Alice Mouton itw
  • Research

Interview with Alice Mouton, co-organizer of the MOOC “To the Discovery of Hittite Civilization”

Go behind the scenes of the conception of the MOOC "To the Discovery of Hittite Civilization" with Alice Mouton, co-organizer and scientific contributor of this MOOC.

French version.

Hittite Anatolia is known as the civilization of a thousand gods, with two different writing systems and numerous languages. This MOOC will gradually lift the veil on these riches, still unknown to the general public.

You've just completed the design of an original MOOC dedicated to Hittite civilization, a civilization of Turkey in the 2nd millennium B.C. How did you get involved in this adventure?

"I've been teaching Hittite language and script since 2004, both at the Institut Catholique de Paris and at the Faculté des Lettres de Sorbonne Université. I noticed that my students knew neither this civilization nor its written testimonies. Archaeological monuments and Hittite artifacts (ceramics, metallurgy, glyptic, etc.) were unknown to them. It was therefore important to find a teaching aid dedicated to Hittite culture that would supplement my language courses. What's more, I wanted to broaden the audience by making all this knowledge available to the public in the digital, online format of the MOOC. Many French speakers who want to discover Hittitology can't travel to Paris to attend a face-to-face course."

What was your role?

"I launched the initiative for this MOOC in collaboration with Isabelle Prieto, Communications Officer at the CNRS Orient et Méditerranée Laboratory, who accepted the challenge with me. In particular, she was in charge of filming, editing and visual illustration of the MOOC videos. As for me, I wrote some of the course texts and invited foreign colleagues to contribute in their own fields of expertise: economic history, linguistics, archaeology, in particular. I also invited my doctoral students, past and present, to contribute. The pedagogical team at Sorbonne University's Faculty of Letters supported us throughout the entire MOOC creation process: from conception to the development of exercises associated with each video, right through to the online publication on the edX platform. Their support is invaluable at every stage."

Who is this interactive Mooc for?

"This Mooc is aimed at all students and keen listeners. All of them are welcome to discover Hittite civilization! A forum will be set up each week to animate discussions and answer learners' questions. It will be moderated by my former student Francesco Giannone. We're also planning occasional meetings with learners, but the modalities of these are yet to be precisely defined."

What do you take away from this experience?

"Creating a Mooc is an enriching adventure that has taught me how to produce quality scientific content in a very short format. The Mooc's digital format also led us to devote a lot of space to visuals. We carefully selected or created numerous illustrations adapted to each of our sessions. Visuals clarify our discourse and make it more concrete. Designing this Mooc gave me the opportunity to reflect on how to meet the pedagogical objectives I had set myself, namely the dissemination of clear and attractive knowledge about Hittite civilization. Hittite Anatolia is known as the civilization of a thousand gods, with two different writing systems and numerous languages. This Mooc will gradually lift the veil on these riches, still unknown to the general public."

Orient and Mediterranean Laboratory

The Orient and Mediterranean Laboratory is a joint research unit in historical, philological and religious sciences, bringing together the CNRS, Sorbonne University's Faculty of Letters, Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University, the École Pratique des Hautes Études and the Collège de France.

This unit brings together six teams :

  • Semitic Worlds
  • Classical and Late Antiquity
  • Greek medicine and technical literature
  • Byzantine world
  • Medieval Islam
  • Pharaonic worlds

Research focuses on the Near East and the Mediterranean world in all disciplines of the humanities in the ancient and medieval periods.

Laboratory website