Creating a MOOC on Mediatized Culture in Asia

During the summer and autumn 2019 the planning and preparations began for the MOOC on the theme of mediatized culture in Asia. The MOOC is designed to be part of the ALKU degree programme and will be available in UH Moodle, and additionally some of the material will be completely open access to view for anyone interested in the theme. We estimate that the course will start to run in 2020.

The MOOC focuses on mediatized culture in Asia. Asia is currently one of the most dynamic, rapidly evolving and diverse regions in the world. On a global scale, Asia’s impact particularly on the economy, high-tech research, information technology, and the arts and entertainment industry, is growing fast. Mediatization, originally a term used in Media and Communication studies, can be defined as a metaprocess, which shapes modern societies, along with other sociocultural processes such as globalization and individualization. The concept of mediatization covers various things, including the changing media environments, an increase of different media, the changing functions of old media, and new and increasing functions of digital media (Krotz 2008). The course covers various aspects of mediatization through case studies on digital culture in different Asian nations.

Currently, we are liaising with international lecturers, experts in the field of digital culture in Asia, who will contribute towards this MOOC in the form of lectures including videos and/or open access articles. Even though the platform for the MOOC will be UH Moodle, the plan is to make this educational material open access, so that for example the international experts who contribute to this course will be able to make use of them, too.

Hanna Mannila, PhD Candidate, Digiloikka Technical Assistant

Xenia Zeiler, Associate Professor, South Asian Studies, Department of Cultures

Podcasting Module for ALKU’s Digiloikka Project

Although the podcasting module of ALKU’s digiloikka project will only be rolled out as a course in the spring, the actual podcast series accompanying the course has now been completed.

The series consists of 6 episodes, guiding students through the process of building their own podcast, from coming up with a central concept, over shaping their academic ideas into a more audience-friendly narrative, to including other experts in their work. Throughout the series, students can hear a number of seasoned journalists and podcasters of work, giving them access to a broad range of voices in the field – and thus a diverse toolbox, full of different perspectives.

We had to rethink some of the conceptual tenets of this module in order to make room for all these different aspects of our speakers’ expertise (we eventually opted for a multilingual solution, having speakers in both Finnish and English for the series to accommodate different aspects of ’popularization’), but the project was essentially completed as planned, without any unpleasant surprises. To the contrary, we ended up with a more inspiring, and above all more ’open access’ result than we had originally planned: since all expert participants in the series were in fact quite keen to make their episode public, the podcasting course will be available beyond Moodle as well. The technical guides and assignments accompanying the series will only be made available for University of Helsinki -teachers for now, but expansion of this course into a real MOOC could be envisioned in the future, after piloting the course.


Josephine Hoegaerts, Associate Professor, European Area and Cultural Studies

Lotta Vuorio, Digiloikka Technical Assistant

ALKU-Digiloikka kicked off

The venture of ALKU-Digiloikka consists of several sub-projects which all will contribute to digitally supported teaching and learning methods and digital applications in the degree programme ALKU (alue- ja kulttuurintutkimus in Finnish, area and cultural studies in English). The project kicked officially off in January and is mainly managed by two working teams: one that focuses on creating a learning platform or MOOC on mediatization, and the other works with sound studies and podcasting. With this Digiloikka -project we aim at producing innovative digital materials and platforms for learning and teaching.

The summarised outcomes of this project will be one new learning platform or MOOC and one modular teaching platform, containing novel content and pedagogical approaches, a student blog and a Facebook page for the ALKU programme. These new developments will be pedagogically and technologically innovative compared to the previous situation in ALKU. For example, the material for one course will focus on podcasting – a practice is trending nowadays, and it will walk students through the process from creating the idea for a podcast to actually recording and editing a podcast episode. Therefore, it will advise and encourage students to popularise their studies and the results of their theses, and make their expertise more approachable– whilst gaining professional skills.

The venture acknowledges the educational value of integrating students in the very process of developing new digital content and applications. Thus, student engagement through e.g. a student blog and Facebook page works for meeting these expectations. Personally as a project assistant, I’m highly excited to take part in this multifaceted project. I wish I could still study when these learning materials will become available to students since they are so interesting! Luckily, it is at least equally interesting to work with this project. As an MA student, it is an important opportunity to get to gain experience from project management and to affect the outcome of this project.