Public Release: 

AGU talk: Scaling climate change communication for behavior change

Stanford University

In a previous randomized controlled trial, Stanford University researchers developed two curricula for Girl Scouts to use energy more efficiently: one on energy use at home, and the other in transportation and food. Both courses were effective for girls in the short term, and the home energy course was effective for girls in the long term and for parents in the short term.

Subsequently, the Northern California Girl Scouts began disseminating the programs via manuals and reusable materials, but that method of disseminating the programs has not lead to widespread use.

On Dec. 19, at 8:15 a.m. PT, Stanford researchers will describe deployment of the curricula to Girl Scout troop leaders via a massive open online course (MOOC). The talk will take place at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, Moscone West, Room 3005.

The MOOC approach has several advantages:

  • Videos on teaching practice, behavior management techniques and the relevant social cognitive theory for troop leaders

  • Online discussion with other troop leaders

  • Feedback on teaching, use of components, mastery of curriculum and confidence

  • Downloadable videos, materials for activities, badges and completion certificates

  • Delivery of embedded social media, online mastery activities and quizzes for the girls

  • Self-paced learning for parents

The MOOC distribution of the Girls Learning Energy & Environment is itself a study, because it is new for the audience of Girl Scout troop leaders and primary target subjects of 10-13 year olds. The researchers have access to the MOOC experience, platform and analytical tools at Stanford. They are exploiting user testing and piloting to refine their MOOC.

The investigators will launch the first MOOC in northern California and use MOOC analytics to study its success. They will then launch the refined MOOC to Girl Scout troop leaders regionally or nationally. Overall, the project aims to simulate and advance in-person train-the-trainers technologies.

The AGU talk will be presented by the following Stanford researchers:

Victoria Christine Rodriguez, PhD candidate, education:

Nicole Ardoin, assistant professor, education:

June Flora, senior research scientist,

Tom Robinson, professor of pediatrics:


AGU abstract (GC51G-02):

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.