The Europeana Space MOOC
Europeana Space (a project that works on increasing and enhancing reuse of Europeana and other online collections of digital cultural content by creative industries especially) is developing a MOOC, a massive open online course, to be launched in the fall of 2016. The aim of the course is to share our experiences, the lessons learned during the project and the tools we have developed during the pilot activities of E-Space; but also what we learned thanks to the hackathons and the workshops that we held with creative professionals throughout Europe. We want to share all of this with students and teachers, professionals from the GLAM sector, event organizers and developers working on cultural heritage, with the aim to convince them of the importance of the creative reuse of digital cultural heritage and to show them that the steps to take and the tools to use to do so are within everyone’s reach.
The information on the MOOC is always distributed on three different levels. The first is a general level that targets mainly cultural heritage amateurs, students and teachers: the education segment. Here we want to show our learners how easy it can be to move from a passive use of digitized cultural heritage – that can be simply searching for materials on repositories such as Europeana – to an active and proactive use, where everyone can contribute and share their own insights and new narratives built around this cultural heritage individually and/or with others. To give an example, in the first module of the MOOC (the Photography module) we show how teachers, using the storytelling tool that we developed, can create stories with materials that they can find on trusted web sources, and share them with their students. This can easily become a group assignment where students are asked to complement the teachers’ stories with their own chapters and materials.
On the second level, we target GLAM professionals. Learners will be taught how to access APIs, how to query the database from their own websites and to automate important processes for the stories they want to develop, how to create interactivity into their events, how to build components in their websites and refer to the technologies that we have developed. They also get guidance on how to use the E-Space technical space and its API, how to find interesting samples of code on Europeana Labs and they will have access to more readings on how to reuse Europeana contents and on Europeana creatives.
Lastly, the third level reaches out to developers. They will be able to search the MOOC to find the most technical information, e.g. a link to a certain API or a specific explanation; they will also have the opportunity to participate in forum discussions with people working with Europeana or from the GLAM sector. We hope this way to incite interesting discussions where knowledge from different sectors can be shared and learners can learn not only from us, but also from one another.
Within E-Space we also developed a website for education where it is possible to find pointers to almost everything that will also be in the MOOC. But we decided to develop a MOOC as well, because it provides more guidance through the steps of learning. The MOOC brings in the structure, discipline and an A to Z learning path necessary to learn and spur some action. It is, if you wish, a sort of guided tour through what we, the pilots of E-Space, have developed, experienced and learned.
Clarissa Colangelo and Fred Truyen