The production is sponsored by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs along with the universities involved. This MOOC will be the first of four which will give students a short introduction to important issues of life in the Arctic. The themes dealt with are: Climate, Economy, Resource Management and Peoples and Cultures in the Arctic.
Professors of the universities involved produced the script along with a group of talented PhD students. The technical production was made at Onlea Ltd in Edmonton Canada, a not-for-profit company established by professors and colleagues at University of Alberta.
"This is a unique production made within the UArctic network. It means that scientists from universities in the Arctic can disseminate their newest research and knowledge about climate and climate changes in the North," says Ingvar Hauge, the production manager for the MOOC at UiT. "Bringing together scientists from both sides of the Atlantic and cooperate between different partners at different universities, can at times be challenging”, he admits. "But it is also very exciting to get things done in a cooperation like this."
Pat Maher, a UArctic representative on this project and professor at Cape Breton University and, likens this MOOC to a very large jigsaw puzzle: "We have examined a large amount of scientific knowledge from all across the Arctic, and created one, easy to understand, pathway to learning about Arctic climate." He expands to say that this, and all four MOOCs, will probably be as relevant to Northerners who live in the Arctic as they would be to southerners in China or Spain or Australia, "these MOOCs provide circumpolar perspective, which can help to share similarities and differences, but also the important connections across the region and to the rest of the world."
The remaining three Arctic MOOCs are scheduled to launch later in 2016.