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Get Smart, Get Involved: A MOOC By The UK Parliament

A MOOC taught by parliament members in which you can learn how parliament works, and how you, as a citizen, can get involved.

How does the parliament work? What are its roles and functions? What does a citizen have to do with their country’s parliament? How do you decide on your representative? Most countries now have a parliamentary system of governance, but many people are still not aware of how the system works, due to a lack of reliable sources. To become a responsible citizen, it is very important to be aware of this system.

The UK’s Houses of Parliament have teamed up with FutureLearn, the social learning platform, to bring the former’s first ever course: “Introduction to the UK Parliament: people, processes and public participation.” Why is this so exciting, and what makes the experience in this MOOC all the greater? The UK parliament members themselves will be teaching this course!

The_House_of_Commons,_1833_by_Sir_George_Hayter
The House of Commons, 1833 by George Hayter [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

The UK parliament is based on the Westminster model of parliament and has been described as the “Mother of Parliaments.” Parliament publicly holds the government accountable for its actions, and it scrutinizes the government’s decisions to try to ensure it is transparent, efficient, and fair with the public. Parliament’s job is basically to look closely at the government’s plans and to monitor the way it is running things.

The course will cover the following areas:

  • the difference between “parliament” and “government”;
  • the role of each and the changing nature of parliamentary debates, including new digital debates;
  • the steps and processes involved in making and changing legislation;
  • the role of committees; and
  • how citizens can engage with parliament.

This course will begin on November 14, 2016. Mark your calendar! You can sign up for it here.

If you are interested in politics and how governments work, there are a number of relevant MOOCs listed on our Political Science subject page. Two of the courses that are well reviewed by Class Central users are Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Comparing Theory and Practice (by Leiden University) and Moral Foundations of Politics (by Yale University).

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