Reducing national energy illiteracy through MOOCs
Castañeda Garza, Gerardo
Valerio Ureña, Gabriel
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In Mexico, the Binational Laboratory for the Intelligent Management of the Energy Sustainability and the Technological Formation, with funds from the energy sustainability fund CONACYT-SENER is producing and has offered a series of free MOOCs to the entire population. The objective of this research is to evaluate the extent to which these technological platforms would help reduce the participants' energy illiteracy. As part of this research, we are interested in understanding how Japan has reduced their energy illiteracy. Japan is the world’s fifth-largest electricity user and has a population of 127 million, the fourth-highest among the International Energy Agency (IEA) countries. In 2014, Japan’s Total Final Consumption (TFC) of energy was 296 million tonnes of oil-equivalent (Mtoe) (International Energy Agency, 2016, p. 41). Mexico, in comparison, had a TFC of 118.3 Mtoe (International Energy Agency, 2017b, p. 57), however, huge contrasts exists between the two countries: “Japan is a large economy with few mineral resources. It relies on imports for almost all of its oil, natural gas and coal supply. Domestic energy production accounted for around 7% of the Total Primary Energy Supply (TPES) in 2015.” (International Energy Agency, 2016, p. 20). Meanwhile, “Mexico’s energy production totaled 196.1 Mtoe in 2015, with around 105% self-sufficiency (production as a share of total demand)” (International Energy Agency, 2017b, p. 21). Even Mexico has proved to have more natural resources and territory to use; the data shows that Japan has a better administration of their energy resources, and we believe that education has a role in Japan energy efficiency. Perceiving that no previous work related to the understanding of energy issues has been studied using MOOCs, and considering the possibilities and differences between Mexico, Japan and other countries, we propose a mixed study to understand how the use of MOOCs may have an impact in increasing national energy literacy. The first stage is qualitative, to construct an instrument to evaluate the level of energy literacy, and includes the analysis of artifacts, non-participatory observation and interviews with Japanese and Mexican experts. The second stage is quantitative; to evaluate the improvement of the level of energy literacy, and pre and post surveys will be used.
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