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UNICORN - UNIversity COmmunity leaRNing

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About This Course

This MOOC has been developed in the framework of the UNICORN project – UNIversity-COmmunity-LeaRNing – a EU project funded under the Erasmus+ programme 2014-2020. It is meant for students who will combine a study period abroad with an experience of “Service-Learning” abroad; week by week the students will acquire a set of competences that will be useful to make the most of their experience abroad and in the community.

The MOOC will endow students with some conceptual understanding which is crucial to make sense of their first-hand experience of studying abroad and Service-Learning. It will support the student’s learning process and contribute to make it effective for their personal and professional development.

Specifically, this MOOC will help students develop civic and democratic competences such as critical reflection, teamwork, civic mindedness, openness to other cultures, respect for cultures and human rights.

These competences are becoming more important to become an active and global citizen and a competent professional in today's complex and diverse societies.

Week 1 is an introduction to what civic, democratic and intercultural competences are and why they are so important in nowadays global society.
Week 2 is an introduction to the Service-Learning approach and its application in intercultural contexts.
Week 3 is about the implications of engaging in the community at local and international levels; it will give an overview of different types of community organizations.
Week 4 will argue that power dynamics have to be always taken into consideration when working/serving in the community and in all intercultural relations.
Finally, week 5 will show how critical reflection is crucial both in Service-Learning and in intercultural learning.




No prerequisite knowledge is required.

Quizzes and scores

The course includes quizzes that will be evaluated and each correct answer is counted as 1 point.

The course is considered successfully completed if the participant answers correctly at least 60% of the questions in total.

After successfully completing the course you can download and print out the Certificate of Accomplishment.

Certificate of Accomplishment

The Certificate of Accomplishment will be released to anyone who successfully completed the course by answering correctly to at least 60% of the questions.

You will be able to download the Certificate of Accomplishment directly on "Progress" tab inside the course.

The Certificate of Accomplishment does not confer any academic credit, grade or degree.


For better understanding, subtitles are available for each video and can be activated or not. If you want to revise some crucial passages you can move through the video content and click on the attached text.

Additional materials

To deepen the topics discussed in the MOOC, there are the Additional Material and Isights sections where you will find bibliography and other helpful documents.


For further information, see FAQ page.

Course Staff

Cinzia Albanesi

Cinzia Albanesi

Cinzia Albanesi is full professor of Community Psychology at the Department of Psychology "Renzo Canestrari" of the University of Bologna. She is board member of EASLHE (European Association of Service Learning in Higher Education). She is involved in different Erasmus+ projects on SL (Rural3.0, UNICORN) and obtained grants to promote SL across EUROPE (UNAeuropa seed fund, Erasmus Blended Intensive Program). Besides SL, her research interests focus on community development, community partnership and participatory processes, school and community based intervention to promote well- being and social justice.

Olivia Balagna

Olivia Balagna

Olivia Balagna collaborates with the University of Bologna on the UNICORN project. She has a master’s degree in international business management and, since 2016, she has been working as project manager of several European projects for the University of Trento and The Autonomous Province of Trento. Being an ex-Erasmus student and a French citizen living in Italy, Olivia is strongly committed to interculturality in mobility contexts.

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Claudia Borghetti

Claudia Borghetti is Research Fellow at the University of Bologna, where she teaches Language Learning and Teaching. She researches on intercultural language education, student mobility and plurilingualism. Between 2012 and 2015, Claudia was the project manager of the European project IEREST (Intercultural Education Resources for Erasmus Students and their Teachers). She participates in other projects focusing on interculturality, plurilingualism and internationalisation (e.g., RICH-ED, ATIAH, TICKET, GCMC).

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Antonella Guarino

Antonella Guarino is a Post-doc Research Fellow at the University of Bologna, Department of Psychology. Her research interests include the promotion of active citizenship in young people through Service Learning and the analysis of barriers and opportunities for social justice engagement. She teaches in Community Psychology laboratory with Service Learning methodology. She is a member of European projects on Service Learning such as RuralSL and UNICORN.

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Alessia Marchi

Alessia Marchi has been working at the International Relations Office of the University of Bologna since 2007. She has been involved in the design and management of many Education and Training EU-funded projects – under Erasmus LLP first, then under the Erasmus+ programme. Over the years she has developed an interest for the topics of Internationalisation of Higher Education for Society, community engagement, global competences for democratic culture, service-learning and intercultural competence. She is the project manager of the UNICORN project, coordinated by the EU Project Unit of the UNIBO International Relations Office.