Comunicar Journal Blog

MOOC as an all-in-one platform for teaching and research

HKU04x Making Sense of News


(HKU04x ran between May 19 and June 23, 2015)

I’ve recently finished teaching my first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on news literacy for the public on edX, the non-profit education portal founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The six-week course, titled Making Sense of News, attracted thousands of students from 147 countries. It comprised 63 short lecture video clips (mostly between 2 to 4 minutes), exercises, readings, five graded assignments (two of which were peer-reviewed) and discussion forums (964 comment entries were made by the final week).

Making Sense of News: Geographical data
More than 7,500 students from all over the world signed up for the course.

The massive collection of students’ behavioral data aggregated at the end of the course made me realize the potential of online-based media education research.

The following blog post sketches out some of the many possibilities this emerging form of teaching and learning can be used.

The big data gathered through MOOCs, in my view, would shed light on certain elements that could have not been examined through the conventional research methods.

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Issue 45 “Communicating in an Ageing World” is out!

45  Comunicar 45 “Communicating in an Ageing World” has been recently published. The Journal has also  a monographic section and a wide variety of items in its miscellaneous section. All articles are available full text and free of charge on our official website.

01 Uses and Gratifications of Computers in South African Elderly PeopleTanja Bosch, Ciudad del Cabo (South Africa) | Bronwyn Currin, Ciudad del Cabo (South Africa)

02 Use, Consumption and Knowledge of New Technologies by Elderly People in France, United Kingdom and Spain Cristina González, Castellón (Spain) | Carlos Fanjul, Castellón (Spain) | Francisco Cabezuelo, Valladolid (Spain)

03 Internet and the Elderly: Enhancing Active Ageing Carmen Llorente, Madrid (Spain) | Mónica Viñarás, Madrid (Spain) | María Sánchez, Madrid (Spain)

04 Active Ageing and Access to Technology: An Evolving Empirical Study Raquel Casado, Burgos (Spain) | Fernando Lezcano, Burgos (Spain) | María José Rodríguez, Salamanca (Spain)

05 New Elders, Old Divides: ICTs, Inequalities and Well Being amongst Young Elderly Italians Fausto Colombo, Milán (Italy) | Piermarco Aroldi, Milán (Italy) | Simone Carlo, Milán (Italy)

06 From Digital Divide to Psycho-digital Divide: Elders and Online Social Networks Begoña Peral, Sevilla (Spain) | Jorge Arenas, Sevilla (Spain) | Ángel Francisco Villarejo, Sevilla (Spain)

07 A Mobile Augmented Reality Assistive Technology for the Elderly Rafael Saracchini, Burgos (Spain) | Carlos Catalina, Burgos (Spain) | Luca Bordoni, Ancona (Italy)

08 EyeTracker Technology in Elderly People: How Integrated Television Content is Paid Attention to and Processed Elena Añaños, Barcelona (Spain)

09 Design Patterns to Enhance Accessibility and Use of Social Applications for Older Adults Huizilopoztli Luna, Zacateca (Mexico) | Ricardo Mendoza, Aguascalientes (Mexico) | Francisco Javier Álvarez, Aguascalientes (Mexico)

10 Using Technology to Connect Generations: Some Considerations of Form and Function Mariano Sánchez, Granada (Spain) | Matthew Kaplan, State College (United States) | Leah Bradley, Rockville (United States)

11 The framework of Media Education and Media Criticism in the Contemporary World: The opinion of International Experts Alexander Fedorov, Rostov (Russian Federation) | Anastasia Levitskaya, Taganrog (Russian Federation)

12 University Teaching with Digital Technologies Carlos Marcelo, Sevilla (Spain) | Carmen Yot, Sevilla (Spain) | Cristina Mayor, Sevilla (Spain)

13 Mexican Children and American Cartoons: Foreign References in Animation Elia Margarita Cornelio, Villahermosa (Mexico)

14 ICT Leadership in Higher Education: A Multiple Case Study in Colombia Gary Cifuentes, Bogotá (Colombia) | Ruben Vanderlinde, Gantes (Belgium)

15 Spanish Journalists and the Loss of News Quality: Professional Judgements Josep Lluis Gómez, Valencia (Spain) | Juan Francisco Gutiérrez, Málaga (Spain) | Dolors Palau, Valencia (Spain)

16 Primary Teachers’ Technological, Pedagogical and Content Knowledge Rosabel Roig, Alicante (Spain) | Santiago Mengual, Valencia (Spain) | Patricia Quinto, Indianápolis (United States)

17 ICT Use and Parental Mediation Perceived by Chilean Children Llarela Berríos, Santiago (Chile) | María Rosa Buxarrais, Barcelona (Spain) | María Soledad Garcés, Santiago (Chile)

18 Children’s Exposure to Advertising on Games Sites in Brazil and Spain Daniel Marti, Vigo (Spain) | Pâmela Saunders, Ceará (Brazil)

19 Telecommunication Industry Contributions to Child Online Protection Mónica Recalde, Pamplona (Spain) | Charo Sádaba, Pamplona (Spain) | Elena Gutiérrez, Pamplona (Spain)

20 Information Literacy Grade of Secondary School Teachers in Spain – Beliefs and Self-Perceptions Juan Francisco Álvarez, Tarragona (Spain) | Mercè Gisbert, Tarragona (Spain)

“A Digital Repository of Filmic Content as a Teaching Resource”

Tobías, M.Á., Duarte, M.C. & Kemczinski, A. (2015). A Digital Repository of Filmic Content as a Teaching Resource [Un repositorio digital de contenido fílmico como recurso didáctico]. Comunicar, 44, 63-71. (DOI: 10.3916/C44-2015-07).

Just what you were looking for? The surrounding world is itself immersed in a continuously evolving process in which the adjective dynamic defines the language as well as its teaching and learning processes. Regarding the use of video in the classroom, the development of new technologies has facilitated rapid progress since its earliest references in the first half of the 20th century. This has led to an increase in teachers’ interest and longing to share their teaching experience. There is a desire to get to know one’s counterparts, a desire which has been accelerated by innovations such as Internet 2.0. In this way, teachers multiply the rewarding feeling they get from the effort they put into preparing material. Nowadays, not only do our own pupils benefit from our work, but teachers and students globally can also reap the rewards.

In this article from the journal Comunicar, the authors present a project designed to recover informative content from videos (known by the acronym RECIF in Portuguese). Their objective is to gather videos to include in lessons, an idea that has been developing over the past few years. More information can be found on their website, available in Portuguese, Spanish and English, and presented from Paraná, Brazil ( One of the current gaps regarding the use of authentic audiovisual material is precisely the difficulty of sharing such resources; projects like RECIF mark a new era in which such difficulties are overcome..

As a result, this type of initiative provides web users with a resource that is refreshed daily, optimising time and effort and preventing teachers from having to reinvent the wheel every day.