Leiden online course among the world's best
An online course offered by Leiden University on the European Union is among the top 50 MOOCs in the world. This was announced recently by MOOC platform Class Central.
Class Central compiled the list on the basis of reviews by users. These show that the EU policy and implementation: making Europe work! online course by Public Administration Professor Bernard Steunenberg was valued very highly. In the course he talks about how the European Union makes policy and how this policy is subsequently implemented by national, regional and local governments in the different member states. He does this using existing European leglsiation and regulations on air pollution and migration.
Of the 36 reviews on Class Central, the majority are very positive about Steunenberg's free course. No fewer than 83% of the reviewers give the course the maximum of five stars. The course gives 'a very complete and integrated picture of the different EU mechanisms', one of the participants writes. Other describes the course as 'very instructive and useful in the academic world' and 'more challenging than the average online course'.
Making the EU more concrete
‘I think that the strength of this MOOC is that we make EU decision-making a lot more concrete,'a proud Steunenberg explained. 'You learn about the European Union in five interesting weeks from a completely different perspective. Participants get to understand that European decion-making has a clear impact on their own living environment, but also that there are ways of influencing the policy process in Brussels.'
Leiden University has invested heavily in online courses in recent years, and currently offers no fewer than 25 free courses via Coursera, making it one of the biggest participating universities. According to Steunenberg, this serves two purposes. 'It is a good way of broadening the University's reputation and recruiting students. But I also use the video lectures in my own teaching, as an addition to the lectures. It means I can offer my students a good mix of online and offline learning.'
‘Since our first MOOC in 2013, we have learned a lot about digitising teaching and how this can support the campus environment,' says Tanja de Bie, project coordinator responsible for producing and disseminating the Leiden MOOCs. 'Our Vision on Teaching and Learning states that we have a role in helping resolve societal issues. This award-winning MOOC by Professor Bernard Steunenberg is a good example of how we can contribute to this objective. Online teaching has really matured over the past five years.'
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