Global Partnership on Marine Litter

Massive Online Open Course on Marine Litter

 

Stimulating leadership and offering opportunities for actionable and change oriented learning related to marine litter


Summary

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in cooperation with the Open University of the Netherlands, will soon launch a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Marine Litter. The MOOC has been created in order to stimulate leadership and offers opportunities for actionable and change oriented learning related to marine litter within the framework of the Global Partnership on Marine Litter.

Marine litter is a global problem that affects every ocean of the world. Litter is an environmental, human health and socio-economic problem that is a symptom of a highly disposable society. With worldwide growth in the amount of solid litter thrown away every day and slow rates of degradation, the amount of litter present in the marine environment is increasing. This course seeks to inspire students to take action and leadership in the arena of marine litter through stimulating interaction with all stakeholder groups.

The MOOC will enhance capacity of students through action oriented learning on how they can apply successful and inspiring activities to combat marine pollution. It will be offered through a series of lectures, case studies and videos, along with additional study materials.

The MOOC will be available in two tracks: leadership track and expert track. It will cover the following topics:

  • The environmental impact and societal relevance of marine litter problems;
  • Technical solutions, including alternatives and recycling;
  • The governance of marine litter;
  • Sources, processes, modelling and monitoring of marine litter;
  • Designing and selecting effective strategies for marine litter;
  • Awareness raising, education and outreach, and capacity building;
  • Implementation of policies, laws, and market-based instruments;
  • Skills to develop an action plan to reduce marine litter pollution.

UNEP, via the GPML, and the Open University have created this MOOC in order to address public interest in capacity building and actionable learning on marine litter, as well as to make opportunities available to a wider audience.

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Leadership Track

The Leadership Track is composed of 8 hours of learning introducing the student to the basic characteristics and concepts of the marine litter issue and various strategies to prevent and reduce marine litter. This track consists of 2 blocks geared towards policymakers, managers and professionals who require an overview of the topic in order to integrate the concepts of the MOOC into their professions. Students are encouraged to complete this track whether or not they are an official leader.

After the Leadership Track students should be able to understand the environmental and socio-economic impacts of marine litter, indicate the sources of marine litter, understand monitoring methods, indicate knowledge gaps and be acquainted with strategies to reduce marine litter.

The MOOC will start at the end of October 2015 with the Leadership Track taking place over a course of 2 weeks. Those students who wish to remain in the course will continue to the Expert Track, which will be completed by mid-December 2015 (total of 8 weeks).

A certificate of participation can be obtained by students after their completion of both the Leadership Track and the Expert Track. Students will also receive free access to all course materials on a 24 hour online platform.

 


Expert Track

The MOOC will start in October 2015 with the Leadership Track taking place over a course of 2 weeks. The students who wish to remain in the course will continue to the Expert Track, which will be completed by mid-December 2015 (total of 8 weeks).

The Expert Track is composed of 32 additional hours divided in 6 blocks and a final assignment for professionals and students who want to acquire more in-depth knowledge, insights and skills relating to prevention of marine litter. Students undertaking the Expert Track must also complete the Leadership Track for a total of 40 hours of instruction.

Students that complete the Expert Track should additionally be able to explain the effects of microplastics and abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear, be aware of tools and instruments used to prevent marine litter and have an understanding of the current role of policies and laws.

A certificate of participation can be obtained by students after their completion of both the Leadership Track and the Expert Track. Students will also receive free access to all course materials on a 24 hour online platform.