If you’re interested in the scientific study of psychic phenomena and want to hear some of the best and brightest international researchers in the field talk about their own research, as well as have access to discussions with a wide group of participants from students to new researchers to experiencers, then this is this annual free massively open online course for you! (Scroll down for the link to enroll, and the link to the Google calendar for the course.)
Following on the extraordinary success of the first three courses in the WizIQ-based ParaMOOC series, Parapsychology and Anomalistic Psychology: Research and Education (also known as ParaMOOC2015), Parapsychology Research and Education (also known as ParaMOOC2016), and Parapsychology Research and Education (also known as ParaMOOC2017), this year’s ParaMOOC will include over a dozen guest lecturers, 1 live presentation and 3 or 4 recorded presentations from previous ParaMooc courses from the organizers, 5 discussion forums while the live classes are being given, followed by monthly discussion forums on topics of the students’ choice from March through August. Discussion forums within and after the live portion of the course is finished will be offered both in the ParaMOOC2018 virtual classroom on WizIQ and at The AZIRE Library and Learning Center in the virtual world Second Life. Also included will be at least 16 downloadable PowerPoint presentations from the current course and a host of others from previous courses that are still relevant. Finally there will also be additional materials such as YouTube tutorials, recommended videos on YouTube, previously recorded presentations from other AZIRE and PF events, as well as a recommended book and article list updated in 2018.
Anyone who has an interest in the scientific and academic side of parapsychology, psychical research, anomalistic psychology and/or consciousness is invited to attend. No prerequisites or qualifications are required for the course, just your interest in and enthusiasm for the topic. A certificate of completion will be issued by the Parapsychology Foundation to those who have attended or viewed 50% of the presentations across the duration of the course. Those who also submit a written or recorded reflection on the 10 presentations they attend or view may request a certificate of completion with distinction. Finally individuals who have completed up to 80% of the course materials including downloading readings and so on, will receive a certificate without making a request.
The ParaMOOC series is a unique introduction to international scientists and academic researchers who work on a variety of phenomena including extrasensory perception, telepathy, near-death experiences, distant mental influence on living systems (the part of the field that addresses psychic healing), clairvoyance, mediumship, survival research and more.
The only other way to have access to this kind of expertise and to these knowledgeable individuals outside of this course is to pay to attend the annual conferences of the Parapsychological Association, the Society for Psychical Research, the Society for Scientific Exploration, and the International Association for Near Death Studies, among other such organizations. The expense of such conferences and the necessity to travel make these options for further education difficult to attain. For the ParaMOOC series however, course access is free. Students only need an internet connection with audio available on their devices from PCs to mobile phones.
Thus, in this free WizIQ-based MOOC, not only will students have an opportunity to hear accomplished researchers talk about their own work for live attendees and those who listen to the recordings, but also, with only one presentation scheduled on the day, there also will be plenty of time for questions and discussions after every talk. Those who can’t join us in the live sessions will have access to the recordings of the presentations within hours of the live talk, as well as the PowerPoint presentations and additional materials. The course discussion page will be available to all attendees on a 24/7 basis.
Among those lecturers who have confirmed but have not as yet submitted biographies and abstracts are: Brenda Dunne, Dr Morris Freedman, Dr Leonard Martins, Dr Sonali Marwaha, Dr Ed May, Dr Thomas Rabeyron, Dr Penny Satori, Dr Jessica Utts, Dr David Vernon, and Dr George Williams. We’ll be posting those as soon as we get them as well as a gallery of photos of this year’s faculty as a whole. In the meantime, here is the list of speakers who have provided biographical materials and/or abstracts (more information on each of these events will appear in the descriptions of the individual live sessions):
Dr Carlos S Alvarado has a PhD in psychology from the University of Edinburgh. His work has centered on survey research (on out-of-body experiences and other psychic experiences) and the history of psychical research. Alvarado is a Research Fellow at the Parapsychology Foundation and an Adjunct Research Faculty at Sofia University. He is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Near-Death Studies and the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, and is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Scientific Exploration. Alvarado is the recipient of the 2010 Parapsychological Association’s Outstanding Contribution Award and the 2017 Outstanding Career Award. He is one of the editors of Research in Parapsychology 1993 (1998), and the author of booklets for introducing parapsychology to the general public such as Getting Started in Parapsychology (2002), Apuntes para una Introducción a la Parapsicología (1999). He has published over 300 journal articles.
Dr Julie Beischel is the co-founder and Director of Research at the Windbridge Research Center, an Arizona nonprofit corporation dedicated to performing rigorous scientific research and creating educational materials on the topics of dying, death, and what comes next. Her primary research interests include the information reported by mediums (people who report experiencing regular communication with the deceased) under controlled laboratory conditions; their unique experiences and physiological, psychological, and neurophysiological characteristics, and the socially beneficial applications of mediumship readings. Dr Beischel received her doctorate in Pharmacology and Toxicology with a minor in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Arizona in 2003. She serves on the scientific advisory boards of the Rhine Research Center and the Forever Family Foundation. She is the author of Among Mediums, Meaningful Messages, From the Mouths of Mediums, and Investigating Medium.
Dr Cal Cooper, a psychologist, author and educator, whose PhD is from the University of Northampton will be giving a presentation about bereavement and anomalous experiences. As Dr Cooper says “Bereavement is something we will all encounter in our lifetime, through the loss of a friend, family member, spouse, or perhaps even a family pet. During a time of bereavement, it is very common for people to report a “sense of presence” of the deceased, with some studies reporting 50-60% of the bereaved relating to such experiences. Reports have also been made of dreams of the dead poltergeist type activity, and apparitions. Two key questions can be asked, ‘How far do these experiences suggest survival’ and, ‘What benefits do they bring to the bereavement process?’” These questions will be considered in Dr Cooper’s presentation.
Robert McLuhan studied English Literature at Oxford, then worked as a foreign correspondent for the Guardian in Spain and Portugal. He now works as a freelance journalist. McLuhan has been a member of the Society for Psychical Research since 1993, blogging and lecturing on paranormal topics. His 2010 book Randi’s Prize is a critique of skeptical arguments against psychical research. He is currently overseeing the SPR’s new publications project financed by the Buckmaster Bequest, including the creation of the online Psi Encyclopedia.
Dr Margaret Moga is an associate professor of Anatomy & Cell Biology at Indiana University School of Medicine. Her research background is the neuroanatomy of circadian rhythms and the central autonomic nervous system. Her current research focus is developing scientific measures of “energy healing” and other bioenergetic phenomena, and studying the exceptional experiences of healers. She has observed a unique magnetic field waveform associated with energy healing, with a “charge-discharge” characteristic of Reichian orgone. As a complement to her research, she has completed training as a practitioner in Healing Touch, an energy-based biofield therapy.
Dr Alexander Moreira-Almeida is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry, founder and director of the Research Center in Spirituality and Health, School of Medicine, Federal University of Juiz de Fora in Brazil. He is also the Chair of the World Psychiatric Association Section on Religion, Spirituality and Psychiatry. Formerly a postdoctoral fellow in religion and health at Duke University. His main research interests involve mind-brain relationship, empirical studies of spiritual experiences, the impact of spirituality on health, as well as the methodology and epistemology of this research field. He has authored more than 100 scientific papers and book chapters. Professor Moreira-Almeida also coordinates TV NUPES, a YouTube channel for science education on the interface between science, health and spirituality that has reached more than 180 countries. The presentation that will be given for ParaMOOC2018 will focus on Chico Xavier, a very prolific and influential medium in Brazil whose most prominent mediumistic skill was psychography (automatic writing). After a brief introduction to Xavier’s life and mediumship, the presentation will present and discuss the main scientific studies performed with him, especially on the accuracy of letters attributed to deceased personalities and on the analysis of poems attributed to deceased poets.
Dr Dean Radin is Chief Scientist and the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) and Associated Distinguished Professor of Integral and Transpersonal Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS). He is author or coauthor of hundreds of scientific, technical, and popular articles, and of the books The Conscious Universe (HarperOne, 1997), Entangled Minds (Simon & Schuster, 2006), and Supernormal (Random House, 2013). His fourth book, Real Magic, will be released in April 2018 (Penguin Random House). His academic articles have appeared in journals ranging from Foundations of Physics and Physics Essays to Psychological Bulletin and Journal of Consciousness Studies. He has appeared on dozens of television programs worldwide and has given over 400 interviews and talks.
Students who attend or view all the lectures, take part in discussions and explore the additional materials will come away from the course with a good understanding of the various people, topics, research methodologies and findings that are at the core of scientific and academic parapsychology. They will have a better understanding of the importance of psychic phenomena, who experiences them, and what they have to say about our nature as human beings. Students will also come to know about the connections of the field of parapsychology to other more mainstream sciences in a wide group of countries and cultures. And finally, if ParaMOOC2018 is as successful as the three previous courses on WizIQ were (the three courses combined have included more than 1000 individual attendees from over 100 countries), students will also have the opportunity to meet, get to know, and share their interests and experiences with a wide group of people from all over the world.
While the course does not prepare individuals for any formal certifications or exams specifically, students can work toward a certificate of completion issued by the Parapsychology Foundation.
Although the live sessions start on January 22nd, you can enroll now at: http://the-azire.wiziq.com/course/202153-parapsychology-research-and-education-paramooc2018 . The Google calendar for the course was also set up just yesterday. Individual sessions are marked on the calendar and will be updated with links, biographies and abstracts over the coming days. Click here to access the calendar.
Enrollment will be open from now through August 31st, 2018. We hope you’ll join us for this extraordinary event. To see some of the previous presentations from the courses check the ParaMOOC playlist on the Parapsychology Foundation YouTube channel.