Professional Development

MRER Lecture Series

Date: Thursday, 25th February 2016

Venue: Open Access Area, Rm.224, Faculty of Education, Old Humanities Building

Time: 5.00pm

Chairperson:  Prof. Carmel Borg, Editor, Malta Review of Educational Research (MRER)

Title of Lecture: Of MOOCs, ARGs, and other acronyms….how can we engage citizens effectively?

Lecturer: Vanessa Camilleri


Engaging citizens in activities that improve their quality of life and that of others in the community is one of the key strategies driving lifelong learning policies in a number of countries. A UNESCO report (2014) proposes a view of lifelong learning as “a paradigm for continuous, seamless, multifaceted learning opportunities and participation that deliver recognised outcomes for personal and professional development in all aspects of peoples’ lives (pg.5).” The Connectivist approach is considered as a self-directed process driven by online and offline connections, and residing in communities, networks, as well as various databases. Initiatives involving online and virtual communities have been emerging in the forms of massive open online courses (MOOCs) or social alternate reality games (ARGs). MOOCs arise from a need for education that is open, accessible, flexible, just-in-time and modelled around the learners’ needs. In parallel, social ARGs are the response to social problems by using games that use crowd intelligence to create a positive and tangible impact on people about some of the current global issues. The questions we ask and attempt to discuss in more depth during this lecture are:

– What are MOOCs and what is their importance in lifelong learning?

– How can ARGs involve citizens actively?

– In what ways can online networks be designed to support a more active citizen engagement?

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