SCOOCS: The Virtual Space for CONNECTING IDS Experiences

The University of Amsterdam offers an International Development Studies Master and Research Master program. The programs take a multidisciplinary approach which includes theoretical, historical, multi-scalar debates and understanding of inclusive and sustainable development, in relation to social and ecological justice, recognizing the politics of knowledge. In this context, as classroom debates regarding a need to structurally transform the way we think, teach, and do “Development” gain momentum, CONNECTING IDS Experiences has emerged as a new-born student-led initiative to expand the understanding of IDS discourses and practices beyond its Eurocentric perspective.


University of Amsterdam





SCOOCS: The Virtual Space for CONNECTING IDS Experiences Image


CONNECTING IDS Experiences aims to trigger a reflexive process about “Development” discourses and practices and to enhance the co-creation of “Development” knowledge by connecting scholars and students across the field, and across the world. To bridge the geographic divide, finding a dedicated virtual space is key. With SCOOCS, this new-born student-led initiative is empowered to host regular opportunities for scholars and students to connect and collaborate, propose and engage in the latest debates, as well as share resources, and co-create knowledge. If you are wondering how SCOOCS can empower you to bridge geographic divides and build an engaging digital community, this short article was written for you!

Courtney Vegelin Courtney Vegelin
Francesca Borghesi Francesca Borghesi
Mariana Sarmento Mariana Sarmento
“SCOOCS enabled a growing network of disconnected scholars and students to come together to collaborate and co-create”

Project Goals

Building a digital community

A core element of this initiative is the potential to expand beyond the walls of the classroom in Amsterdam. With SCOOCS, CONNECTING IDS Experiences joined scholars and students from nine different countries in a customized and dedicated space; designed to foster engagement, interaction, and connections. Although the initiative is at a very early start, the show-up rate, engagement score, and networking success enabled by SCOOCS suggest positive signs of a growing digital community of worldwide development scholars and students.

Issue-based discussions

Engagement, discussion, and networking are some of main goals of this new-born initiative. With SCOOCS, we leveraged powerful features such as complete participant profiles, 1-to-1 matching and networking tables. With such different and interesting profiles, the opportunity to independently connect in a virtual space, create discussion spaces, and quickly join a video room really empowered participants to share and to connect.

Resource and knowledge sharing

Having an organized and easily accessible shared space to access different course syllabus, scientific papers, and research projects is crucial to foster more connections are the scholar, student, and classroom level. The Event Hub was the perfect solution for an organized resource library to which participants can always refer to when planning a co-created session, seeking a different angle on a topic, or looking for a field research collaboration or contact point.


By going virtual University of Amsterdam contributed to saving CO2 emissions, with a presence in 9 different locations


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