Anka Mulder


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Education for a better world: more than 100,000 students for Solar Energy

Banner Solar Energy

Banner Solar Energy

In September 2013 TU Delft started its MOOC programme with Solar Energy and Water Treatment as pioneers. One of the main drivers of our MOOC experiment was to reach out to as many interested learners as we could. Also to see how we could help to solve the world’s major challenges, i.e. to provide education for a better world. So after Solar Energy and Water Treatment many MOOCs followed, for example on biotechnology, responsible innovation and water and climate. All were successful: excellent quality and many learners.

Let’s have a closer look at the Solar Energy MOOC. Solar Energy’s first run started in September 2013 with 57,000 students. Almost 3,000 of those received a certificate. The second time it ran was a year later, in September 2014, when it had 28,500 students. 1,300 of that group got a certificate. Because of this succes, Solar Energy will have a third run  in September 2015 and already 7,600 learners have registered.

There has been a worldwide interest in this MOOC, also in regions where English is not widely spoken. So with the support of the Queen Rania Foundation and some of our TU Delft staff, Solar Energy was translated into Arabic. The course will soon be offered on the EdRaak platform to the Arab speaking world. Already more than 7,000 learners have signed up.

The course had an impact on the life of many students. A great example is the story of Andersson Contreras from Colombia, who wants to use the knowledge he acquired from the MOOC to develop a sustainable and stable energy source for  the Wounaan indigenous community in Colombia, who are now dependent on diesel generators.

Finally, the course culminated without committing any error in the exams and assignments so I got a score of 100% and a certificate of EDX of this course. 

After gaining all this knowledge, install my own PV system using mathematical tools provided for that purpose, and economic results of the system were very satisfactory. Now, I have a saving of over 50% of money, a continuous electric fluid and a contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

But there are more successes than these 100.000+ learners and beautiful examples. The MOOC’s professor, Arno Smets, uses his online materials and his MOOC experience in his campus education. Arno has also become an advocate for educational innovation at our university, convincing many colleagues to join. There are many like him: Luuk Rietveld, Jules van Lier, Jacco Hoekstra, Felienne Hermans, Alexander de Haan, Isabelle Arends, Pasquale Cirillo, and many more. Have a look at our website and meet our pioneers.

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