CDU’s first MOOC to focus on evolution theory


MOOC host Dr Stephen Reynolds

MOOC host Dr Stephen Reynolds ponders the wonders of natural selection in a tropical rainforest

The great grandson of naturalist Charles Darwin will introduce “Charles Darwin, Evolution and Tropical Australia”, the first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) created by Charles Darwin University and commencing on November 11.

The free four-week course is open to anyone with a computer and internet access and will provide an introduction to naturalist Charles Darwin, the theory of evolution, Alfred Wallace and biogeography, and an overview of adaptation of tropical organisms in Northern Australia.

Pro Vice-Chancellor Academic Professor Martin Carroll said the course would provide participants with access to live video conferences and online discussions and opportunities to interact with participants from around the world.

“There are no prerequisites for participating in the MOOC and you can participate as much or as little as you wish. The course is designed so that you can personalise your own learning journey,” Professor Carroll said.

CDU lecturer and MOOC host Dr Steve Reynolds said that throughout the course participants could engage in a range of informative readings, videos, animation and interactive timelines on fascinating topics.

“This is a unique learning experience for those interested in the fascinating theory of evolution and how it changed the course of biological sciences,” Dr Reynolds said.

“There are lots of opportunities in this course to reflect, interact, and connect with others."

The course has four modules:
* The life and times of Charles Darwin
* The fundamentals of evolutionary theory and the mechanism of natural selection
* Alfred Russel Wallace and the biogeography of Australasia and Wallacea 
* The environments and landscapes of tropical Australia, and evolutionary adaptations of the animals and plants.

“We will also have a webinar on a chosen topic each week and discussion forums.”
To enrol visit W:, then go to MOOC catalogue or visit the CDU Facebook page.

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