“The Covid-19 ‘disinfodemic’ has highlighted the urgent need to enhance Media and Information Literacy (MIL) skills of citizens and at the same time to rapidly develop online digital tools for citizens and teachers to educate themselves on the topic from home. We believe that everyone should have the necessary MIL skills to fully participate in a society surrounded by technologies and online information and have basic tools for life-long learning, including youth, parents, or the elderly population,” said Emir Vajzovic from the Faculty of Political Sciences at the University of Sarajevo.
With this in mind, UNESCO and its partner, the Faculty of Political Sciences of Sarajevo, are working together towards the launching of a unique Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Media and Information Literacy in BiH language and localized to the national context as of early 2021. The development of such a new tool, which will be free for use is made possible through the EU-funded Project ‘Building Trust in Media in South East Europe and Turkey – Phase 2‘, which seeks to address disinformation in the region and thereby strengthen MIL skills of the people in the region.
“We have just presented the beta version of the MOOC on 30 October 2020 during the Global MIL Week in order to receive useful feedback from selected users testing the course. The full version of the MOOC should be operational and available for any users by the end of the year 2020. We are pleased to see that there are a lot of expectations around this MOOC, and we already have an agreement with the University of Sarajevo to have this MOOC integrated as part of their certified programme as of the first semester of 2021,” added Mr. Vajzovic.
The MIL MOOC is aimed to be used by teachers of primary and secondary schools and by the general public, but it will also be established as a Life-Long Learning Programme for the professional development of the staff of the University of Sarajevo. “The courses will serve as a support for in-class lectures at the university level, so they will be included in the formal education as well,” Emir concluded.
The MIL MOOC includes the content on MIL competencies, information verification, and dialogue. The course encompasses 13 modules that rely on the UNESCO MIL Curriculum. The materials developed for each of the modules include textual and audiovisual – multimedia materials, and the time necessary for completing the MOOCs is 16 weeks. Moreover, it will be self-paced learning, which means that the courses will be taken at the pace and convenience of students/listeners.
Fostering the exchange of best practices and approaches among the local partners, the MIL MOOC adapted and localised to Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian languages will serve as a model to be replicated and localised in other countries of the region. To ensure the wide and sustained use of the MIL MOOCs, the courses will be promoted within all project activities encompassing MIL, including youth organisations.
UNESCO and the European Union, DG Near, launched the second phase of the project Building Trust in Media in South East Europe and Turkey in November 2019. In consideration of the clear decline in the civil society’s trust in media in the region and the recommendations from the European Union in combating disinformation online, the three-year project aims to, among others, enhance MIL skills among youth by introducing MIL components in formal and non-formal education systems, training education staff, building MIL capacities of youth organisations.