Dive into GCI's Massive Open Online Courses
If we're to meet the long-term goal of living in a world that is prosperous and sustainable, one of the greatest challenges we face is overcoming the ignorance and indifference people may have about global change issues. The Global Change Institute believes education plays a critical role in overcoming the many misunderstandings around climate change science.
To this end, GCI collaborates with the Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation’s 'UQx' – a group within The University of Queensland dedicated to producing free, public, online courses or ‘MOOCs’ (Massive Open Online Courses). UQ was one of the first Australian universities to partner with the MOOC platform edx.org in 2013. Since then UQx has produced more than 20 MOOCs and enrolled more than one million learners from 180 countries.
MOOCs present a remarkable opportunity for students to access university-level education, straight from researchers and professionals, in a self-paced fashion. Our courses are designed to be accessible to everyone but present many opportunities for curious learners to delve deeper into the topics presented, with optional discussion boards, activities, bonus videos, and external resources.
The GCI has collaborated with UQx on three MOOCs which are relevant to our research priorities of global environmental change.
- Tropic101x: Tropical Coastal Ecosystems
- Denial101x: Making Sense of climate science denial
- Carbon101x: Essential tools for the low-carbon economy
If you should need assistance in choosing the appropriate free online course, please contact GCI's Massive Open Online Courses Coordinator Tanya Dodgen.
This MOOC gives an introduction to the biology and ecology of coral reefs, mangroves, and sea grasses (largely filmed on the Great Barrier Reef) before delving into the management of local and global pressures on tropical coastal environments. The course concludes with lessons in basic research methodology and an interactive project where students explore different ecological survey designs. Built into this final project is an opportunity to participate in a citizen science project. More info here.
In public discussions, climate change is a highly controversial topic. However, in the scientific community, there is little controversy with 97% of climate scientists concluding humans are causing global warming. Denial101x explains the knowledge gap between the public and scientists, presents the psychological and social drivers of the rejection of the scientific consensus, demonstrates how climate denial influences public perceptions and attitudes towards climate change. Course bonus materials include more than 50 exclusive interviews with experts – such as the first person to ever survey tropical glaciers, science historian Naomi Oreskes, and Sir David Attenborough. More info here.
This MOOC gives an overview of global climate change policies and teaches the essential skills individuals need to help organisations stay financially competitive in a low-carbon economy. What are the risks and opportunities associated with climate policies, such as carbon taxes and emissions trading schemes? What policies exist globally, and how are they affecting business? What tools are used by energy managers to help track and reduce their company’s carbon emissions? Carbon101x answers these questions through business case-studies, short tutorials, and a series of practical activities. More info here.