Knight Center
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JOURNALISM IN THE AMERICAS Blog

Knight Center closes registration for its second MOOC after reaching its 5,000-student limit



Registration for the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas’ second Massive Online Open Course (or MOOC) has closed after reaching its 5,000-participant cap on Dec. 31. The six-week course in English will start on Jan. 12 and end on Feb. 23.  

The Knight Center more than doubled its student capacity for this second course, which will be an identical iteration of its highly popular first MOOC, “Introduction to Infographics and Data Visualization” with Instructor Alberto Cairo. It had more than 2,000 students from 109 countries.

This time, participants registered from 133 different countries. The United States was again the country with the most participants, with 2,033 students, followed by the United Kingdom (311), Spain (290), Brazil and Canada (213 each) and the Russian Federation (150).

Other countries included Mexico, Australia, Germany, Colombia, Hong Kong, Ukraine, Peru, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Chile and Uganda.

"I am delighted to see such a great demand worldwide for our massive courses,” said Professor Rosental Alves, founder and director of the Knight Center. “This is the first MOOC in journalism, which we offered to 2,000 participants in October, and Alberto Cairo has done a great job with it. We have received very positive evaluations from those students who finished the first MOOC.”

The Knight Center’s pioneering MOOC has been designed especially for this new, massive format, featuring student-student and instructor-student interactions. Just like the first edition of the course, Cairo’s second class will focus on how to work with graphics to communicate and analyze data. With the readings, video lectures and tutorials available, participants will acquire enough skills to start producing compelling, simple infographics almost immediately.

"When we first thought about doing a MOOC about infographics and data visualization, I was not expecting such a huge response," Cairo said. "I have detected and increasing interest in those areas in the past few years, of course, as my classes at the University of Miami are always full, but the fast pace at which the two MOOCs we have done so far have filled up has surpassed my most optimistic expectations. That makes me happy, as having such a big group, made of people from so many different countries, will enrich the discussions we'll have about good visualization practices and techniques."

Cairo is a renowned expert in the field of infographics. He is currently a professor at the University of Miami’s School of Communication and has taught several regular online courses at the Knight Center’s distance learning platform. Chapters of Cairo’s new book, The Functional Art are used in the course. He also uses his Twitter account @AlbertoCairo to complement class discussions.

The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas was created in 2002 by Professor Rosental Alves at the University of Texas at Austin School of Journalism thanks to a generous donation from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which has been supporting it continually. The Center also receives major contributions from the Open Society Foundations and The University of Texas at Austin. The Center's main goal is to help journalists in Latin American and the Caribbean to improve the quality of journalism in their countries.



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