How a free online course helped develop my knowledge of climate change

By Loic Tchinda

We spoke with Zaineb Ali, a young Tunisian student who is on a journey to build her career and achieve her dream. She enrolled in the Higher Institute of Engineers of Medjez El Bab, where she is pursuing a Master’s degree in Research in Climate Change and Water Management (a program that is part of the CLIMADAPT project, bringing together Maghreb and other European universities.)

This photo was taken in a touristic area in Tunisia (Sidi-Bou Said). What Zaineb likes the most about this area is that it helps her reflect on her ideas. /©Zaineb Ali

She talked to us about her experience taking the “Introductory e-Course on Climate Change” course organized by UN CC:e-Learn earlier this year. This is what she had to say:

What motivated you to take a course on UN CC:e-Learn platform?
I heard about UN CC:e-Learn through our program coordinator, who has made it a major subject in our university curriculum. We take course modules on the platform in addition to those we receive at school. I registered for UN CC:e-Learn’s “Introductory e-Course on Climate Change,” because I felt curious about this innovative way of training. I was also convinced that taking this course would bring added value to my resume. Later, I was able to see that the training is of very high quality!

What did you like about the e-course?
I found the UN CC:e-Learn platform to be complete. The courses, punctuated with exercises, covered all the thematic areas; including the causes and challenges of climate change. I was able to benefit from theoretical contributions through specialized courses, all for free. The assessment was good and very well structured. I’m amazed that a free online tutorial course helped me a lot in developing my knowledge of climate change!

I also appreciated quality of the lessons. Thanks to quizzes, competence is put in the spotlight, which allows both to enrich oneself and to develop one’s knowledge. Even when I was alone in front of my computer, I felt like I was in a classroom.

The courses on the platform are easy, especially the content on the Introductory e-Course on Climate Change. I really liked the quizzes after each module. It’s a great supplement to the coursework at school.

Zaineb in Tabarka, Tunisie./ ©Zaineb Ali

What could we improve?
To facilitate understanding, I would like the courses to be linked with videos. I think it would be easier to understand such a dynamic theme if it were associated with videos or animations.

Upon completion of the course, how are you taking action within your community/work?
One of my ambitions after getting my Master’s degree is to go abroad to complete an academic internship and become a major researcher in climate change.

I think UN CC:e-Learn courses are a great way to get started on a variety of topics. Researchers are increasingly interested in this type of training and this knowledge is a great added value. As researchers, we are curious and invested in continuing education. This is also a sign that we are not relying solely on our achievements, but instead, we are ready to take up new challenges in protecting our eco system.

What would be your message to others regarding the importance of climate change education?
Our planet is more fragile than we imagined and the effects of climate change are already being felt: global warming, disruption of the water cycle, increase in extreme weather events, regression of glaciers and sea ice, rise in sea level, endangered species. Hence the need to educate oneself extensively in order to understand the causes, dynamics and challenges of climate change.

©Zaineb Ali

About UN CC:Learn

UN CC:Learn is a partnership of more than 30 multilateral organizations supporting countries to design and implement systematic, recurrent and results-oriented climate change learning. Through its engagement at the national and global levels, UN CC:Learn contributes to the implementation of climate change training, education and public awareness-raising.