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© 2019 Civic Ecology Lab

Social norm and study group interventions to enhance environmental education practice in MOOCs

We are conducting online experiments to investigate the impacts of social norm and study group interventions on participants' learning and environmental education practice in four MOOCs with over 1900 total participants. The social norm interventions (descriptive, injunctive and dynamic treatments) are embedded into videos or images, along with self-reflection and writing activities designed to foster self-efficacy and motivation. The study group intervention entails Chinese mentors working with 5 course participants in WeChat groups during the course and for three months after the course. We are conducting surveys and interviews to determine to what extent the social norm and study group interventions influence course participants' learning and education practice during the course and after the course is over. The results will be used to suggest pedagogical strategies that improve local environmental education and stewardship practices, and further the ability of online course providers in China and the U.S. to offer impactful online learning at scale.