Denial 101: Sample from the Skeptical Science Massive Online Open Course (MOOC)

May 5, 2015

Sample from the learning materials John Cook and his team are presenting on the new Massive Online Open Course – “Making Sense of Climate Denial”.

Much of the video comes from our Historic Interviews conducted in San Francisco this past December at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting.


Climate change is real, so why the controversy and debate? Learn to make sense of the science and to respond to climate change denial in Denial101x, a MOOC from UQx and edX.

Denial101x isn’t just a climate MOOC; it’s a MOOC about how people think about climate change


9 Responses to “Denial 101: Sample from the Skeptical Science Massive Online Open Course (MOOC)”

  1. This is what I call the “blah, blah, blah” approach to education. They need PICTURES of ice sheets and some simple animation showing the retreat of ice. This is why technical people shouldn’t be designing instructional materials. I could redesign this so a fifth grader could visualize it. As it stands, the student is going to be lulled to sleep.

  2. redskylite Says:

    I’ve just been through week 2 of the course and am thoroughly enjoying it, great to see scientists like Kevin Cowtan, Robert Way and Phil Jones, Kevin Cowtan has blown away all the cobwebs and doubts spread by deniers on temperature statistics, and the course ended with a superb 41.47 minute lecture by Phil Jones of East Anglia who brought the history of temperature statistic alive.

    Obviously it is the first delivery and I expect it could be tuned for future presentations, but I think that John Cook and co have done a great job. Great talks from people like David Attenborough, Richard B. Alley and others who really know what they are talking about.

    A course a little bit different from other Climate MOOCs I have taken and truly appreciated by humble old me.

    • They “brought it alive” with talking heads?

      • redskylite Says:

        With respect, the sample Peter displayed was only one tiny part of the course, I particularly enjoyed Robert Way’s lecture on the Greenland ice loss in week2, he delivered his presentation unfaltering and fast, accompanied by animations and photography of the ice sheet. It was excellent and very professional, I’m enjoying the course and a lot more people will recognize the fallacies put out by the sowers of mis-information and mistrust, by the wicked deniers and hidden agendas. Thanks John Cook, Skeptical Science and Queensland University, you’ve got a truly grand cast in this series.

    • uknowispeaksense Says:

      I agree 100%. All of the presenters are able to communicate the science so most laypeople can understand it.

      • Do you have any evidence that this course is “understandable” by laypeople (other than a personal opinion). When I was doing computer based instruction we actually tested out our materials to see if they worked. The rest of the industry mostly refused to do this. I’d be interested to see if this course was actually run through a group of lay people.

        • uknowispeaksense Says:

          I teach a science bridging course at an Australian university. The course is part of a pathways module for post secondary students who for whatever reason couldn’t get into university through the normal channels. Many of the materials in the online course are very similar to and from the same scientists as the material I use in my lectures. I use climate science denial and the debunking off that denial as the vehicle to an understanding on the parts of the students of science versus pseudoscience and non-science. I have received plenty of feedback from my students about the appropriateness of the materials I use along with other aspects of the course and as far as I can tell its all positive. So, while it is a personal opinion, it is based on many years of professional experience in the science communication and education field.

          • That’s all fine for CONTENT. I’m a media person who’s designed interactive computer-based training, and that was the basis for my critique. It was about presentation, not content. This is one reason I have problems with technical people designing training materials.

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