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Faculty of Information and Communication Sciences

Foto: UOC


Quadrivia: the first trivia game for university students

The UOC has created a pioneering app in education so that university students can learn by playing. It is called Quadrivia and it is similar to the well-known Trivial Pursuit. Players have to answer multiple-choice questions with four possible answers, of which only one is correct. Open to the whole of the university community and to anyone with a higher education profile seeking to try out their knowledge, the initiative reinforces the commitment made by the UOC to provide students with different learning resources.

Photo: Manfred Antranias Zimmer / Pixabay.com


Open Evidence, European expert in active ageing

Under the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP - AHA), the EU has approved a number of research and innovation projects in which Open Evidence, the first Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) spin-off, is participating. As Francisco Lupiáñez, one of the Open Evidence managers and UOC professor of Information and Communication Sciences, says, the EU is committed to investing in active ageing, “as it is one of the challenges currently facing Europe”. Open Evidence has received over half a million euros in EU funding for projects in this field.

Photo: Flickr / genesys34 (CC)


The UOC starts up its international virtual mobility programme with seven hundred Colombian students

The UOC is collaborating with Colombian university Uniminuto in an international mobility programme. Thanks to these joint efforts, 706 students from the Latin American country will be studying and learning at our University this semester. This is the highest number of students in an international exchange to be managed by the UOC to date, and is the first mobility programme to stem from an inter-university agreement.

Photo: Flickr: dr_zoidberg /(CC)


The thousand faces of the selfie on Instagram

The selfie is one of the great stars of Instagram and the most modern interpretation of the portrait. Far from being just a fad, it has become almost a photographic genre in its own right. Since the legendary selfie of Ellen DeGeneres at the 2014 Oscar ceremony, the selfie concept has matured and gained popularity. Until that moment, Google searches for the term "selfie" were almost non-existent. Now, the selfie has firmly established itself and left in its wake a vast legacy of self-portraits. The UOC research Selfiestories and personal data looks at the use of Instagram as an authentic content creation tool, and the selfie as a medium for conveying personal narrative.

Foto: Flickr / PAN Photo (CC)


Why is the separation of Jolie and Pitt world news?

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt – a film star couple who need no introduction – have decided to go their separate ways. This has led to a great deal of noise from media outlets worldwide, and not only from the gossip columns. They have been in the headlines of broadsheets, the main topic on radio and television talk shows, a conversation topic on the street, and on it goes. There are a number of memes doing the rounds on social media, many featuring Jennifer Aniston – who Pitt left for Jolie – rejoicing in the news. Why is it that a matter that is apparently so banal and personal can capture such a huge amount of international media attention? UOC professors Ferran Lalueza, an expert in communication, and Francesc Núñez, an expert in the sociology of emotions, have analysed this phenomenon.

Photo: Flickr / Tina H (CC)


The UOC's first 3-year bachelor's degree starts on 21 September

The UOC starts the new 2016-17 academic year with its first 3-year bachelor's degree, Digital Design and Creation, which can be completed with a 2-year master's degree. It is one of four bachelor’s degrees with this format that four Catalan universities will offer for the first time. With this new degree, the UOC proposes to train designers capable of developing creative solutions for social, cultural and corporate demands, applying an engaged, sustainable, forward-looking approach. The degree course, which is official, will start on 21 September and will have 180 ECTS credits.

Photo: Flickr: Aileen Olmedo /(CC)


Covert advertising by bloggers is an offence

Advertising or opinion? This is the question many users ask themselves when looking through the profiles of bloggers, Instagrammers, YouTubers, tweeters and celebrities. Do they wear that brand of sunglasses, wear that jacket, drive that car, drink that soft drink or use that travel agency because it is their personal choice or is it in fact covert advertising? The United Kingdom and the United States have passed a law prohibiting influencers, people with a strong presence and reputation on social networks, from promoting products without telling the public that they are in fact advertising.

Flickr: Maurizio Pesce / (CC)


"No parents" acts as an incentive for young people to opt for Snapchat

A sex video recorded in a high school in Florida was distributed through Snapchat, Kim Kardashian posted a "snap" of her pregnancy test and a number of the US presidential candidates have been using this application as a campaign tool. Not the first or last case of an action beginning and ending on Snapchat. Ten billion videos are viewed on this application every single day. Snapchat is now the preferred social media network among teenagers over and above Facebook or Instagram, while it still represents the great unknown for the majority of adults. The reasons: "It is hard to access, not very user-friendly, is quite different in terms of the way it functions and adults find it confusing", explains Mireia Montaña, professor of Communication at the UOC. That means that, as the expert points out, with Snapchat "parents have a harder time keeping track of what their children are doing", while, for the children, "the lack of parental presence on the application acts as an additional incentive for using it".

Foto: Flickr / fdecomite (CC)


UOC participates in launch of a big data network for open research

The UOC, together with five other universities, and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) have created Maredata, a Spanish network of open research data that will strengthen partnerships between researchers and serve sectors and disciplines interested in studying scientific data. On behalf of the UOC, Agustí Canals and Alexandre López-Borrull, professors at the Faculty of Information and Communication Sciences, are responsible for having developed this network.

Photo: Flickr Sasha Diamanti/(CC)


Digital visitor or digital resident, how do you browse?

If you use Internet to achieve a goal or answer a question, you browse functionally, you don't leave comments or opinions and you're worried about your privacy, then you're a digital visitor. But if you live, interact, open and display your social life on the Web, you're a digital resident. "One could think that it is an age or generational thing, but it's not like that. Sometimes, we are residents, other times we are visitors or both at once or more one than the other", say Agustí Canals and Eva Ortoll, professors of Information and Communication Sciences at the UOC and researchers for the "Digital  visitors and residents" study.