UCT's latest free MOOC to catalyse social change

15 August 2016 | Compiled Pete van der Woude. Image Supplied.

The six-week Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), Becoming a changemaker: Introduction to Social Innovation, is aimed at those who want to make a change in their community and will explore the concepts and beliefs needed to develop your idea for social innovation.

In early 2015 UCT became the first African university to offer MOOCs on international MOOC platforms. Through Coursera (the world's largest MOOC platform) and FutureLearn (a smaller British-based platform), UCT is now reaching thousands of learners worldwide.

Commenting on UCT's decision to launch MOOCs, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Sandra Klopper says, “We believe there is an opportunity to share knowledge generated from our leading academics and researchers, and to showcase the university's rich array of intellectual and teaching resources.”

The goals of the UCT MOOCs project include making UCT knowledge resources globally accessible, giving exposure to African content and knowledge, supporting students in academic transitions and developing models and expertise in online learning that could be deployed in mainstream degree programmes.

The new social innovation MOOC

This July UCT's Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT) launched its sixth free online course. The course is offered every four weeks on the Coursera platform with the latest run starting on 22 August.

The six-week course was co-created between UCT's Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which is based at the Graduate School of Business, and Reconstructed Living Lab (RLabs). RLabs is a social movement that started in Athlone, Cape Town, to empower youth through innovative and disruptive technology by teaching them vital skills and providing much needed support and a sense of community.

The new MOOC is designed to debunk common assumptions around what resources are needed, as well as to encourage people to begin acting as social innovators and changemakers. Participants will follow the journey of RLabs and other examples of social innovations in Africa and across the globe. They will be challenged to get out of their comfort zones, to start engaging in and with the diverse spaces, people, challenges and opportunities around them.

After completing the course, learners should be able to develop their concepts, mindsets, skills and relationships, which will enable them to think, start and evolve as social innovators.

Dr Francois Bonnici and Dr Warren Nilsson from the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation will facilitate the course, along with Marlon Parker from RLabs, as a living, successful social-innovations project case study.

“We are excited about pioneering a new kind of MOOC that will reach deeper into communities. It will also advance access to quality education in order to catalyse social change,” said Bonnici.

Sign up to Becoming a changemaker: Introduction to Social Innovation...

Please contact Olwen Manuel (021 406 1514 / 083 206 7074), the communications coordinator at the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, for more information.

See all UCT MOOCs on offer...


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