Advertisement

MOOCs and International Capacity Building in a UN Framework: Potential and Challenges

  • Laurent A. LambertEmail author
  • Hisham Hassan
Chapter
Part of the World Sustainability Series book series (WSUSE)

Abstract

This chapter highlights the high potential and challenges involved with developing Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs) for capacity building and climate-friendly technology transfer within the United Nations (UN) system. The paper begins by providing a short introduction to the world of MOOCs and their rapid rise in recent years. The second section explores why sustainable development-oriented international organizations (IOs) have arguably not used this resource to its full potential. It does so with a case study of a MOOC proposal on ‘ecosystem-based climate technologies for adaptation to climate change’ that was discussed between representatives of academia at the UN, and executives from the UN’s Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN). A concept note from Oxford University academics, requested by the above-mentioned UN centre, had suggested a free and short MOOC (the standard format of a four- to six-week long course), focusing on high-visibility adaptation technologies. Despite several positive academia-/-UN exchanges, the MOOC never materialized as the funds needed were substantial and not immediately available. Additionally, a previous UNEP MOOC had shown that MOOC costs involving a UN organization—with heavy procurement and administrative constraints—could potentially run significantly higher than what MOOC platforms indicate for universities. Eventually, the UN’s CTCN chose to propose a series of webinars on climate technologies and host the recorded material on its website.

Keywords

Capacity building Climate technology CTCN IOs MOOC Technology transfer UNEP UNFCCC Webinars 

References

  1. Adams, R. (2013). Sal Khan: The man who tutored his cousin—And started a revolution. The Guardian. Last modified April 23, 2013. https://www.theguardian.com/education/2013/apr/23/sal-khan-academy-tutored-educational-website
  2. Crowdfunding for Development Massive Open Online Course Report. (2015). International Labour Organisation, 2015. Retrieved from https://issuu.com/itcilo/docs/cf4dev_evaluation_of_a_massive_open
  3. Global MOOC enrolment jumped again last year. (2016). ICEF Monitor. Last modified January 16, 2016. http://monitor.icef.com/2017/01/global-mooc-enrolment-jumped-last-year/
  4. Hollands, F., & Tirthali, D. (2014). MOOCs: Expectations and reality. Columbia University, May 2014. Retrieved from http://cbcse.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/MOOCs_Expectations_and_Reality.pdf
  5. Leckart, S. (2012). The stanford education experiment could change higher learning forever. WIRED. Last modified March 20, 2012. https://www.wired.com/2012/03/ff_aiclass/
  6. Shah, D. (2016). Monetization over massiveness: A review of MOOC stats and trends in 2016. Class Central. Last modified December 29, 2016. https://www.class-central.com/report/moocs-stats-and-trends-2016/

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Social and Economic Survey Research InstituteQatar UniversityDohaQatar

Personalised recommendations