Globalization and glocalization have been developed in response to the increasingly interconnected and interdependent world [1
]. Globalization refers to the spread of technology, trade and democracy across the globe [2
], while glocalization refers to the global development in a specific area mixed with local culture [3
]. Glocalization connects universal and local values, so that “glocalized learning and teaching refers to the curricular consideration and pedagogical framing of local and global community connectedness in relation to social responsibility, justice and sustainability
] (p. 223). In other words, within globalization and the development of ICT, social and civic competence and sustainability acquire a relevant role in the international scope. MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are distance courses with no limit on participants, which can be accessed online, and where anyone can sign up [5
]. In addition to videos, readings and questionnaires (typical in traditional courses), MOOCs can make use of interactive user forums that help build a community for students, teachers and teaching assistants.
As per the acronym, MOOCs are Massive
, as they focus on demands of all users in a world with Internet access; Open
, as their contents are usually open, that is, they can be shared, and some of them can be modified; Online
, as they are accessed and developed through the Internet and autonomously; Course
, as they are structured by passing tests and focusing upon teaching [8
]. Regarding the MOOC platforms, in 2012, due to the high number of enrolled students, and based on the technology developed at Stanford, Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng created Coursera, a platform supported by numerous prestigious universities such as Yale, Princeton, Michigan or Penn. That same year, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard announced their joint Edx Project (created from MITx at MIT). Subsequently, other platforms such as MiriadaX have emerged. The expansion of MOOCs and the popularization of the term were reflected in the article "The Year of the MOOC" by the New York Times [11
]. In general, the international trend is to consider two basic types of MOOCs: That is, xMOOCs and cMOOCs (Yousef, Chatti, Schroeder, Wosnitza & Jakobs, 2015): The xMOOCs are behaviorism-based courses where the contents are transmitted uni-directionally, assessment is usually based on questions, tests or the delivery of work to the teacher, and dialog between members of the course is not promoted, and cMOOCs are courses based on connectivism that allow users to create virtual learning communities and collaborative projects.
Social and civic competence transcends civility (knowledge of social norms) and constitutionalism (knowledge of the institutions and democratic mechanisms established by the Magna Carta, England, 1215) [12
]. It can be learned as an independent subject, integrated in contents of curricular areas such as Social Sciences, Geography and History, or incorporating general skills that permeate all areas. Regardless of the trend adopted, the European Commission’s Eurydice report argues that “Education for citizenship is one of the main means whereby European countries help young people acquire the social and civic skills they will need in their future life”
] (p. 97), grouping the objectives in four blocks [14
]: That is, development of political culture
, proposed as the knowledge of basic facts and understanding of key concepts and, in some countries, including issues such as knowledge of political institutions, cultural heritage, human rights or citizens’ rights and duties; acquisition of critical thinking and capacity for analysis
, which in some countries includes the knowledge and analysis of information on social and political issues considered relevant; development of values, attitudes and behaviors
related to respect, tolerance and solidarity, and where content such as respect for cultural plurality or gender equality can be considered; and encouraging active participation, commitment in the school and the community,
with a practical approach to intervention and transformation of the community. On the other hand, every four years, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), receives information from Member States on the measures adopted to implement the 1974 Recommendation in the different stages of formal education, ranging from early childhood education to university. This recommendation is closely related to Goal 4 of sustainable development: “Quality Education” and, within it, to target 4.7 proposed by the United Nations in the Sustainable Development Goals [16
]: “By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights (…) and (appreciation) of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.”
The approach is based on the flexible hypothesis that there is a relationship between citizenship and sustainability, acknowledging the importance of ICT in education. In this way, after a brief theoretical review of citizenship models and the different footprints on which sustainability is based, a review of the trends in citizenship and sustainability of MOOCs during 2019 is carried out within the three main platforms (Coursera, EdX and MiriadaX). Likewise, given the complexity of both conceptualizations, and in order to achieve a deeper understanding of the relations between both categories, beyond the measures of central tendency, a factorial analysis based on the correlations between citizenship models and aspects is carried out. Sustainability keys, such as the ability of a natural area to produce resources and absorb waste from the population, greenhouse gases in the manufacture and marketing of products, fresh water consumed in the production and consumption of goods and services, and the impact of business activity on social welfare, in the local economy and in the environment.
1.1. Citizenship and Citizen Participation Models
Since the 1980s, together with the impulse of globalization, the debate on what citizenship is and how to educate for a democratic citizenship has intensified, with the participation of universities, public institutions and international organizations [17
]. Regarding the specific content blocks of this research, the theoretical framework of this research is based on a concept of citizenship that has been defined from multiple perspectives. However, we have limited this plurality to six types of citizenship [18
]: Liberal, republican, communitarian, cosmopolitan, ecological and radical. Each model implies a different vision of issues, such as rights, responsibilities, the individual, the community, internationalization, natural environment or ideological positions.
The liberal citizenship model places emphasis on civil (freedom, right to property and right to justice), political (right to participate in public power) and social (right to a full life) rights of each citizen, based on the work "Citizenship and Social Class" [21
] and results from the combination of the principles and dynamics of the three systems that make up post-industrial liberal society: Capitalism, democracy and welfare. In this sense, Marshall’s post-industrial society theory is based on capitalism-civil, democracy-politics and social-welfare ideas [22
]; implying the defense that the free market (and not civic participation) is an indispensable condition for the creation and sustenance of democracy and individual well-being that makes social welfare possible. The American political philosopher in the liberal tradition, John Rawls (1921–2002), was a significant person in a contemporary liberal approach.
His theory of justice as fairness
describes a society of free citizens holding equal basic rights and cooperating within an egalitarian economic system. His theory of political liberalism
delineates the legitimate use of political power in a democracy, and envisions how civic unity might endure, despite the diversity of worldviews that free institutions allow [23
Thus, in general terms, liberal citizenship is primarily concerned with rights, and there is no expectation that citizens will engage in civic and political participation.
Republican citizenship emphasizes the assumption of responsibilities, shifting from a passive citizenship to an active citizenship. This citizenship model considers that participation may be motivated by the individual or the common good [24
]. The liberal and republican traditions of democracy differ in citizen consideration, participation, criteria for decision-making and criteria for the construction of the common good [25
]. Thus, republican citizenship emphasizes direct participation based upon the ethics of each person, accepting duality with representative participation. Regarding communitarian citizenship, citizens build common goals based on dialog, making decisions on citizen action to meet community needs, solve socially problematic situations and reduce social gaps. According to this model, citizen status is not provided by individual purchasing power, expertise or interest group, but the experience and ideas of each individual as part of a collective [26
]. The main point is the critique of the individualistic focus of liberal thinkers, such as Rawls; moreover, there are communitarian perspectives on the left, right and center of the political spectrum.
Cosmopolitan citizenship or civic cosmopolitanism advocates a global system of universal rights and duties. According to this citizenship model, rights and responsibilities go beyond national borders [27
]. In the European case, the sovereignty of states has ceased to be absolute, and coexists with supranational decision-making institutions and with a civil society organized in networks and transnational associations; however, the community project faces deep challenges in the face of the rise of nationalisms. Ecological citizenship implies that the individual has the responsibility to exhibit behaviors that include a lifestyle which reduces ecological pressures on nature, and is related to citizens’ status, rights and participation processes related to the natural environment [29
]. Finally, Radical citizenship acknowledges the value of political advocacy, conflict and ideological positions, in addition to the potential to transform sociopolitical structures [31
]. In this citizenship model, civil disobedience is considered a symbolic process that [33
“Raises democratic demands to political actors (authorities, parliament, courts of justice) and the general public in situations where elitist projects and abuses of power predominate”.
“Creates a public space for the forming of citizen opinion and will in a process of democratic self-legislation”.
Radical citizenship is based on critical theory, and citizen action is considered inseparable from ideological positioning, and conflict is considered a democratic value. In general terms, there is no universally-accepted model of citizenship, so, in an eclectic approach, we could define citizenship as:
“A legal status that integrates the knowledge and exercise of rights and the assumption of responsibilities that materialize through active and critical participation in the different areas that make up the world today (society, economy, culture and politics); being able to transcend from the local to the global and being marked by the exercise of individual responsibilities, rights and liberties without limiting the rights of other citizens, as all citizens who assume a responsible citizenship essentially understand that equality, dialog, rejection of situations of social injustice and, ultimately, respect for human rights must be demandable in any democratic State”
The adoption of certain notions of citizenship will condition citizen education in educational environments. In this sense, continuing from the aforementioned eclectic perspective, ‘good’ citizens could be defined as citizens able “to critically analyze the interactions that occur in their environment, so that, knowing their rights and duties, they are able to act accordingly, in a competent manner and within an ethical framework (…)
] (p. 367). It should be noted that the consideration of a good citizen has a subjective basis. It is necessary to highlight research where it is concluded that teachers committed to civic education are already adopting their own concepts of citizenship, highlighting the need for a formal training plan that allows them to teach students, as citizens, to protect themselves from antidemocratic situations and against the interests of political parties [35
]. On the other hand, as there are different models of citizenship, there are also different models of citizen participation, summarized as personally responsible citizen, participatory citizen and justice-oriented citizen [36
]. The personally responsible citizen commits to their community by paying taxes and obeying the laws, etc. A participatory citizen assumes leadership positions in established systems and structures. A justice-oriented citizen questions and seeks changes in established systems and structures when they reproduce injustices over time. In general, and in relation to this, a responsible member respects all the rules, collaborates in campaigns, signs proposals, and so on. An active member organizes campaigns, collects signatures for proposals, and performs similar duties; and a critical member considers that it is not enough to act on a problem, analyzing the causes that generate it and acting on those causes.
1.2. Sustainability and Footprints
Sustainability is the achievement of the maximum by using the minimum rate of resources, and consists of multidimensional aspects from environmental, social, and economic points of view, considering the balance between the natural environment and artificial configurations, and combining climatic responsiveness with functional efficiency [37
]. Over the last few decades, habitat loss, the overexploitation of natural resources and pollution have led to catastrophic decreases in biodiversity [40
]. There are four indicators that contribute to the evaluation and improvement of the sustainability of the activities of individuals, communities and companies: Ecological footprint, carbon footprint, water footprint and social footprint. The ecological footprint is the capacity of a natural area necessary to produce resources that a population consumes, and then to absorb waste generated in the process.
In other words, the ecological footprint tells us how many natural resources we use. However, biocapacity—the ability of ecosystems to renew themselves—indicates how many natural resources we have. World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Report EU 2019 indicates that there are six subcategories for the ecological footprint calculations [41
] (Figure 1
“Forest product footprint measures the demand for forests to provide fuel, wood, pulp and timber products.”
“Carbon footprint measures carbon emissions from fossil fuel burning and cement production (…). accounts for forests’ varying rates of carbon sequestration depending on the degree of human management, the type and age of forests, emissions from forest wildfires and soil build-up and loss.”
“Cropland footprint measures the demand for land for food and fiber, feed for livestock, oil crops and rubber.”
“Grazing land footprint measures the demand for grazing land to raise livestock for meat, dairy, leather and wool products.”
“Built-up land footprint measures the demand for biologically productive areas covered by infrastructure, including roads, housing and industrial structures.”
“Fishing grounds footprint measures the demand for marine and inland water ecosystems needed to restock the harvested seafood and support aquaculture.”
Regarding these subcategories, we will pay special attention to the carbon footprint, which is related to greenhouse gases in the manufacture and marketing of products, and can be defined as a measure of the amount of greenhouse gases that are produced and measured in carbon dioxide units, causing environmental damage due to human activities [43
Whereas the ecological footprint indicates the area needed to sustain the life of people, the water footprint indicates the necessary water to sustain a population. Regarding this, water footprint was defined as the volume of water needed for the production of the goods and services consumed by the inhabitants of the country [44
]. This concept is linked to the virtual water concept, the necessary volume of water to produce a commodity or service. Water footprint includes a geographical and temporal dimension; highlighting three types: Green, blue and gray. Green water
footprint is water from precipitation, particularly relevant for agricultural, horticultural and forestry products; blue water
footprint is the use of evaporated water that has been sourced from surface or groundwater resources, incorporated into the product, returned to another basin, or returned in a period other than extraction, and it is related to irrigated agriculture, industry and domestic water use; and gray water
footprint is the amount of fresh water required to assimilate pollutants while maintaining water quality standards, including pollution through a pipe or through runoff, leaching from the soil, impervious surfaces, etc. [45
]. Finally, the social footprint quantifies the social sustainability performance of an organization, and can be defined as the impact of business activity on social welfare, on the local economy and on the environment. Ecological footprint measures a population’s use of, and impact upon, natural resources and the Social footprint deals with impacts produced by people on anthropogenic/anthro capitals (human, social and constructed capital), covering sustainability performance in its social, economic and environmental dimensions [47
Whereas natural or ecological capital is limited, and is related to living within our means, anthro capitals are human-made, and can therefore be produced as needed, creating and maintaining the means to live.