Curtin Uni Dean of Science to Launch Free e-Course In Environmental Studies

By Chloe Lewis

Curtin University’s Dean of Teaching and Learning for the Faculty of Science and Engineering, Professor Teri Balser has brought to life the latest Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), Environmental Studies: A Global Perspective.

The MOOC was proposed and designed by Professor Teri Balser with the help of Professor Joseli Macedo, and the CurtinX team.

The course is designed to engage the community on a global scale.  

It is also designed to suit the everyday person rather than a select group of individuals.

“This isn’t a class for the academic elite. It’s for all of us,” Professor Teri Balser said.

The availability and academic access to this free course is an important step for education revolving around the environment, and the relationship the community has with the environment on a global scale.

The environment is a core part of our communities, so understanding and knowing how we interact and affect the environment is of public interest, and paramount for the two to be sustainable.

“To me there is nothing more important than raising public awareness of environmental issues. Not only that, even more critical is having people recognize that environmental studies is not the same as science. Science is science,” Professor Balser said.

The course is six weeks long and aims to provide a framework and basic introduction to issues and particular topics within environmental studies.

Participants will listen to core videos throughout the length of the course, and will hear from featured experts.

They will apply what they’ve learned to their own hometown or environment, sharing it with the rest of us, and completing a final portfolio about environmental issues where they live.

Professor Teri Balser said the real heart of the course will be seeing what others share.

“We are excited to see this coming into being and we really look forward to learning from and with everyone,” Professor Teri Balser said.

Professor Balser said she hopes the course will help people to see their world and community a little differently, and help them to recognize protecting our environment, and ensuring our wellbeing as a species, involves all of us, in every area and career.

Leaders in environmental studies such as Professor Balser, Professor Macedo and the CurtinX team have taken unique and measurable steps in involving the community.

The future success of this course may not equate to something major however, the significance is that these are important building blocks for creating a better relationship with the environment.

If one or a few people get involved and interested in environmental studies, then that is the difference that Professor Teri Balser aims to achieve.

The MOOCs Environmental Studies: A Global Perspective began on September 12, 2016 and is still open to enrolment.