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EMMA call to action: send in your MOOC proposal before 30 May

The EMMA platform has been a busy place lately, we now have more then 20.000 users on EMMA, who are studying diverse subjects like the Adolescent brain, Smart toys for children and how to use LinkedIn to improve personal branding. In May you can also enrol in a brand new MOOC on the topic of coastal risks provided by Université Européenne de Bretagne (UEB), delivered in French and English. 

Last week we launched a call for new MOOC providers. Do you have a great idea for a MOOC? Don't wait and send your proposal to us! Selected MOOCs benefit from free hosting on the EMMA platform into 2017 and a wide scale of features like the automated translation system, learning analytics, peer group assignment and student toolboxes as well as access to a community of MOOC providers willing to share their know-how and experience. Also in this Newsletter Alessandro Bogliolo from the very successful Coding MOOC, who tells you his inspiring story. Enjoy!

The Inclusive Power of Coding on EMMA

darco janssenAlessandro Bogliolo, University of Urbino, Italy

What is happening in these last months is unprecedented in my experience and I have the privilege of being at the centre of where things are happening. This is what: I’m promoting and directing a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on Coding called “Coding in Your Classroom, Now!” hosted on EMMA, the European Multiple MOOC Aggregator.

This MOOC is available for all teachers – from primary school to university - and it doesn’t require any previous experience or expertise in information science. The main objective is to support teachers in finding their own way of introducing computational thinking in their classes, without necessarily following a standard. The teaching materials are produced during the course, in real time, and they remain available on demand throughout the duration of the course.

Teachers get assignments, which require that they involve their students, and this creates two parallel learning communities, the original one made up of the teachers themselves, and a wider one, made up of their students. The size of these two communities is the most striking feature of this experience: more than 6.200 enrolments in the course with over 100,000 kids in their classes.

Two-thirds of the learners had no specific expertise whatsoever and only 41% of them teach in the STEM area. The visual programming is an involving and gratifying experience, in that it enables you to be immediately productive and to quickly grasp the basics of a technology that had looked obscure until just the very moment that one starts to operate with coding. Also, coding doesn’t necessarily require the availability of technology as it isn’t technology in itself, but it’s about thinking.

Another striking result of this experience was the huge participation to the two offline events connected to the MOOC, one held in Naples and the other in Urbino in the month of March, which attracted more than 1.500 participants, including hundreds of kids taking pictures of, and asking for autographs from, Derek Breen, author of “Scratch for Kids”, and making him feel like a rockstar!

All this, to underline how diversity is the character of this experience: diversity as in variety, which is the power that fuels the evolution of a population. There are certain stereotypes around the STEM population, implying that it is one of the least diverse groups. This damages both those who would be willing to approach those subjects, since it acts as a barrier to entry, and also blocks the evolution of innovation with a variety of ideas, perceptions and perspectives.

Just to mention a figure, 82% of the Coding MOOC community is female in gender, which means more than 5.000 women, primary school teachers, secondary school professors and digital animators, collaborating with their students to use the computational thinking in the most diverse subjects. Now, who’s going to say that science and technology aren’t for girls?

This article was adapted from the post “Coding in School to Overcome Stereotypes” by professor Alessandro Bogliolo, coordinator of the Information Science and Technology Division of the Department of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics at Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo, published here in Italian:

Call to action: Run your MOOC on EMMA for free!

The EMMA project is launching a call to potential new MOOC providers who would like to run their MOOCs in a new multilingual environment for free. Requests to participate in this exciting educational experience should be submitted by 30 May.

You no longer have to “physically” travel to an educational institution to participate in a course: massive open online courses, or MOOCs for short, have become an outstanding educational practice used by schools all over the world. EMMA is offering you the opportunity to experiment with MOOCs at no cost. To participate in the selection process, potential MOOC providers should fill in the application form at Entries must reach us by midnight on 30 May.

The EMMA evaluation committee will make a selection from amongst those submitted. Selection criteria include the reputation of the teacher/expert/institution affiliated to a discipline, relating learning/professional or  epistemic communities, and the number of languages in which the MOOC will be delivered.

Selected MOOCs will enjoy free hosting on the EMMA platform and the use of a set of innovative tools for automated translation of videos and lesson texts, peer group assignment, student toolboxes, learning analytics, tracking and ad hoc survey creation. Selected providers will benefit from professional communication services to improve student recruitment and institutional visibility. They also get the chance to become part of a community of MOOC providers who are willing to share their know-how and experience and offer support services.

Free hosting for selected MOOCs will be guaranteed until May 2017. Take a chance, submit your MOOC proposal!

EMMA Webinar

Exploring social media as a way to enhance and promote your MOOC both within the design and as a way to attract students

- Online -

MOOCs in Scandinavia 2016

Dialogue on the status of Massive Open Online Courses in Scandinavia in focus

- Chalmers University of Technology Gothenburg, Sweden -

  14 - 17 June 2016

EDEN 2016

Re-imagining learning environments

- Budapest, Hungary -

  30 June - 1 July 2016

Future of Education Conference 2016

Sharing good practice in the field of innovation for Education

- Florence, Italy -

>>all events

MOOC Adolescent Brain kicked-off, over 1200 learners

The new EMMA MOOC Adolescent Brain: Brain, Lifestyle and Learning was launched on the EMMA platform on 14 April. This MOOC is designed by a team of researchers of the Open University Netherlands led by Dr Renate de Groot. For a number of years Dr de Groot and her colleagues have been giving lectures on this subject for teachers and parents of adolescents. The popularity of these lectures and the relevance of the topic itself determined the choice of the EMMA project team to launch a MOOC on the topic. Read more.

Digital library MOOC Newsletter

The MOOC Digital library in principle and practice started on 12 April and now has a community of almost 500 learners. Every week the teachers publish a newsletter (in Italian) with the main highlights, additional information and interviews on the topic of the week’s lesson. In case you are interested in the MOOC but cannot find the time to follow each lesson step by step, the newsletter can provide you a good insight in the topics discussed. Read more.

New release of transcription-translation platform by UPV

The Universitat Politècnica de València’s MLLP research group is pleased to announce the release of version 3.0 of the open source transLectures-UPV Platform (TLP) for the integration of automated transcription and translation technologies into media repositories. MLLP has been an integral part of the EMMA project, and within the project, TLP is being intensively used for the full transcription and translation of MOOC content in several languages from leading European universities.  Read more.
>> all news

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