New free of charge online course takes a fresh perspective on climate change as it focuses on emotions

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges humankind faces in this century. There is a lot of scientific research on the topic that covers different fields, such as climatology, geology, biology, economics, social science, and technology. Climate change is widely discussed in different areas of society. These discussions and different opinions on the topic lead to a wide variety of emotions.

University of Oulu offers everyone an open and free-of-charge online course that covers climate change from a less common perspective: through emotions. Course Thinking and Talking about Climate aims at helping people to recognize these emotions in themselves and others. Research on climate emotions and communication forms the basis for the course, and the student is provided with tools for maintaining hope and constructive communication in everyday life.

“Sometimes people find it difficult to understand the emotions of their own and others related to climate change. Thinking and Talking about Climate is meant to help in understanding these emotions and interacting with others in a positive manner. Climate anxiety is also a highly common phenomenon. This course is meant to promote hope and ability to act”, says Sari Harmoinen, docent and university lecturer who has been developing the course.

The online course content includes avatar figures to help students assess their own climate emotions and attitudes to climate change. Avatars also clarify why others might feel and think differently about climate change. They also give this course a touch of gamification.

Get familiar with Thinking and Talking about Climate. The course is currently available only in Finnish, but the English version will be published in the autumn 2024.

Thinking and Talking about Climate is a so-called MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). MOOCs are online studies that are free and open for all without any entrance requirements or schedules. In addition to degree students, these courses can be taken by high school students and staff, or anyone who is interested. Get familiar with the MOOCs offered by the University of Oulu.

All the courses of the University of Oulu are based on teaching and research of its fields of expertise.

Last updated: 1.2.2024