For its first independent, massive open online course (MOOC), Oregon State chose a subject that reflects its unique role as America’s natural resources university. OSU’s free Intro to Permaculture course embodied innovation in both subject matter and format.
In May, more than 15,800 learners worldwide enrolled in the four-week class, which aimed to help participants learn about and design sustainable landscapes and ecosystems.
Andrew Millison from the College of Agricultural Sciences worked with a team of developers, designers and marketers from OSU Professional and Continuing Education (PACE), Open Oregon State, Oregon State Ecampus and OSU Extension and Experiment Station Communications to develop the popular course.
The OSU course development team collaborated with the Permaculture Association, the most widely recognized permaculture organization. Many other partners were involved in publicizing and providing educational and media resources as well, including Permaculture Design International, Regrarians, Oregon State University Small Farms, Unify, Daily Acts, Village Lab, NuMundo, Permaculture Voices, and more.
“Permaculture gives people a new perspective on the world,” said Millison. “This partnership has taken these concepts to another level online—and to a much wider audience.”
OSU’s Intro to Permaculture course will be offered again Oct. 31–Nov. 27, 2016. OSU also offers Millison’s more in-depth Permaculture Design Certificate Online program online, with sessions in September, January and April. Learn more at pace.oregonstate.edu/permaculture.