Courses for a Cause

Courses for a Cause is the term the Civic Ecology Lab uses for our online courses. What is our “cause?” Participants in our online courses will not only be stewards of our environments and communities themselves, but also influence their students, family, friends, colleagues, and online networks to also take up stewardship actions.

Recently, Civic Ecology Lab director Marianne Krasny co-authored a book chapter with seven participants in our online courses called Courses for a Cause: MOOC contributions to a “better place for all.” In the book, Zahra Golshani from the US and Iran; Brittney Coleman from Mexico, Juan Mesa from Colombia, Michael Schrenk from South Africa, Masango Warakula from Zimbabwe, Gail Woon from the Bahamas, and Yueyang Yu from China describe how they applied what they learned in our online courses in their work in schools, NGOs, student clubs, churches, and communities. The book is called MOOCs and Open Education in the Global South: Challenges, Successes, and Opportunities and it is edited by K. Zhang, C. Bonk, T. Reeves and T. Reynolds

A book review published in Distance Education called out our book chapter.

In Section 4, Multi-Country Collaborations and Collections, the theme set by the technology-enabled learning MOOCs detailed above is followed on by another incredible public service–oriented MOOC. Chapter 16, “Courses for a Cause: MOOC Contributions to a “Better Place for All”,” describes international collaborations to fulfill the title—a better place for all. The authors are a collaborative group from disparate nations including places such as Iran, South Africa, Mexico, China, the Bahamas, Columbia, and the United States. They all see the MOOC as a vehicle for networks committed to public service, environmental issues, and calls to action. This chapter, alone, could give pause to the grumbling MOOC detractor, no?

-- Marianne Krasny