The Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), “Digital investigations for journalists: How to follow the digital trail of people and entities,” is in its second week and has attracted more than 5,400 students from more than 152 countries.
News students are welcome and will still have plenty of time to catch up with the rest of this global class. Find the syllabus and more details on how to register here!
The four-week course, which started on Oct. 5 and ends Nov. 1, teaches how to carry out digital monitoring, research and investigation. Modules look at investigating social media accounts and website records, verifying images and videos and carrying out network analysis.
Instructors include Craig Silverman, BuzzFeed News media editor; Brandy Zadrozny, NBC News; Jane Lytvynenko, BuzzFeed News; and Johanna Hall, Bellingcat.
“I have been impressed by how motivated and diligent the students are so far,” Silverman said. “We have more than 5,000 people from around the world, and they all seem to be taking the material seriously and coming up with great insights and feedback. Some of them even identified a correction we need to make. So clearly they’re paying close attention!”
“I was blown away by the students in this course. I thought I would be strictly ‘teaching,’ but the thoughtful discussions in our forums and Facebook group really taught me so much—especially about the art and ethics of journalism across cultures and the application of tools and techniques for digital investigations,” Zadrozny said.
Check out this interactive map that shows the number of students per country, with the United States leading with 1,599 participants, followed by United Kingdom with 344, Canada with 319 and Brazil with 256.
Ruth Bushi, a freelance journalist and writer based in the United Kingdom, signed up for the course to complement her research and story finding skills.
“I think it was a good choice for my goal and general interests – so far I’ve found it to be relevant (and fascinating),” Bushi said. “It covers the kinds of practical baseline skills that are good to learn or refresh at any time – from verifying sources to finding and evaluating stories.”
“I guess it’s easy to assume you know the challenges and dangers of online content and disinformation, because we all spend so much time online. But even just two weeks into the course I’ve picked up a bundle of new tools and ideas,” she added. “I particularly enjoy the collaborative style of learning, where we’re all encouraged to up-skill to benefit ourselves, our communities and industries.”
In addition to video classes, PowerPoint presentations, readings and quizzes, students participate in discussion forums on the Knight Center’s online learning platform and interact via a Facebook group. In addition to sharing how they’re applying lessons to their own work, they troubleshoot problems and story ideas.
Although the course has started, there’s still time to register and catch up at JournalismCourses.org. Sign up today!