best to a building-block approach. This comprises smaller learning units that can be combined to fulfil different degree requirements. It also affords multiple entry and exit points, and keeps learners’ motivation to reach the next level.
- The multilingual advantage: it has been demonstrated that learning, at all levels, is most successful when learners can build up knowledge both in their mother tongue as well as in other languages. Multilingual and multicultural approaches to learning enhance respect for the principles of equity and cultural diversity, and are built on multiple pathways to attaining knowledge. This is also important for learners that have been displaced from their home country and may require skills in a new language.
- Feedback loops for learners: are crucial as more complex skills and knowledge are acquired. Skill acquisition and mastery of content requires different forms of engagement with trainers, peers and learning materials within an iterative cycle of knowledge-building and validation. Learner support and learning achievements must be documented, with a view to meeting established standards; learning credentials may take the form of portable credits recognized across national education systems.
- Learning spaces: dedicated places for access to higher education that offer opportunities for social interaction and exchange to facilitate collaborative learning. These space encourage the integration into education of learners from varied cultural backgrounds.
- Learning technologies: to facilitate access to high quality learning programs overcoming barriers especially in dangerous or remote areas. Such technologies support long-term learning processes for knowledge acquisition and skill development, and which can integrate multiple resources, both visual and verbal. They must be robust, able to cope with low bandwidth and interrupted connectivity.
- Open educational resources (OERs): these free electronic resources, including MOOCs, are essential to providing learning opportunities and material in conflict and crisis. They may be co-produced by learners and be varied according to cultural background; above all, they must be accessible and perceived as relevant.
InZone utilizes these features to:
- Design and develop models for the acquisition of varied skills and in varying domains, in partnership with local higher education providers and communities of learners;
- Implement and evaluate these models;
- Apply rigorous scientific standards to validate and, subsequently, adapt its models;
- Upscale the careful deployment of its models, through implementing partners, to meet the ever-increasing demands for higher education emanating from conflicts and crises.