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This is Massive (also open, online and about change)

This is Massive (also open, online and about change)

We're thrilled to launch our first ever MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on behaviour change.

The Monash Sustainable Development Institute (MSDI) and BehaviourWorks Australia are about to launch its first ever MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on Changing Behaviour for Sustainable Development.

It’s a truly massive achievement, bringing together 13 presenters in 28 different videos, explaining the basics of how behavioural science can help the world face the challenges through the framework of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (and the SDG Academy).

This means Monash University joins a network of over 1000 universities, all focussed on promoting sustainable development.  While we face huge technical and resource challenges, we know that it’s human behaviour that can really impact the future of the planet.

Why Behaviour Change?

What humans do affects every aspect of long-term sustainability.  Competition for energy, food, minerals, water and heavy consumption of fossil fuels (producing ever-increasing emissions) have created uncertainty around how humans can continue to use up resources as they have in the past.  Something other than the climate has to change – and as the pandemic response has shown, large-scale behaviour change can play an essential role.  

Remember, before any vaccines were invented to combat COVID 19, it was billions of people changing the way they worked, interacted and wore masks that helped control the spread of the virus.

While the SDG Academy supports educational resources on the SGDs, this MOOC is the first to focus on Changing Behaviours for Sustainable Development.

What does it involve?

Presented by some of the team's best and brightest, this short course steps through 5 modules looking at what behavioural science is, some of the theories underpinning the research, tools to help learners design, apply and measure interventions, and showcasing our projects as case studies which show not only what works, but the challenges faced by those wanting to create change.

The key question – ‘Who needs to do what differently?’ – contains within it the complex elements that need to be understood before interventions can be applied.  Who is your target audience?  What actions are they doing that result in outcomes? What can we realistically change to bring about improvements?

Who is this aimed at?

This MOOC is aimed at change practitioners, policy makers and decision makers at all levels – those who wish to learn at their own pace (a few hours per week) from experienced behavioural scientists and researchers looking at real-world problems.  Sustainable Development Goal 4 is all about inclusive and equitable education for all.  While there is a solid theoretical base behind this, it’s also backed up by practitioners who have lived experience in tackling the issues, dealing with failures and coming up with solutions.  

It is, in every sense, up to us. We can behave better, and this MOOC provides insights and resources to show us how.  

We’d especially like to thank John Thwaites (Chair, MSDI), Associate Professor Annette Bos (Director of Education, MSDI) and Harold Michell AC.

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