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Desertification: Problems and Solutions

What happens when fertile earth degrades? Discover the complex problem of desertification and consider potential solutions.

1,510 enrolled on this course

An image of a desert
  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

Get an introduction to desertification and other related environmental issues

Desertification is when previously healthy or fertile land degrades and becomes desert. But how does this happen? And why is it a major issue for our world?

Get answers with this course introducing desertification and related issues including soil depletion, dust bowls, dust storms and global warming.

Not only will you understand the process of desertification, you will also use critical thinking and creative problem-solving to address the causes and consequences of desertification, applying the 6-step ‘FPS model’.

What topics will you cover?

  • Research global issues surrounding desertification, including global warming, soil depletion, dust bowls, and environmental degradation
  • Use the 6-step Future Problem Solving model to identify challenges, generate and evaluate solutions, and develop an action plan for reversing desertification
  • Use the 4 Cs of learning and innovation to brainstorm potential solutions related to desertification: creativity, critical thinking/problem-solving, communication, collaboration

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Identify causes and consequences of desertification around the globe
  • Apply the 6-step Future Problem Solving (FPS) model to identify challenges, generate and evaluate solutions, and develop an action plan
  • Demonstrate the 4 Cs of learning and innovation--creativity, critical thinking/problem solving, communication, and collaboration--to generate potential solutions to desertification

Who is the course for?

This course is for anyone interested in ecological and environmental issues and for those who wish to improve their problem solving skills.

Who will you learn with?

Clinical Asst. Professor and Assoc. Director of the Gifted Education Research & Resource Institute (GER2I) at Purdue University with over 17 years in K-12 public schools as a teacher and counselor

I am the Executive Director of Future Problem Solving Program International (FPSPI). My background is in advanced curriculum strategies and high level learning! I love studying the future!

Elizabeth is the Program Director for Future Problem Solving Program International. Previously, she taught middle school for nine years and studied archaeology before entering the classroom.

Who developed the course?

Purdue University

One of the four best public universities in the US, Purdue delivers an engaging learning experience and a world-class degree.

Future Problem Solving

FPS provides competitive and non-competitive components for today’s curriculum via a six-step model which teaches critical and creative thinking, problem solving, and decision making.

Gifted Education Resource Institute (GERI)

The Gifted Education Resource Institute (GERI) is an innovative center dedicated to the discovery, study, and development of human potential.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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