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Open AccessArticle

Massive Open Online Education for Environmental Activism: The Worldwide Problem of Marine Litter

1
Information Systems Department, Technical University of Madrid, Calle de Alan Turing sn, Madrid 28001, Spain
2
Institute for Arts, Music and Media, Heidelberg University of Education, Im Neuenheimer Feld 56, Heidelberg 69120, Germany
3
Faculty of Management, Science and Technology, Open University of The Netherlands, Valkenburgerweg 177, Heerlen 6419, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(10), 2860; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11102860
Received: 10 April 2019 / Revised: 15 May 2019 / Accepted: 16 May 2019 / Published: 20 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Education for Sustainability)
(1) The amount of plastic discharges in the environment has drastically increased in the last decades negatively affecting aquatic ecosystems, societies, and the world economy. The policies initiated to deal with this problem are insufficient and there is an urgency to initiate local actions based on a deep understanding of the factors involved. (2) This paper investigates the potential of massive open online courses (MOOCs) to spread environmental education. Therefore, the conclusions drawn from the implementation of a MOOC to combat the problem of marine litter in the world are presented. (3) This work describes the activity of 3632 participants from 64 countries taking an active role presenting useful tools, connecting them with the main world associations, and defining applied action plans in their local area. Pre- and post-questionnaires explore behavioral changes regarding the actions of participants to combat marine litter. The role of MOOCs is contrasted with social media, formal education, and informal education. (4) Findings suggest that MOOCs are useful instruments to promote environmental activism, and to develop local solutions to global problems, for example, clean beaches, supplanting plastic bottles, educational initiatives, and prohibition of single-use plastic. View Full-Text
Keywords: action-based learning; digital media; environmental perspective; leadership development; MOOC; social interaction; technological changes action-based learning; digital media; environmental perspective; leadership development; MOOC; social interaction; technological changes
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Tabuenca, B.; Kalz, M.; Löhr, A. Massive Open Online Education for Environmental Activism: The Worldwide Problem of Marine Litter. Sustainability 2019, 11, 2860.

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