Wednesday, December 10, 2014

UIS to launch a free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) exploring the Innocence Movement

The University of Illinois Springfield will launch a new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on the Innocence Movement on February 2, 2015. The free online class is open to anyone who wants to participate. Online registration for the class is currently underway.

The six-week course will be led by Gwen Jordan, J.D, Ph.D., UIS assistant professor of legal studies and staff attorney for the Illinois Innocence Project. The course is designed to introduce and educate interested members of the public about the serious issues of wrongful conviction, the work of the innocence movement, and strategies to prevent wrongful convictions in the future.

The MOOC will explore the scope of the problem, the causes of wrongful convictions, the nature and difficulties of post-conviction innocence work and policy initiatives to address these issues.

The Innocence Movement began in 1992 when Barry Scheck and Peter Neufeld established the Innocence Project at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University with an aim to assist prisoners who could be proven innocent through DNA testing. Over the last two decades, lawyers and activists have established more than 70 innocence projects across the United States and more than a dozen additional projects around the world.

MOOCs are free online courses. Typically, students will read materials, view video lectures and interviews, participate in discussion, and complete assignments. Students worldwide can take part according to their own schedule and skip sections that are not of interest. After the MOOC has ended, the material remains available as a learning resource for teachers, students, and the general public. Currently no academic or continuing education credit is awarded for MOOCs offered at UIS, though students who complete the course may earn a digital badge. Digital badges are a credentialing tool to validate both formal and informal learning.

Those interested in registering for this free online class can do so by visiting https://uis.coursesites.com/. Anyone can register for the class. You do not have to be a UIS student.

For more information on the Massive Open Online Course, contact Gwen Jordan at gjorda2@uis.edu.

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