We received this note about a new MOOC for teachers, social workers, and students from Julie Carton of Ghent University in Belgium. The course is also for those interested in psychology or counterterrorism and, of course, media literacy. Please let us know if you take the course and what you learn!
By Julie Carton

As researcher at Ghent University and partner in the EU-funded counter-radicalization project PRECOBIAS, I would love to share with your network two free resources that have been developed in the framework of this project: an online course and a toolkit for teachers.

  1. Free online course: the role of cognitive biases in the radicalization process

This course takes a cognitive approach to radicalization and aims to reveal the mental processes that are activated when young vulnerable people are confronted with extremist online content. During a 12-hour program, which they can start at any moment and follow at their own pace, participants are introduced to key theories surrounding radicalization and violent extremism, and gain insights into the principles of information processing and automatic thinking. The course then explores how extremist online content can fuel radicalization processes by triggering cognitive biases, and how helping young vulnerable people develop a critical and resilient attitude can play an important role in radicalization prevention.
This free online course can be very valuable for teachers, social workers, students, and anyone with an interest in topics like media literacy, psychology, or counter-terrorism. The course is available in 7 languages (English, French, German, Italian, Hungarian, Polish and Slovenian) and can be accessed via the link below. Upon completing the course, participants receive a Certificate of Achievement issued by Ghent University and the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich.

  1. Free teacher toolkit: making students more resilient to online extremist content

This toolkit was developed for teachers who work with 15 to 18 year old students and who want to help their students develop critical thinking skills. The toolkit comprises 11 units – an introductory unit about automatic thinking and cognitive biases and 10 units focused on ten selected biases. Each unit offers a lesson plan with a set of activities, and with printable worksheets based on real-life examples from advertising, (social) media, political and social spheres and content developed by extremists. The toolkit is available in English, German and French, and will soon appear in Italian, Hungarian, Polish and Slovenian.


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