Improvement on Social Representation of Climate Change through a Knowledge-Based MOOC in Spanish

Publication TypeJournal Article
Año de publicación2019
AuthorsFerrari, E, Ballegeer, A-M, Fuertes, MAngel, Herrero, P, Delgado, L, Corrochano, D, Andrés-Sánchez, S, Bisquert, KMarc, Garcia-Vinuesa, A, Meira, P, Martinez, F, Ruiz, C
JournalSustainability Home
IssueTechnology & Engineering Education
Start Page 6317
Fecha de publicación11/11/2019
Keywordsclimate change, Education, MOOC, professional development, social representation, sustainable development

Climate Change is the most important threat to our society and all species on Earth. Large
alterations in the climate are affecting every aspect of our society and in order to limit this impact we must decarbonize the economy before 2050. Although science presents solid evidence on the magnitude of the problem and outlines precisely the consequences, people do not act accordingly and do not consider this issue a priority for their survival. The reason behind this paradox might be a non-appropriate Social Representation of Climate Change in society as the Social Representation conditions and forms the response of the society. In this paper, we extend previous investigations of how this Social Representation is formed in order to find ways to improve it through a Massive Online Open Course on the Science of Climate Change. Using a validated questionnaire, we investigated the
knowledge dimension of the Social Representation of Climate Change in a group of students of a MOOC on Climate Change. A pre- and posttest revealed general improvements in all the categories that were considered in this study. A detailed analysis showed different degrees of improvement for different groups, providing new insights in the efficiency of knowledge-based online courses.
Well designed Massive Online Open Courses, based on scientific evidence, targeted to the general public might improve the Social Representation of Climate Change, which may in turn trigger awareness and an effective mobilization to address this important and urgent topic.