The effectiveness of xLOBs is attributed to an on-going design based research that was carried out at every stage of the development cycle for the very beginning, and continues to do so.
The ULI started its research work on creating and experimenting with learning designs that support or complement the existing educational system. It was agreed that since Palestine has well-established educational institutions that reach every child, working with and from within the system would be the most effective, efficient and scalable approach.
The research question that guided our work stated:
“What does it take to significantly improve the educational outcomes knowing that it is impossible to make the transformation using the classical educational approach, at no additional cost or resources?”
With this in mind, we set out on a journey of design, research, development, re-design and on-going investigations, reflections and reviews. The xLOB development journey to-date consisted of three stages: The conceptualization stage and developing the team (2005-2011), the xLOBs model development stage (2010-2016), and the large-scale deployment stage (2016-present). In 2019, 1000 xLOBs for grades 1-10 are available and are being taught to over 50,000 children. The Palestinian Ministry of Education has been a partner in the implementation process throughout this journey.
In 2017 the University began to scale xLOBs regionally, through two pilot programs one in non-formal setting targeting Syrian refugees in Makani Centers in Jordan and in formal education with the Ministry of Education in Jordan.
The cost of scaling xLOBs to Palestinian schools and children is less than $1 per child.
Applied research was carried out at the following stations in the development life-cycles:
- Concept creation and application in 5 schools in 2008
- xLOBs model development in 2011 and applied in 4 schools
- Model adjusted and piloted in 50 schools in 2013
- Engagement in the design and development of the Life-Skills and Citizenship Education Framework for MENA in 2016
- xLOBs being scaled-up nationally starting with grades 1 and 3 and applied in 20 schools in Palestine in 2017
- xLOBs applied at Makani Centers in Jordan for Syrian Refugees in 2018 to pilot the implementation in non-formal settings
- xLOBs for grades 1 through 4 applied in 100 Palestinian Schools in Palestine (under-way)
- xLOBs for grades 7 through 10 in science and technology in 100 Palestinian schools (under-way)
- xLOBs for grades 7-10 being piloted in 10 Palestinian schools (under-way).