A new course in production: Biodiversity.now

Biodiversity education network is a joint project of five universities in Finland (the Universities of Eastern Finland, Helsinki, Oulu, Turku and the Jyväskylä) to develop a nationwide biodiversity education network and to answer to the learning needs in the field of biodiversity. The project is funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture. Biodiversity education network is collaborating with Climate University and Una Europa alliance in creating an online course about biodiversity, called Biodiversity.now. It consists of a 2-credit MOOC and a 3-credit project part.

Our goal is to design a multidisciplinary and interesting course to variety of learners. We want to pique students’ interest for biodiversity topics and offer diverse ways to understand and halt biodiversity crisis.

This course is designed for master’s level, but it is open to all people from different scientific fields. The MOOC-course contains five modules and pre-course part with biodiversity topics. Pre-course part is designed for the students who are less familiar with biodiversity. Topics of the course are biodiversity and its values, biodiversity crisis and causes of it, ways to halt biodiversity crisis, role of the media in biodiversity discussions and other recent topics.

When selecting pedagogical methods for the course, we pay attention especially to the possibilities of independent study, activation of students and deepening one’s understanding about biodiversity. We want to encourage learners to think about biodiversity from their field perspectives and personal interests.

Next steps in the course development are creating contents for the course, sorting out usage rights of the materials and planning the visual aspects for the course. If you are interested in creating content for the course, please contact us!

Biodiversity.now MOOC in a nutshell

  • 2 credits masters level course in English
  • Suitable for students from all scientific fields
  • Course contains 5 modules that include following topics:
    • Why is biodiversity crisis a topical issue?
    • What causes biodiversity crisis?
    • Where can the crisis lead to?
    • How can we halt biodiversity crisis?
    • Other topical issues and how media influences our concept of biodiversity?
  • Goal of the course is to activate students to think about biodiversity from the perspective of their own values, scientific field and future.
  • Course is made in cooperation with Climate University, Una Europa and Biodiversity education network of Finnish universities.
  • More info: biodiversityeducation.fi

Figure: The structure of the course. Modules include video lectures, reading materials and different exercises and quizzes to support learning.

Writers: Iida-Sofia Holma (UTU) and Elli Hämynen (UEF), biodiversity education network

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