Image from Nico Suruceanu“For me, media literacy is like a light in a dark sea,” expressed a participant of the Moldovan English for Media Literacy Project. “We consume a lot of information [and] media literacy allows us to filter this information,” explained another participant.

The English for Media Literacy Project is an initiative of the Moldovan non-profit Academy for Innovation and Change through Education (AICE). The Project utilizes the English for Media Literacy MOOC to help learners develop a deeper understanding of the impact of media in everyday life while simultaneously enhancing learners’ English language skills.

The English for Media Literacy MOOC was developed by the University of Pennsylvania’s English Language Programs (ELP) under a grant from the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

The U.S. Department of State grant funded the development and delivery of five content-based MOOCs by Penn’s English Language Programs: English for Business and Entrepreneurship, English for Journalism, English for Career Development, English for Media Literacy, and English for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics).

The MOOCs have reached over a quarter of a million learners in more than 150 countries from Vietnam to Burma to Iraq. ELP’s five MOOCs affirm Penn’s commitment to Penn Compact 2020. The Penn Compact 2020 aims to support diversity, foster global relations, and increase access to Penn’s innovative research and teaching.

The English for Media Literacy MOOC was the fourth MOOC launched under the grant. It is taught by ELP Language Specialist Ian Nichols and former ELP Advising Specialist Lauren Fiori and was produced by ELP in collaboration with Penn SAS Online Learning, a frequent collaborator of OLI.

The AICE’s English for Media Literacy Project targeted 11 regions around Moldova and was facilitated by 12 young Moldovan educators. Facilitators were recruited with the support of Ministry of Education of Moldova and regional Directorates of Education, Youth and Sports.

The English for Media Literacy Project sparked creative reflections about media consumption for the Moldovan learners. A course team in the country’s third largest city, Bălți, produced a video on the importance of media literacy. Not to be outdone, a team in the southern city of Cahul created a movie (complete with a ‘behind the scenes’ section) outlining the critical skills learners gain through the course. Course participants filmed video responses to the question “What is media literacy for you?” and one learner even wrote a jocular poem about the topic. Participants also designed a digital poster outlining topics covered throughout the MOOC.

At the end of the English for Media Literacy Project, five of the most active learners from each target region, along with their mentors, traveled to Moldova’s capital city to present at a conference: Integrating Media Literacy in Moldovan Curricula Based on the MOOC Model. The event was organized in collaboration with the Center for Independent Journalism, the Ministry of Education of Moldova, and regional Directorates of Education, Youth and Sports.

To learn more, visit the English for Media Literacy Project’s facebook page, AICE’s Project page, and enroll in the course today.

The Online Learning Initiative at Penn (OLI) is proud to support these endeavors!

Photo credit: Nico Suruceanu