The Ireland-based e-learning platform Alison, or Advanced Learning Interactive Systems Online, generally considered the first massive open online course (MOOC) provider, is making it easier for more people to get a basic education in solar energy with its latest launch.
Alison’s Solar Energy – Solar Technology and Its Use Worldwide course, which is a relatively short (1-2 hour) certificate class, is completely free, and offers an introduction to the concepts of the renewable energy source that is currently heating up the energy sector around the world. The course is designed to be of interest to both casual learners and professionals that are curious about the benefits and potentials of solar energy, and how it fits with sustainability efforts. The Solar Energy course also illuminates its students about the consequences of using fossil fuels, and discusses current barriers to solar energy adoption.
“This course teaches you about solar technologies that are used to capture the solar energy from the sun and how they can be implemented in homes, offices, schools, factories, and farms to lessen the soot, smog, acid rain, and mercury poisoning that plagues the earth as a result of burning fossil fuels. You will also learn about what barriers prevent more people from accessing and utilizing solar energy and what can be done to encourage the use of solar energy worldwide.” – Alison
Alison offers more than 800 courses, some of which are free, to its more than 5 million registered users, and its differentiation from other MOOCs is its focus on enabling people to gain basic education and workplace skills, especially in the developing world, as opposed to some MOOCs with higher level courses produced in collaboration with educational institutions such as Stanford, Harvard, or MIT.
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