A free online University of Queensland course aimed at community development workers has received a United Nations accolade.
The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network award of excellence for UQ’s Critical Development Perspectives edX course was announced in New York.
Professor Mark Moran , Group Leader of Development Effectiveness at UQ’s Institute for Social Science Research , said the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) was developed for UQ’s Leadership in Global Development MicroMasters program.
It was one of three recognised internationally by the SDG Academy and UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.
Professor Moran (pictured) said there was “a vast array” of arguments about the definition of development and how it can be achieved.
“A leader in development must be able to understand, appreciate, evaluate and broker between differing and sometimes conflicting perspectives and ideas,” he said.
“The course develops critical thinking and analysis skills, and introduces some of the contemporary debates and current challenges facing development practice.
“The MOOC’s success is largely due to the teamwork and knowledge-sharing during the course development,” he said.
“It was a tremendous collaboration between UQx, ISSR and an amazing group of global academics and practitioners who are leading current debates in international development.”
Professor Moran thanked the UQx Course Design and Development team , the ISSR’s Erin Lord Lynch, UQx manager John Zornig, media production leader Matt Petersen, learning design leader Linda MacDonald and course project manager Stella Winn.
Mr Zornig attributed the course’s success to the development team putting students and their experience first.
“We sought to bring students face-to-face with complex issues in contemporary debates and current challenges facing international development practice,” he said.
“We built the course to an ambitious design based on three years of MOOC-building experience at UQ to produce Australia’s first MicroMasters program.”
The awards recognise courses that demonstrate expert knowledge and leadership, are artfully presented, highly engaging, show commitment to UN sustainable development goals and build knowledge and capacity around the implementation of those goals.
Professor Moran presents a short video on the course here.