Hi MOOC Students!

I hope you are enjoying the beginning of our spring 2016 course (Deciphering Secrets: Unlocking the Manuscripts of Medieval Spain) and that it meets your expectations. First, I wanted to thank each and every one of you for enrolling in the course and joining us in this journey of discovery! When I first developed the course during summer 2014, we were exploring the possibility of creating a “Global Citizen Scholar” model of collaboration of students and professors. We had some success! The first class who completed the course transcribed almost all of Book 1 of the Actas Capitulares (the book you will be working with at the end of the course) in just three weeks! Wow! We missed a few sections and that is why we chose to run the course again — “as is” and with all of its flaws — to collect another round of transcriptions. SO, YOUR EFFORTS ARE REALLY IMPORTANT! Thank you!

What is exciting is that we have caught the attention of academic researchers in Spain, France, the UK, Switzerland, and the United States. Why? Because it is atypical for scholars to work so closely with the public on new research. Personally and professionally, I believe we need more collaboration! We need scholarship to be a collective, egalitarian, and democratic venture! It shouldn’t be the privilege of a few scholars to conduct research — everyone should enjoy the right to participate in discovery. In this manner — all 6,000 of our current students plus the former 10,000 — are making me so proud! Thank you.

So what better way to communicate the value of citizen scholarship to academics than to invite you to a presentation this coming Monday, February 1st! At 12:00 pm at the Spanish Government’s Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas in Madrid (Calle Albasanz 26-28, Seminar Room Juan Cabre), I will present a lecture titled, “Global Citizen Scholars: Crowdsourcing Discovery and Manuscript Transcription Via Massive Open Online Courses.” See the attached PDF flyer. I think it would be quite fun — and powerful — for my colleagues to see some of our students at the lecture and for them to appreciate the positive efforts we are making.

Warm regards from Madrid,

Dr. Roger L. Martinez-Davila

p.s. If you have any difficulty entering CSIC, please let the staff know that you were personally invited by Professor Martinez-Davila who is giving the lecture.

Martinez-CSIC Presentation Flyer – 1 Feb 2016