Knight Center
Knight Center

DISTANCE LEARNING

Knight Center’s MOOC Program

The Knight Center created the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) program in the world dedicated to journalism training. Since its inception in October 2012, we have offered offered eight MOOCs. The first seven benefited more than 27,000 participants from 150 countries.

While most massive online courses are college classes that have been recorded on video and adapted to be shared over the Internet, the Knight Center’s MOOCs have been specifically designed for the new format, emphasizing student interactions and collaborations. Through the courses’ online forums, instructors are constantly answering questions and making general comments about students’ work, while students are encouraged to discuss their assignments and help each other.

The Knight Center's first MOOC, "Introduction to Infographics and Data Visualization" with instructor Alberto Cairo, was also the world's first massive online course in journalism. The course was so well received that the Knight Center offered a second edition, identical to the first, in January 2013. The course attracted more than 5,000 students in 133 countries and became the Knight Center's largest class to date. The Knight Center launched a third edition of the course in October 2013.

In March 21013, the Knight Center offered its first MOOC in Spanish, "How to Improve Electoral Coverage," which was taught by award-winning Colombian journalist María Teresa Ronderos.

The course was followed by another massive online course in Spanish, "Introduction to Data Journalism," with renowned Argentine journalist Sandra Crucianelli. The MOOC attracted almost 4,000 students in 62 countries.

In August 2013 the Knight Center offered "Data-Driven Journalism: The Basics," which concluded with 3,7000 participants in 143 countries. The course was taught by five of the leading data journalism experts in the United States and represented the first time the Knight Center invited several instructors to teach one course.

And with the support of Google, the Knight Center launched in November 2013 its seventh MOOC, "Development of Journalistic Projects for the Web: an Introduction to Entrepreneurial Journalism." The MOOC will include a special scholarship that will be awarded to the participants with the best projects at the end of the course. The Google-Knight Center scholarship will consist on a trip to attend two international conferences on digital journalism to be organized by the Knight Center in April 2014.

The Knight Center's MOOC program has been a success not only because of the impressive number of students it has attracted, but also because of its quality and effectiveness despite its low-budget structure. Reviews and comparisons with other MOOC programs have been overwhelmingly favorable.

In an age where everyone is a potential citizen reporter, the Knight Center’s massive online courses represent a significant first effort to provide necessary transparency to journalistic tools and processes through training open for media workers and the general public alike. 

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