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Welcome to our blog, ‘A learning approach to online learning on hate crime, hate speech and bias’

Why are we starting a blog?

Online learning on hate crime, hate speech and bias is a relatively new, yet fast developing, area of international capacity-building and training. Interest in online learning has only accelerated since the Covid-19 pandemic suspended in-person activities, almost overnight. Facing Facts has been developing and delivering online learning to those in the field who are directly responsible for understanding and responding to hate crime and hate speech since 2015. We have learned a lot since then, and saw an opportunity to reflect on and share our learning with you through a regular blog.

How did Facing Facts Online come about?

In 2015 Google agreed to support us to develop our first course on recognising and recording hate crime. By that point, Facing Facts had been delivering in-person training on identifying, recording and responding to hate crime since 2011, so we could immediately see the potential of online learning. As a European-based training organisation, being able to reach our partners in multiple countries and languages was genuinely exciting. We ran our first course in September 2016 and the response was really positive. In 2017 we launched our first courses on monitoring and responding to hate speech and we haven’t stopped since! You can learn more about the courses we deliver here.

Where do we see online learning on hate crime and hate speech going in the next five years?

Well, we have all learned that predictions are futile these days! But we do know that, like it or not, online learning is here to stay. Luckily, we think that is a good thing because our fellow learners repeatedly highlight the same advantages of online learning. For example, being able to work through readings, films and quizzes in their own time really suits busy work schedules. Discussion forums provide a chance to engage with peers on core learnning such as the international normative framework on hate crime recording and reporting, and to explore national considerations and priorities. Real time tutorials strengthen connections with peers and tutors and allow a more dynamic discussion.

Of course, with every advantage comes a challenge. For example, how to really explore the more sensitive aspects of identifying, recording and investigating hate crime? What works to build the confidence and motivation of learners who are more used to police training academies than online spaces? How can you meaningfully bring the victim experience onto an online platform? These are some of the issues that we will be exploring in our blog and we hope that you join us in the conversation!

Stay tuned for our next blog – going live on Tuesday 23 February – where we will reflect on lessons learned from developing and delivering two programmes on hate crime recording and monitoring during the first six months of the pandemic.

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