The course Innovative Collaboration for Development is an initiative of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
It focuses on capacitating development professionals to adequately use the potential of social media tools to enhance the efficiency of their work, increase the outreach of their organizations, and contribute to the improvement of the effectiveness of the social issues they work with.
The overall goal of the course is to empower development professionals to recognize the potential of social media and to make innovative use of these tools to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and reach of their work. The course therefore gives participants the opportunity to use and analyze social media tools in light of their adaptability to specific workplace contexts.
Participants will be able to recognize the role of social media in changing the way that information is created, organized, shared and accessed. They will have an opportunity to use some popular social media tools; analyze their utility; identify their adaptability to specific contexts at the workplace; and compare the utility of various applications after analyzing the context of usage. Participants will also be able to recognize the importance of issues such as security, privacy and intellectual property rights while using social media applications.
The course is composed of 6 modules, for a total of about 75 learning hours:
- Introduction: Presentation of the course documentation and familiarization with the learning environment.
- Introduction to Social Media: Introduction to notions of Social Media Tools and reflection on their utilization.
- Collaborating on the Internet: Introduction and utilization of social networking sites and other groupware tools.
- Contributing to the Internet: Introduction and utilization of tools to contribute content to the Internet.
- Aggregating Content on the Internet: Introduction and utilization of tools to aggregate content on the Internet.
- Building your Toolkit: Introduction and exploration of hosting services, and social media rules and regulations.
The learning approach reflects different adult learning principles, catering to multiple learning styles, needs and preferences:
• Learning materials and activities are designed for development professionals and applicable to their working contexts;
• Learning resources – reading, video/audio, individual hands-on activities, and collaborative tasks – take into account multi-sensory learning;
• Practical tasks associate learning strategies such as active learning, learning by doing, case studies, problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaborative learning;
• Activities build progressively in the level of difficulty, allowing learners to construct their understanding, develop critical and creative thinking, and apply the acquired knowledge and skills to new situations.
Facilitators assist participants throughout the learning experience , guiding collaborative work, facilitating knowledge and experience sharing among participants, and providing needed expertise when learners work with tasks that require the practical application of specific tools. Facilitators also provide personalized feedback for course activities and assessments.
The course is targeted to development professionals interested in finding inexpensive solutions for knowledge sharing, networking, and managing projects by utilizing Social Media tools in their working environment.