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Clemson Collaborations in Service-Learning Archived Webcast

Massive Open Online Courses and Service-Learning

Monday, April 7, 2014

Massive open online courses, or MOOCs, are an education revolution. It is not uncommon for tens of thousands of people to participate in a single course. It is also not uncommon for these courses to take a conventional approach to learning. What if, instead of purely academic pursuits, the huge enrollments in some of these courses could be engaged in service-learning? The potential educational outcomes and real-world impact are staggering. 

In this webinar, we will share preliminary efforts to connect service-learning and MOOCs in a free online course in Sustainable Energy Innovation. Participants in this course attempt to develop profitable social and technological innovations to respond to societal energy and climate obligations. We will discuss the course, what has worked (and not) in past offerings, and plans for improvement in future iterations. We hope to spur thought about how those working on service-learning can use MOOCs to reach a wider audience and how those teaching MOOCs can use service-learning to have a bigger impact.

Download Presentation: Slides (powerpoint)


Leidy Klotz Nathan Beasley
Leidy Klotz Nathan Beasley


Leidy Klotz developed and teaches the Sustainable Energy Innovation course in person to Clemson students and online to whoever signs up. Leidy is an engineering faculty member at Clemson University, where he teaches and does research on decision making and education for sustainability. He lives in Clemson with his beautiful wife, Monica, where they don’t like to use air conditioning and the majority of their climate-changing emissions come from traveling to see family or the beach.

Nathan Beasley participated in the in-person classroom version of the Sustainable Energy Innovation course in Fall 2013. He is working on a project to make bicycles that provide transportation and help people do other vital tasks such as pump water, husk wheat, etc… These bicycles could raise the standard of living for many among the more than 3 billion humans living on less than $2.50 a day. Nathan worked with some of the online course participants to learn more about challenges unique to developing regions. Through these and other contacts he made, including with Dr. Job Ebenzer, Nathan is closer to reaching his goals for a project that not only provides bikes but also creates jobs and provides education in developing regions. Ultimately, he hopes the local communities will be able to take ownership of his project.   

Nathan is a sophomore mechanical engineering Honors student also pursuing a minor in Math. He fills his limited spare time longboarding, swimming, hammocking, and playing ultimate Frisbee.

Clemson Collaborations in Service-Learning Webcast

Clemson University Collaborations in Service-Learning is sponsored by the Clemson Service Alliance. The Service Alliance promotes the use of community service and service-learning by Clemson faculty in classes with both undergraduate and graduate students in all major disciplinary areas. The Collaborations radio webcasts are an opportunity to hear from some of our Clemson Service Alliance Faculty Fellows, their students, and their community partners about  service-learning projects around the state of S.C., and to learn about the impact of these service-learning projects on the community and on student learning outcomes.  In 2013-2014, we will be focusing on service –learning classes in five different disciplinary areas:  Planning and Landscape Architecture, English, Languages, Teacher Education, and Nursing. Thank you for participating, and we hope that service-learning practitioners in both K-12 and higher education will find these workshops very helpful in the course development, implementation, and evaluation process.
This program comes to you as a public service of Clemson University. There is no fee, and no registration is required. You may listen to the program and view the supplementary materials using only your computer. You will need to call in if you wish to speak on the live program.