A Department of Homeland Security Emeritus Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

START approved to launch new MOOC focused on CVE


START approved to launch new MOOC focused on CVE

June 22, 2016Beth Schwartz

The University of Maryland recently selected START, through a competitive application process, to develop a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on the subject of Countering Violent Extremism (CVE), scheduled for release in early 2017. The CVE MOOC will build on the success of START’s current MOOC, Understanding Terrorism and the Terrorist Threat, which has enrolled nearly 50,000 participants from over 200 countries in its three year history.

The CVE MOOC will consist of six modules: exploring violent extremism, defining CVE, engagement and prevention programming, intervention programming, reintegration and rehabilitation programming, and CVE roles and responsibilities. Students will complete quizzes on course content, use START’s Terrorism and Extremism Violence in the United States (TEVUS) portal to prepare data for a community awareness briefing, and participate in a simulation examining youth recruitment in a fictional country.

“In recent years, CVE has emerged as an important and relevant topic in the field of global security,” said Apitchaya Pimpawathin, START’s education program manager. “The development of a CVE MOOC is an exciting opportunity for START to bring its research on the topic to a broad audience.”

The new MOOC, which will be offered through Coursera free of charge, will feature video lectures from START education director Dr. Katherine Izsak, executive director William Braniff and senior CVE researcher Peter Weinberger. The course will appeal to students interested in terrorism, community resilience, security, policy and/or civil rights issues. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Differentiate between two ways of addressing violent extremism – counterterrorism (CT) and countering violent extremism (CVE);
  • Define CVE based on principles discussed in U.S. government documents, United Nations documents, Global Terrorism Forum documents, and leading international policy and scholarship;
  • Explain the CVE spectrum of non-violent approaches to countering terror, including prevention, intervention, and rehabilitation/reintegration programs;
  • Make sound analytical judgments about CVE programs and their potential.

START’s current MOOC, Understanding Terrorism and the Terrorist Threat, is now being offered on a year-round basis via Coursera. To register for the next session, beginning August 1, click here.