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Webinar: Online Civic Engagement and Service Learning in Hybrid Realities: Implications for the Real-World and the Metaverse

Date: Wednesday, 02 February 2022, 17:00 CET

Registration link

Organised by EDEN – European Distance and E-learning Network


Effective civic engagement relies on citizens to understand the society around them, question it, and come together to change it where necessary. As the pandemic has recently demonstrated, a large part of societal functions can take place online, and as such, so can civic engagement!

Consequently, educators are faced with the task of supporting students learn how to exercise their civic responsibilities online, and which tools and resources are available for this purpose. Arguably, as people move further away from the real world, they are less sensitive to the problems that arise there. Since even our future social interactions are starting to be defined in terms of such “metaverses”, it is vital that an equilibrium be achieved between online and real-world contexts and responsibilities. What role should educators have in this process?

A possible way to maintain this equilibrium for future generations, and meld the online and real-world, may come from insights gained from service learning. It offers a way to facilitate student experience and understanding of key social issues in their community by using gradual placements in real environments. Therefore, the more students move online, the more they will be grounded in the real-world.

In this webinar, different aspects of these issues will be discussed and some reflections provided on how students can be prepared to act as responsible citizens in future hybrid realities. As part of this narrative, results of different initiatives and research projects will be presented.

Type of session: presentations with discussion


Timothy Read
EDEN Vice-president for Open Professional Collaboration,
Senior Lecturer, Department of Computer Languages and Systems, UNED, Spain


  • Cristina Stefanelli, Project Manager, UNIMED – Mediterranean Universities Union, Italy
  • Ana Skledar Matijević, Higher Education Project Manager, Institute for the Development of Education, Croatia
  • Berta Paz Lourido, Associate Professor of Physiotherapy, University of the Balearic Islands (UIB).
  • Alvaro Ribeiro, European Observatory of Service-Learning in Higher Education (EOSHLE) researcher, EASHLE- ApS(U)
  • Marcelle Reneman, Assistant professor of migration law at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam