ISSUES IN BIOTECHNOLOGY: AN MASSIVE OPEN ONLINE COURSE (MOOC) COVERING IN SIMPLE TERMS BASIC KNOWLEDGE ABOUT DNA AND BIOTECHNOLOGY
Currently there is a wide disparity between the knowledge of the general public about DNA and biotechnology and the actual science and its applications. This gap is growing wider every day and has created a current educational crisis about DNA, how life works and biotechnology. A working knowledge of DNA, genetics and biotechnology has become as fundamental to a basic education as an understanding of the solar system. The material and format for this course on general biotechnology has created a versatile platform for teaching about the various topics in biotechnology today. This course is intended for the general public, life sciences industry science and non-science staff, high school teachers and undergraduate students regardless of their major or degree program. There are no prerequisites. The course aims to accomplish three goals: 1) to provide basic knowledge about DNA and gene expression that is fundamental to how biological life functions; 2) to present the array of current applications in biotechnology; and 3) to examine issues and ethics concerning the future of biotechnology and our society. An online series of lectures and the platform of educational materials has been created allows for the presentation of independent modules on the various topics. This flexible platform also has been used to develop workshops for various industries and their science and non-science staff. The more our society understands the fundamentals about biotechnology, the better equipped they will be to participate affecting career opportunities, economic development, policy and decision making, as well as general consumer education in a lifelong learning process. All course lectures and materials can be viewed at www. lifeedu.us. This online course aims to accomplish three goals: 1) to provide basic knowledge about DNA, genomics and biotechnology that is fundamental to the how biological life functions, 2) to provide a literate knowledge of the current applications in biotechnology, and career opportunities in the growing fields that are related to biotechnology; and 3) to learn about the issues and ethics concerning the future of biotechnology and our society. This general educational course is for all undergraduate, HS students, teachers and the general public globally through lifeedu.us. The Course can be taken in four ways: (I) As a three (3) credit hour General Education class for College Credit through the University of Rhode Island; (II) As a Massive Open OnLine Course (MOOC) to receive a recognized Certificate through lifeedu.us ; (III) As Certification Modules suited to the student's interest to receive a recognized Certificate through lifeedu.us; and, (IV) For FREE as an open educational experience. As a MOOC, this course is capable of a high educational and social impact.