The origin
KOIOS is in its current phase still an experimental research and development project. The methodology used is action research. This means that we will experiment step-by-step towards the long-term vision. Throughout these steps, we will maintain the action research methodology. We will identify issues we may encounter, devise an action plan, implement the action plan (our action plan for the Blockchain Minor is currently implemented) and finally observe and reflect upon the process. As mentioned: even failing this experiment will teach us a lot about innovating education and new digital technologies.
The first step was to integrate the THUAS Blockchain Minor in KOIOS by recording all our content on video and uploading this to the KOIOS website. The content of the Minor, developed by THUAS lecturers in collaboration with multiple field specialists and public & private organisations, is now freely accessible and provides the backbone for the flexible 30 ECT Minor. Simultaneously this material was shared with the Accra Technical University (Ghana), who did their first test run of the Minor in Feb 2020. For students participating in the Minor at THUAS, we use a blended approach and viewing the content online is mandatory and tested before the start of each class. The classroom meetings will then be used to discuss the online content and to dive deeper into the materials. This is an example of combining online learning with onsite learning activities, hopefully ensuring students to receive the best of both. Such a set-up is very flexible and it took us for example almost no effort to switch to a Corona-proof curriculum.
But we had no idea where to start, and because there is never a perfect time to start, we just started with what we knew best: develop a course, find enthusiastic students and build from there. After a few test runs, we initiated the first validated blockchain course in 2017, and very quickly expanded the content, students and partners. In 2018 we added two major changes: the first was additional flexibility in the curriculum where students could chose from different tracks, assignments, etc., and the second one was opening up the entire course to the public so more people could join and mix with our students. To support this, we build a first prototype; a website without thresholds, where everybody could find the course materials, join the blockchain program and the community. This open approach proved to be an important key and enabled us to acquire all kinds of different values like new knowledge, talents, small funds, skilled specialists and network to expand the platform.
While the world entered the ‘crypto-winter’, we kept improving the prototype and eventually launched Koios early 2019. From there we started expanding the team, of which a majority consists of students from the blockchain minor. Together with lecturers, researchers, field specialistst and (inter)national partners did we create new courses, new tools and gained many new contributing community members. Although used and tested by hundreds of students per year, we only took the very first few steps so far. You can see the progress for yourself, tools and courses are freely available at
saw many new opportunities to improve higher education with the help of these novel digital technology. So in 2019, we launched an experiment at the Hague University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands to test new methods for learning in an open environment. An environment without thresholds to enter. We created several openly available courses, which are co-created with ecosystem partners and validated by the university. The courses are offered via an open-source platform which incorporates different web2 and web3 tools. Tools that enable more flexibility and new possibilities to earn rewards like different cryptocurrencies, voting rights or shared ownership. It also allows for an ecosystem of parties to test possible solutions for challenges they face in the higher education system. And to share and learn from each other.
Our vision keeps adjusting based on new possibilities and insights. We realize how far we are from this ideal, not so much from a technical perspective but perhaps even more from a social perspective. It took most people and organizations two decades to adjust to the internet and as current education is slowly adapting, the next phase of the internet is already introducing itself. This will most likely take some time as well, which is not a bad thing. We need time to fully understand the challenges and the consequences of creating infrastructures like Koios. Time to steadily grow to a shared optimum. Together.
Last modified 16d ago
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