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Environmental Education Outcomes

Environmental Education Outcomes

Online Course

12 September - 9 October 2022

Registration is closed.

中国学员请关注公众号 (CornellCEL) 获取课程中文详情。

Read about the course and FAQs below.




Is the goal of environmental education to instill pro-environmental behaviors, foster collective environmental action, and/or to develop healthy, engaged citizens? Through short pre-recorded lectures, podcasts, readings, social media, and live webinars, this course will help you define your environmental education goals and learn what the research says is the best pathway to achieve them. Topics include environmental behaviors, collective action, knowledge, values, attitudes, nature connectedness, sense of place, identity, self- and political efficacy, norms, social capital, health and well-being, positive youth development, academic achievement, and resilience. Course participants diagram their own theory of change outlining how to reach their environmental education goals. Through this course, you will apply research-based knowledge to start new or enhance existing environmental education programs, strengthen your professional networks by exchanging ideas and resources with peer educators and university students around the world, and gain professional credentials.

  • Course participants have online access to NEW environmental education textbook published by Cornell University Press!

  • Over a thousand participants from 50 countries have taken this popular course.

  • Offers 25 learning hours for professional development.


An experienced and dynamic team from Cornell University Civic Ecology Lab: Bethany Jorgensen (PhD Candidate), Xin (Fish) Yu (Graduate Student), Marianne Krasny (Professor), Kim Snyder and Andrew Glaspell (Course Administrators), Wanying Wu (Chinese language teaching assistant), plus 10 Chinese language assistants.

Course developers (video lecturers): Marianne Krasny, Alex Kudryavtsev, & Yue Li


Environmental educators, including teachers, nonformal educators, environmental and park managers, zoo and garden educators, volunteers, and university students. Available to students in any country. Lectures are in English with subtitles in English, Chinese, and Spanish.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Define multiple outcomes for environmental education.

  2. Describe and critically reflect on research about what works and doesn’t work in achieving different environmental education outcomes.

  3. Discuss environmental education outcomes, research, and theories of change with peers.

  4. Diagram and explain a theory of change for your educational program.

Course topics overview

  • Environmental education outcomes include individual environmental behavior, collective action, health and well-being, positive youth development, and academic achievement.

  • Factors that help environmental education achieve its goals include efficacy, identity, sense of place, nature connectedness, norms, social capital, action-knowledge, values and attitudes.

  • Participants apply research and theories of change to determine the best pathways to achieve their EE goals.

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Course Outline

Each week includes 4-5 pre-recorded short lectures, readings, and short assignments. During the course, we will also hold live webinars to allow course participants to hear from experts, ask questions, and discuss ideas with other participants and instructors. 

  • Week 1: Environmental education outcomes overview.

We introduce the course and two environmental education outcomes, and participants introduce themselves and their efforts to each other.

  • Week 2: Pathways to collective action.

Collective, social or environmental identity, social norms, political efficacy, and social capital are all pathways leading to collective action to address environmental problems.

  • Weeks 3: Environmental behaviors.

Self-efficacy, values, identity, norms, action-knowledge, and attitudes are connected to our individual decisions about environmental behaviors.

  • Week 4: Other EE outcomes & Theories of Change.

Some professionals and volunteers conduct environmental education programs to achieve health, youth development, and academic achievement outcomes rather than environmental behavior or collective action. We also review program design principles that emerge from studies of environmental education covered in the course.

Great Value!

Course participants will get free access to the book 

"Advancing Environmental Education Practice" published by Cornell University Press 2020.


12 September – 9 October 2022. Assignments must be completed no later than 16 October, 2022.

Webinars and Office Hours

We provide one webinar and one optional office hours session each week during the course. You can participate live or watch the recorded version.​


4 weeks (4-5 hours of work per week). You will have an additional week to complete and submit a lesson plan. During the course time, we will release most of the course materials including pre-recorded video lectures, readings, and discussion questions every Monday morning (NY time). You can choose anytime during each week to review. We will also host one ZOOM webinar each week. Webinars will be recorded for participants unable to attend in person. Participants will complete and submit a final project -- a diagram and short narrative of your theory of change for your current or future environmental education program.


Participants who complete the course are awarded a Cornell University certificate (PDF). Weekly assignments include watching lectures, completing readings, and responding to discussion questions. Participants are required to write a minimum of one brief reflection on a course webinar, and to complete the final project.

Webinar Schedule

We provide one webinar each week. You can watch them live or the recorded version.


$60 fee. Most participants pay this fee.

Options available to pay a higher fee ($120) to sponsor another student, or pay a lower or no fee if you are unable to pay or live in areas without internationally accepted payment systems (e.g., Afghanistan, Iran). 

Educational pproach

The course is based in three principles: (1) Learning is social: we learn effectively within a social context, thus networking and exchange of ideas among participants is crucial; (2) Learning can lead to innovation: course participants build on the course materials to develop new ideas for environmental education; and (3) Learning can foster practice change: we will apply course content and ideas to real environmental education programs.


The course uses the EdX Edge learning management system and optional closed groups on Facebook, WhatsApp, Wechat and other social media to facilitate idea and resource exchange. Weekly webinars & office hours use Zoom conferencing software.


1. What time(s) of the day will this course take place?

During the course time from 12 September - 9 October, we will release most of the course materials including pre-recorded video lectures, readings, and discussion questions every Monday morning (NY time). You can choose anytime during each week to review. We will also host one ZOOM webinar and one optional office hours session each week. Webinars & office hours will be recorded for participants unable to attend in person.

2. Why do you have three types of enrollment for different fees?

We are committed to creating equal access to the course materials and to instructor feedback regardless of where a student lives or his/her ability to pay. Students can pay a reduced fee or not pay if they live in a country that does not have a system to transfer funds to the U.S. (e.g., Afghanistan, Iran, Somaliland) or because the basic $60 fee is beyond their reach (economic hardship). Most course participants pay $60, which helps support our online courses. We depend on your course payment to pay our teaching staff, and we are grateful for your support!

3. If I pay $120, can I link with the student I sponsor?

No, we would like to keep who pays and who doesn’t pay anonymous. However, you will be able to connect with students from many different countries through the course social media and EdX Edge discussion board.

4. Can I sponsor more than one student?

Yes, we would be grateful for your support of other students, especially in developing countries, who otherwise cannot afford paying for this course.

5. How long is the course?

This is a 4-week course with one additional week to complete the course project (see details above). If you complete all required course assignments you will receive a Cornell Certificate.

6. Can I submit the course project in my native language?

We strongly encourage you to submit all assignments in English so that instructors and other students can give you feedback. But you can also submit your final project in Chinese or Spanish. We have teaching staff who speak these languages.

7. How will I receive course certificates?

You will receive your course certificate via email within one month after the end of the course.

8. What social media are used in this course?

We use optional Facebook, WhatsApp, and WeChat groups for participants and instructors to share ideas and resources. Only course participants can be part of these groups; please do not invite people outside this course.

9. Can I share course materials with my colleagues and friends?

You are NOT allowed to share, copy, distribute, or forward any materials from this course. They are only for your own learning.

If after reading above, you still have questions, contact us at  

(Please write “EE Outcomes” in the subject line.)

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