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Royal Roads offers first massive open online course

September 11, 2014
George Veletsianos

Victoria – Registration is open for Royal Roads University’s first massive open online course (MOOC).

The course, entitled Networked Scholars, explores how academics use social media to share, improve, and reflect on their research and scholarship.

“Recent reports indicate that social media are at an early stage of adoption in academia, even though mindful participation in digital spaces is a significant skill for today’s academic and knowledge worker,” says Canada Research Chair in Innovative Learning and Technology and RRU associate professor George Veletsianos, who designed the course and researches this topic. “By the end of the course I hope that participants will be better informed about the roles of social media in the lives of academics.”

Running from Oct. 20 to Nov. 16, Networked Scholars will introduce participants to the tools and practices associated with academics’ participation in online social networks. The course is targeted to knowledge workers, PhD students and professors but is open to anyone who is interested in the subject.

“Together we will explore ideas associated with digital scholarship, open scholarship and social scholarship,” Veletsianos says. “We will also investigate how particular tools and practices may enhance the impact and reach of scholarship, and we will explore the challenges and tensions associated with emerging forms of scholarship.”

MOOCs are free courses offered through the web. The courses often offer interactive forums that help build communities of students, bringing together education and social networking.

“There’s great value to be found in sharing, connecting, learning from each other, and making knowledge available and accessible,” says Veletsianos, who will be speaking on scholars’ use of social media at the upcoming Social Media and Society International Conference in Toronto. “If the role of the university is to contribute to a better society, we need to explore new ways of knowledge creation, knowledge sharing and community engagement.”