As a new American president takes office, a massive open online learning course at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice aims to empower citizens to set priorities of their own for the new administration.
“Ultimately, you have to decide for yourself what issues are most important to you. That’s part of what democracy is,” said John L. Jackson Jr., the dean of the School who recently released a special video message.
Offered on edX, the new self-paced, free online course, “Top 10 Social Issues for the President’s First 100 Days,” began Jan. 20, Inauguration Day, and will run for 100 days through May 1. Registration for the course is still open.
Participants are expected to complete a series of assignments, create their own learning plans, examine readings and materials that will be continually updated and engage with peers in discussion, all remotely.
Online learners will gain access to research from the School of Social Policy & Practice’s faculty and will be challenged to think about how the nation should envision communities and prioritize the issues that directly impact them.
The course is based on the “SP2 Penn Top 10,” a nonpartisan, multimodal initiative in which experts from the School analyze and address social-justice issues facing the country. Each “Top 10” issue is tied to essays, educational animations, author interviews, author biographies, abridged essays and more.
The initiative analyzes and addresses homelessness, interventions for youth, gun policy, food deserts, youth aging out of foster care, measuring poverty and well being, transforming “work,” mass incarceration, mandated mental-health treatment and child poverty and maltreatment.
The topics have been explored through a website, public forums, a social-journalism fellowship and Social Policy and Social Justice, a new book edited by Jackson and published by Penn Press.
Enrollment for the new online course, “Top 10 Social Issues for the President’s First 100 Days” is available at https://www.edx.org/course/top-10-social-issues-presidents-first-pennx-t...!