UPEI partners to present Engagement in a Time of Polarization, Feb. 12–26

Short pop-up MOOC will explore how online interaction has become so toxic and what we, as citizens, can do about it
Wednesday, January 24, 2018

UPEI and Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina are working together to present a free Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) about our increasingly toxic online interactions. Engagement in a Time of Polarization will examine how our communications environment became so toxic and will explore what individuals and citizens can do to stop the trend. The course is free and runs February 12 through 26 through EdX. All are welcome.

The course is led by Dr. Bonnie Stewart, program design lead and designer for experiential education and work-integrated learning at UPEI, and Dr. Natalie Delia Deckard, assistant professor of sociology at Davidson College.

This brief pop-up MOOC explores what our current information ecosystem means for societal institutions: education, government, and media. Facilitators will open live conversations with leading voices in disinformation and media literacies, and will lead participants through models of participatory engagement that can help minimize polarization and manipulation.


Over two weeks, the MOOC will convene a conversation on building understanding and relationships, even within the very real limits of contemporary social media. Participants can engage on their own time, in real time, and are welcome to complete as much or as little of the course as they wish. University classes from California, Pennsylvania, and Egypt have already signed on to embed some of the MOOC into their coursework, and the UPEI community is invited to engage as well.

For more information, or to register, visit the EdX page for the course.

The University of Prince Edward Island prides itself on people, excellence, and impact and is committed to assisting students reach their full potential in both the classroom and community. With roots stemming from two founding institutions—Prince of Wales College and Saint Dunstan’s University—UPEI has a reputation for academic excellence, research innovation, and creating positive impacts locally, nationally, and internationally. UPEI is the only degree granting institution in the province and is proud to be a key contributor to the growth and prosperity of Prince Edward Island.

Dave Atkinson
Research Communications Officer
Marketing and Communication
(902) 620-5117
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