International Telematic University, Uninettuno, Italy: I Learn Arabic programme

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[For further information on the programmes offered by Unirnettuno, see: www.uninettunouniversity.net/Portal/en/informazioni.aspx]

The International Telematic University UNINETTUNO is a single institution conceived on a grand scale. At UNINETTUNO, prestigious professors from some of the most important universities from around the world, teach courses in various languages in both real classrooms and virtual ones on the Internet.

"The University pursues its institutional goals through the use of the most advanced didactical methodologies and most recent e-learning technologies as to distance education of students/users, with particular attention to the needs of adults, the workers and disabled people. The financial tools to achieve and develop the goals and the activities of the University result from: the income of school taxes and contributions made by students, other earnings from institutional activities, allocations and funds being assigned to it for whatever reason, public bodies, companies and private people interested in the achievement of its institutional goals." (from: Mission Statement)

The main didactic tool is the Internet-based learning environment www.uninettunouniversity.net ,the first portal in the world where it is possible to teach and learn in five languages – Arabic, French, English, Italian and Spanish.

The learning environment is based on an educational psychology teaching model, which achieves the following changes in learning dynamics:

    from teacher-centred to student-centred learning

    from the transmission of knowledge to the building of knowledge

    from passive and competitive learning to active and collaborative learning

In this new model, the individual student becomes the centre of the educational process. He or she can build on their knowledge individually, instead of passively receiving information.

The approaches to teaching and learning are both synchronic and diachronic. There are video lessons, practice exercises on the Internet (also through virtual laboratories) and distance tutoring sessions through video and audio chat. Furthermore, there are also forums and videoconferences.

Besides offering formal educational programmes, UNINETTUNO is involved in informal learning initiatives in collaboration with external partners.

The course entitled "I Learn Arabic - the Treasure of the Letters" is addressed to the illiterate adult population of Morocco. Its aim is to train for the skills required for an active comprehension of language, for the use of writing and reading.

This is an informal programme without enrolment and examination.

 

The "I Learn Arabic- the Treasure of the Letters" programme is part of the The Arab Language Literacy Project which aims at teaching on television how to read and write in Arabic and contributes towards reducing the problem of illiteracy in Morocco.

The course is addressed to the illiterate adult population and most specifically the most isolated rural areas and to the female population whose illiteracy rate is very high.

How the programme is delivered

This course includes 150 videolessons and 4 texts related to the subjects treated by the videolessons. The videolessons are broadcast on television in the evenings.

Learning Materials are also available on a learning portal where there is opportunity for involvement and interaction.

Students working online, receive continuous feed-back from their teacher

Reasons for success

This programme has chosen television for delivery in order to reach a large illiterate audience, offering a student centred programme. To bridge to the future, the progamme also gives students access to materials and support online.

The course has no fees attached.

Delivery is through television broadcasting. In addition, lessons are also supported by a learning portal where students can access videos and texts. Furthermore, videocassettes of lessons are available for purchase.

The programme is a unique example of how delivery has to be adjusted to the life situation of the customers/users/students. In Morocco, the number of households having a tv set is 77%, whereas, only 13% of the population have computers in their homes.

Both the wide access to television and the illiteracy of the audience makes broadcasted television a perfect media choice for the programme. Furthermore, the programmes use the newest animation technology for presentation – Second World.

    This program meets the following needs:

    • a need to train for the skills required for an active comprehension of language, for the use of writing and reading.

    • a need to reach a target base of students who can not normally afford university

    • a need for reaching the target audience at a specific time of the day

    • a need for choosing a media channel that is accessible by the majority of the population

    • a need to provide education to students in later stages of life

    • a need, in the future, for retrieving learning materials asynchronously and for communicating and interacting asynchronously

 

What makes the I Learn Arabic course different and worthy of interest:

What makes this course unique is that it has managed to capture an audience - in this case, a whole sector of Moroccan society with a thematic approach that combines information and entertainment, and with a delivery method that is well suited to its learners.

The course psycho-pedagogic model, designed by Prof. Maria Amata Garito, makes reference to a course produced by the Italian Television entitled "Non è mai troppo tardi (It's never too late)", realised by the school teacher, Alberto Manzi, which was devoted to teaching rading and writing to Italy's adult illiterate population.

The television programmes have presented the audience with Moroccan culture from a very real perspective. The teacher from the television studio presents her lessons from the studio interior of a Moroccan house where she considers objects within the house and talks about their use in everyday life.

Furthermore, through the use of Second Life, a virtual theatre has been created and broadcast in the second half of the course. Here, television viewers can watch avatar-actors tell their stories, imitating the daily activities of a typical Moroccan family.

The course has successfully combined a study programme with elements from Moroccan culture and has thus enabled the Moroccan population to "rediscover their roots, their past, the richness of their traditions, without forgetting the present"

(from I Learn Arabic- the treasure of the Letters, pdf program description)

Market Relations

The value proposition or offer that NETTUNO is putting before its target learners (target segments) resonates well with their interests, their preferred delivery form (television -) and the benefits that will be received by partaking in the offer (focal customer benefits).

For the course represents a total customer experience over a period of time that is both entertaining, informative, free and in fact has been conducive to creating loyalty behaviour among its viewers. The 150 lessons broadcast over the Moroccan television network have developed a loyal following over time.

The demographic makeup of this group of learners have a commonality of culture that is reflected in the content of the materials that are broadcasted.

Indeed a sense of community is conveyed through the enlargement of the cultural section aimed at discovering the history, literature, the legends, the uses and customs of the Moroccan population. (I Learn Arabic- the treasure of the Letters, pdf program description.)

The motivation for watching is tied up with the entertaining storylines that are presented in the Second Life platform.

One of the reasons this course has been a success can be found in the experience (customer experience) learners have had with the value proposition on offer.

This particular course has built its brand over time. Through the media of television, its brand is communicated by way of taglines, trademarked music, logos, etc. Indeed, the programme has successfully appealed to the targeted audience by communicating a value proposition of identity and brand management that align with learners' values and lifestyles.

Production and Delivery

The Project has been founded as a result of key partnerships between the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs – General Direction for Cooperation and Development and the Ministère de l'Education Nationale, de l'Enseignement Supérieur, de la Formation des Cadres et de la Recherche Scientifique, Département pour l'Alphabétisation et l'Education Non Formelle of Morocco. The realisation of the project was entrusted to NETTUNO.

 

This Example of Implementation is referred to through relevant business model keywords in other parts of this site.

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