Students’ thoughts and expectations

April 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

Credit: Karen Horton

After six weeks of lectures about  Communication Science and one week to complete the UvA MOOC exam, students posted many discussions and opinions about the course in the forum and also social networks. Did they enjoy it? Did the course meet expectations? And why did they decide to do the MOOC in the first place? Of course, as this MOOC had more than five thousands enrollments, this is not very easy to evaluate. However, a qualitative approach may introduce some thoughts on the subject, and interesting stories as well.

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All-powerful audience

March 13, 2013 § Leave a comment

wordle moocLast week’s UvA MOOC lecture was  about the linear effect-oriented approach of communication, mainly developed by the media in the 20th century. Between the First World War and the popularization of television, many theories were developed to somehow explain how the “all-powerful media” constructs different realities and influences its audience. It was very interesting, for example, to see the classic example of radio broadcast “War of the Worlds” being deconstructed by theorists Paul Lazarsfeld and Herta Herzog. What used to be an example of the “bullet theory” effect (immediate, precise and short term), had to be reviewed: what was behind the panic? Media’s own exaggeration and a mix of decontextualized understandings? Those might be still current characteristics of the present media, but it’s easy to see that online, audience power has increased and became appreciated.

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