The first Hungarian MOOC by the University of Edinburgh

The main image of the Nitrogen MOOC – in Hungarian.

In this post, Dr Andi Móring, from the School of GeoSciences, presents the University’s first ever Hungarian MOOC… 

On 1st of October, 2018 the first ever Hungarian MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) was launched by the University of Edinburgh on the EdX platform. This MOOC is the Hungarian version of the online course “Nitrogen: A Global Challenge” created at the School of GeoSciences under the lead of Prof. Dave Reay, launched this May. The original “Nitrogen MOOC”, as the team calls it, was developed within the framework of the NEWS India-UK Virtual Joint Centre, aiming to educate the general public about nitrogen and the global challenges it poses: human population is approaching 10 billion which, accompanied by climate change, puts food security, as well as water and air quality at serious risk. Nitrogen is a double-edged sword, as the course introduction says: “Get it right and it can help feed billions. Get it wrong and it will make things worse.” Below, you can watch a short video, which advertises the MOOC:

As the name of the funding virtual centre suggests, NEWS India-UK is a cooperation between British and Indian research institutes and universities. How does Hungary come into the story then? Because one of the members of the original MOOC development team, Dr. Andi Móring, is from Hungary.

Andi graduated from the Eötvös Loránd Unviersity (Budapest, Hungary) as a meteorologist, with a special interest in atmospheric chemistry. After her Masters studies, she worked for 3 years at the Hungarian Meteorological Service. In 2012, she applied for a PhD at the  at Edinburgh, and, after finishing her PhD in 2016, was offered a post-doc position by NEWS India-UK. Since then, apart from her research commitments, she has been the coordinator of the virtual centre, and an active member of the development team for the Nitrogen MOOCs.

Although Andi moved to Scotland six years ago, she has maintained a strong relationship with her Hungarian network. Therefore, it was a no-brainer for her to share the Nitrogen MOOC with them in their mother tongue. Hence, she joined up with her former Masters supervisor, Dr. László Horváth from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, as a scientific and linguistic reviewer, and translated the MOOC to Hungarian.

As such, since 1st October, the full content of the course is not only available for the English-speaking world, but also the Hungarian audience. They can enjoy in their mother tongue all five modules of the course:

  • Global Nitrogen Challenge
  • Nitrogen and Agriculture
  • Nitrogen and Air Pollution
  • Nitrogen and Water
  • Nitrogen Solutions

Just as in the English version, the Hungarian version of the course is completely free and self-paced, which means that learners can join the course at anytime, and can digest the course material at a pace suitable for them. Below is a short advertising video, similar to the one above, but now in Hungarian:

The development team of the Nitrogen MOOCs hope that with this new Hungarian version they can not only reach out to the Hungarian audience, but also widen the University’s international scientific networks. The team now plans to build on their experience and successes by translating the Nitrogen MOOC into many more languages, especially those of South Asia. It is here where the challenges of nitrogen pollution are some of the greatest in the world and where a better understanding of nitrogen risks and responses could help improve management of this Janus-faced element.

Andi Móring

Dr Andi Móring studied meteorology MSc at the Eötvös Loránd Univerity, Budapest Hungary, then did a PhD at the University of Edinburgh. Currently, she is a postdoctoral research assistant at the University of Edinburgh. She has a strong interest in atmospheric and environmental chemistry, with a special focus on modelling of ammonia emission from agricultural sources. Andi is a keen science communicator. In 2014, she was the runner-up at the university-wide final of the “Three Minute Thesis” competition at the University of Edinburgh.

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