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Have you seen this recent article, "Online learning: How to make a MOOC" from NatureJobs)? http://www.nature.com/naturejobs/science/articles/10.1038/nj7458-369a
It refers to efforts Eric Lander at MIT has made for an introductory biology course offered via EdX.
Dear Mark and all -
However this develops, we suggest that all undergraduates of every major (everywhere) should successfully complete a one week unit (five or six days or so) that contemplates the following question: What should every student, policymaker, educator, and citizen know about our planet?
And then envision freely-downloadable open-courseware resources that target precisely such core concepts,
principles, data sets, and understandings. As two already-existing examples of such resources that might be employed, the following may be of interest:
COLLECTION ONE - Biospherics Literacy and Sustainability 101 - Five PowerPoints /Five Days?
which is accessible at http://www.scribd.com/collections/3705681/Biospherics-Literacy-101-...
The above envision biospheric literacy for all students and first-year undergraduates using freely-downloadable
PowerPoints and PDFs which are easily assimilated over a span of one or two weeks, or in comfortable one-day workshops for non-scientists and policymakers that provide an overview of topics such as Global environmental issues; Introductory Ecology; Population-environment; Carrying capacity / Limiting Factors; Food, water, and sustainability; Thresholds, tipping points, and unintended consequences; Ecological release; Biodiversity and Conservation, etc.
COLLECTION TWO – Priority population-environment collection for Academia and Policymakers –
an open-courseware collection of brief and easy "executive summary" PDFs which is accessible at http://www.scribd.com/collections/3655003/Population-for-Academia-a...
As a quick first example, see the following population-environment-sustainability PowerPoint which is accessible at http://www.scribd.com/doc/118659074/Population-Carrying-Capacity-and-Limiting-Factors-ppt-version
PPT- Classical real-world “too-late” population calamities in seemingly ‘empty’ environments? http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/29284061?access_key=key-1d5uc7f665... (2/1000ths of 1% occupied / 99.998% unoccupied)
PPT- Ecological Services and Biospheric Life-support Machinery
PPT - Earth's Atmosphere and Seas as Razor-thin Surface Films
PPT - An Introduction to World Population and Demographics
PDF - Conservation - Why 10% Goals May Permit Collapse
PDF - Population Momentum - On Steroids
(...The greatest single risk in the history of our species...)
PDF - A Billion Pages of Theoretical Physics? - How LARGE is a Billion?
http://www.calameo.com/read/000676519a0f5f8d39904 (Hint: The answer is 38,461years)
The above open-courseware resources are provided courtesy of The Wecskaop Project (What every citizen should know about our planet). Related resources are accessible at http://www.scribd.com/TheWecskaopProject