Editor's Note: Riordan's full piece on strategic digital and public diplomacy is available here. Much has been written recently about digital diplomacy. But little gets beyond the use of social media to sell messages on...KEEP READING
The Digital Diplomacy of Online Courses
Professor Mikhail Bukhtoyarov of Siberia’s Federal University has published an analysis of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and their role in digital diplomacy. MOOCs, free online courses on a range of topics, first appeared in 2008, and today hundreds of thousands of universities offer them to an eager and growing international audience. Bukhtoyarov suggests that these courses form a unique digital diplomacy tool, as “the course designer can not only introduce a particular set of ideas through the content of the course, but also track the level of their acceptance by the audience. MOOCs on social science, liberal arts and humanities are potentially the most suitable tools for the purposes of digital diplomacy, as they are designed to be efficient in dissemination of particular philosophical, ethical, or even political ideas.” What’s more, though users utilize MOOCs primarily for education, they can also be used by universities to build social networks, strengthen a brand, and collect and analyze large amounts of data. The mutual benefits to this arrangement have made these courses one of the fastest-growing online tools, and practitioners of digital diplomacy would be remiss not to acknowledge their potential for engagement as well as education.
The full article is available here.
Photo by University of Salford I CC 2.0
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