Traditional classroom education is steadily opening its doors to modern media. Despite the many advantages of online education, including flexibility and scalability, both formal and informal online courses tend to suffer from lack of student engagement. It is critical that providers of online education commit to offering tailored programs that truly take advantage of the power of the digital platform. The Ocean Health Index initiative, an international assessment of marine sustainability, provided the ideal framework with which to create just such a course: The Ocean Health Voyage. Filmed over two years in seven countries, the course is composed of documentary-style video segments, fundamental slides, quizzes, expert scientist case studies, critical thinking questions, filmed round-table discussions, outreach assignments, and supplementary materials for the nine modules of Biodiversity, Climate Change & Carbon Storage, Coastal Protection, Clean Water, Food Provision & Commercial Fishing, Artisanal Fishing Opportunities, Port Economies & Livelihoods, Tourism & Recreation, and Iconic Species & Natural Products. This course is the first of its kind in terms of educational content and delivery design. Given concerns over the current status of marine ecosystems and the impacts felt by coastal communities, it is important for every undergraduate student to understand basic marine, environmental, and conservation science and use this background to relate to and critically evaluate current events. If successful, the high caliber film-based online course model, adaptable to a wide range of subjects, may become an institutional standard of online education.
Northrop, Emily Cava, "The ocean health voyage: An international examination of the ocean health index through film-based coursework" (2016). Internship Reports (Restricted). 91.
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