The Implementation of MOOCs on Climate Change Report
Mass Online Open Courses (MOOCs) present a vital opportunity for universities to offer on essential challenges and development areas. UMUC delegated the mandate of assessing the feasibility of venturing into MOOCs to a taskforce. The following report represents the proposal of the Taskforce on the Implementation of MOOCs on Climate Change.
Introductory remarks and background information establish the origin of the project to implement climate change MOOCs at UMUC. The relevance of the discipline of climate change develops through distinct sections in the proposal, detailing on practical climate change interventions.
A highlight of the modules intended for the provision in the courses builds on the relevance and practicality of the proposed MOOCs. To achieve an informative conclusion, the report adopts the cost-benefits approach to present the case of adoption for the proposed model. The inclusion of distinct recommendations emphasizes the need for an urgent implementation of the project.
Mass Open Online Courses (MOOCs) provide a rare opportunity for the global community to contribute to academic development, with an aim of tackling common global challenges. The relevance of the expanded scope of the classroom originates from the ability to tackle the challenges brought about by globalization.
As a global village, solutions emerge from handling challenges with a unified global perspective in order to capture varied needs of every global community. International barriers to interaction, notably information and communication continue to decline thanks to technological advancements.
In proportion to standardized practices across the global community, sharing of information proves as an unavoidable action. Among the most remarkable contributions in devising innovative ways to support global challenges, education ranks top on the list. Despite the differences in sociocultural and political characteristics, the global community finds education as a vital unification factor.
Seemingly, a global perspective to bring many students to academic cooperation offers an invaluable opportunity to tackle pressing global issues. The spread of industrialization as a component of globalization avails a number of challenges that require a broader concept of academic contribution.
Among the current chronic industrialization challenges facing the world, climate change poses astronomical risks to both life and property. In adopting the proposed MOOCs, UMUC provides learners with a platform to contribute solutions suitable at various levels of intervention.
MOOCs avail an ingenious channel for dissemination of information across the world, making gains in supporting the global culture. This proposal tackles the suitability of MOOCs to UMUC as relevant elements of change in tackling climate change. In this proposal, the adopted scope considers the introduction of interventions at both industrial and household levels.
MOOCs continue to provide elite international universities with an opportunity to on vital disciplines affecting development. UMUC intends to join the league of elite institutions of higher learning with the introduction of suitable and relevant courses in line with its mission. As a leading distance learning University, UMUC aims at providing courses that cement its global status.
Following recommendations of the Taskforce on MOOCs, the following report extrapolates on the details of the proposed courses on climate change. UMUCs decision to implement the identified MOOCs originates from a number of convictions, which highlight the need to remain relevant in the drastically changing online education demand.
The proposal assumes UMUC success on other distance learning courses offered by the University as the ideal foundation for launching MOOCs on climate change. As a strong supporter of environmental conservation, the University closely associates with projects around environmental sustainability disciplines. Using MOOCs, the University stands to make progress in its mission of providing an open learning platform and changing the worlds perception on learning.
Other MOOCs touch on many disciplines, but they lack practical contributions on environmental sustainability. A few MOOCs offered on climate change tackle sensitization on climate change and environmental conservation. UMUC intends to roll out a project that introduces climate change and offers practical solutions to the challenges from climate change.
The beauty of the proposed MOOCs lies within the ability to offer solutions to both household and industrial levels. Carbon emission accounts for the most quantifiable approach to measure human contribution to climate change. The project highlights the problem of climate change from different perspectives adding up to carbon emissions and energy choices.
Condensing the linked topics of carbon emission, energy consumption and impact on climate change enables the proposed MOOCs to articulate on different emergent challenges. In view of linking the gap of free online courses on climate change, UMUC intends to offer academic leadership on this contentious debate.
Ostensibly, climate change management begins with establishing adaptation to the altered environment by increasing capacity to at various levels. The next stage of management includes implementation of deliberate measures to curb destructive human activities with regard to climate change.
Coordination of efforts targeting various dimensions on impact of climate change must have a to every stakeholder. Various courses offered to establish adaptation and climate change reduction fail to create the relevant link across society dimensions. As illustrated in Figure 1 below, the MOOCs design proposed for implementation at UMUC targets three aggregate climate change dimensions (Lasco and Yohe, 2007).
On the economic dimension, UMUC will provide solutions regarding economic activities and the urgency of industries to comply with the culture of adaptive responses. Embracing green practices for industries under tight environmental sensitivity must originate from various leadership levels (Lasco and Yohe, 2007).
Additionally, UMUC will support information dissemination on ecological responsiveness through households and industrial innovative initiatives. Equally, social dimension of climate change management will handle awareness across communities on sustainable development as shown in Figure 1.
Conceptualized climate change adaptation
Figure 1: Conceptualized climate change adaptation and sustainable development model (Lasco and Yohe, 2007, p. 815).
This report analyzes the current global environment with regard to climate change training targeted at raising impact mitigation. As illustrated in Graph 1, carbon dioxide contributes the commonest climate change effect, referred to as the greenhouse effect (EPA, 2013). Greenhouse gases management translates into a practical and efficient way of reducing the impact of climate change.
With this information, the data on climate change contributors leads to generation of an array of opportunities to devise counter measures. The MOOCs proposal targets the gaps available in launching practical processes to tackle climate change and capitalizes on potential alternatives to offer tangible solutions. Future trends, as illustrated below face increased emission projections within the current human activity setting.
The interventions proposed through various MOOCs modules target introducing mitigation efforts with clear and practical steps.
Magnitude of greenhouse emissions by gas type
Graph 1: Magnitude of greenhouse emissions by gas type (EPA, 2013, para. 1)
Current and Future Trends
According to available data on global trends in carbon emission, the previous several decades experienced steep increases as shown in Graph 2 (EPA, 2013). The world did not implement sufficient measures to reverse the trend during the first decade of the millennium. In view of reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels, MOOCs intends to teach deliberate steps in embracing greener energies.
Industrialization peak spread its impact across various sectors including transportation and power generation into the 21st century. During the same period, erratic climatic conditions associated with the greenhouse impact continued to rise. Linking the emissions trend to the devastating weather patterns across the world depicts the urgency of devising practical solutions through education.
Carbon dioxide emission resulting from fossil fuels
Graph 2: Carbon dioxide emission resulting from fossil fuels (EPA, 2013, para. 3)
The Proposed MOOCs
In terms of the actual targets of curbing climate change, UMUC will identify various sectors in close consultation with socioeconomic and political agenda. As an illustration, Graph 3 depicts the most effective sectors for which MOOCs will (EPA, 2013). In devising relevant MOOCs modules, energy production and consumption alternatives will get significant attention.
Equally, the MOOCs will target industrial processes leading to various gas emissions, solid and liquid wastes that gain entry into the environment. Despite the fact that forestry practices provide an essential emission control mechanisms, UMUC will highlight counterproductive activities through the proposed MOOCs. In addition, MOOCs will target deforestation, which results in production of firewood and other biomass.
Natural biomass degradation leads to carbon emissions, consequently converting forestry from a vital carbon sink into a leading emitter. Furthermore, the society sees agricultural production as a source of carbon emission with a little suspicion, but UMUC will clarify the hidden risks. Various practices that need alignment with green production culture will also target transport and construction sectors.
As mentioned above, waste management will form an influential component of the proposed MOOCs.
Carbon emissions by sources
Graph 3: Carbon emissions by sources (EPA, 2013, para. 2)
The proposed MOOCs model will comprise of courses designed to handle each of the above areas with detailed modules. As an illustration, the module touching on impact from fossil fuel will provide detailed fuel emission cuts. Among the interventions to teach, the module will target efficiency in the current energy production and consumption.
In terms of the current household energy consumption and production, the proposed MOOCs will provide practical information on handling uncontrolled emissions. At the household levels, UMUC will provide clear controls befitting household level input. Heating using methane gas for instance will fall within household intervention steps taught in the module.
Equally, the module will condense all relevant research findings with relevant emission cutting interventions for industries. Asimov (2013, para. 5) reckons, the new courses undergo rigorous peer review and allow students to interact with professors and fellow students alike.
Alternatively, provision of information for eco-friendly industrial practices designed to reduce climate change will form a separate module under industrial practices. Separate from the energy concept, industrial emissions from production practices must fall within standards proposed under green practices. As an illustration, various production processes have by-products with colossal volumes of greenhouse gases.