Communicating Science 2.0.1 [from MOOC to DIY]

Communicating Science in the Internet should be a normal task for a professor-researcher. This is the reason why our group is leveraging its use by different means: TEDx events, Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC), Open Knowledge, Online activities, Wikipedia use, etc. We try to foster it always within a Do-It-Yourself philosofy wwhich encompasses budget, time, personal and other resources sustainability. Science Communication in the Net es a very clear example of the transforming nature of our Digital Era.

Our experience in this field may be found all over this very C4D website (http://c4d.udg.edu) with different projects and initiatives. Actually, the C4D was founded mainly to promote Science Communication and Public Awareness of Science using the Net.

Ic2.0.1 is a project related to Digital Science Communication. While this has been a primordial goal since C4D’s foundation a few years ago, we have been involved in learning activities on Science Communication itself.

In 2008 and 2009 a Summer Course on Science, Research and Communication 2.0 was held during july. Later, two editions of a Science Communication 2.0 Workshop were held. In 2011 one of us gave a course at the Master’s level on Science Communication: ISciCo. Its content (in English) consisted of five modules:

  1. This is me and my digital circumstances
  2. Let’s communicate!
  3. Let’s collaborate!
  4. Metrics and outreach
  5. Good practices

In 2013 we started a new adventure which linked this goal with our broader commitment to teaching and learning in Higher Education: a MOOC on Science Communication 2.0. We named it “Science Communication 2.0.1: keys for a digital society”. It was implemented in the MiriadaX platform, oriented towards the Latinamerican community, and taught in Spanish: Investigacion científica 2.0.1: claves para una sociedad digital. It has six modules, derived from the ISciCo course, with metrics and outreach being considered separately.

Indeed we think that a MOOC on any kind of scientific field is also a way to communicate science through the Net.

In 2014, we were involved in an online course on how to organize a MOOC from a practical point of view: by means of the University of Barcelona’s Moodle teaching platform, we taught for 4 weeks on “23 keys to organize a MOOC, be successful and to actually enjoy it” (23 claus per muntar un MOOC, tenir èxit i gaudir-ne, in Catalan). This short course lead to 23 clues to organize an online course, in particular in the field of Science, from the point of view of the autonomy of a Research Group. In our opinion, a leading group should also organize online courses (and better, MOOCs) on their field of expertise, with a regional or global reach. Organizing a MOOC is kind of a way to internacionalization, to community buildup, to collaboration increase, and to showcase of one’s capabilities. By that way, here are the 23 keys to organize a MOOC (in Catalan).

On july 2014, thanks to experience gained from the aforementioned courses and activities, a Summer Course is planned, entitled “In the Net, all of us are simultaneously students and teachers. Are MOOCs an opportunity for the future?” (in Catalan)

Actually, as far as researchers-scientists is concerned, we think that shooting video and yielding short nonlinearly edited videos is already a digital skill that all researchers shoud bear. A green screen in a small lab, a DSLR camera, a quality audio input, and a suitable video editor are the minimum package for a Group that is willing to communicate its research in a sustainable way. Three changes have occurred recently that are especially relevant for Science Communication: (1) Fast access to the Internet through Wifi and cellular access, (2) ease of video shooting, storing and consumption, and (3) availability and affordability of smartphones. These 3 items have transformed communication in the Internet in the last year and thus Science can be nowadays much better communicated, disseminated, promoted and leveraged.

A few other projects on Science Communication through the Internet can be found at the left hand side of this very website. They have different scopes but they all share a passion to disseminate Science using the Internet in a clever way.

Two projects are being worth mentioned from the point of view of Science Communication 2.0.1: The annual Researchers’ Night European Day, which we have organized since 2008, and our contribution to the TEDxUdG event.

Researchers’ Night is an initiative by the European Commission (now within the Horizon2020 Program) on the last friday of September: see http://nitdelarecerca.cat – We coordinate an initiative within Spain that gathers a wealth of Spanish universities and research institutions.

As far as TEDx is concerned, two of our members have given a TEDxTalk at the local TEDxUdG (organized by one of us) : on 2012, Marcel Swart inspired people with I’m a chemist, while Sílvia Simon gave an enticing TEDxTalk on 2013 entitled I’m a scientist: How do you see me?.