FAQs

MOOC Policies »

How do I obtain a ‘Course Certificate’?

All certificates will be personalized and issued by the PoweringAg partners and TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences. Course Certificates are allocated on a pass/not pass basis along the following criteria:
In order to be receive a ‘Course Certificate’ you have to earn the MOOC-Badge. The MOOC badge is earned by collecting the  

  • 1 ‘Assignment-Badge’,
  • 1‘Community-Badge’
  • 7 ‘Week-Badges’, and
  • the ‘Final-Exam-Badge’.

With the MOOC Badge you will automatically receive the ‘Course Certificate’.
For in depth information on all badges please refer to the Badge Overview.

What is an 'Open Badge' and how do I get it?

The final MOOC BADGE will be awarded as an Open Badge that will be a digital proof that you have successfully completed the PoweringAG MOOC. Together with the MOOC BADGE you will receive an automatic e-mail on how to set up a Credly account where your open badge will be stored. For more information about credly, visit its FAQ page. From Credly you can also export your badge to your Mozilla Open Badge Backpack.

How do I obtain a badge?

This course features a set of different badges reflecting and honoring your activity and progress throughout the Powering Agriculture MOOC. You can earn ‘Week Badges’, ‘Community Badges’, ‘Assignment Badges’ and one ‘Final Exam Badge’. Some of these are considered ‘Major Badges’. Each ‘Major Badge’ puts you closer to the ‘MOOC Badge’. Once you’ve earned the  ‘MOOC Badge’ you will receive a ‘Course Certificate’ signed by the TH Köln and the PoweringAg Partners.

For in depth information on all badges please refer to the Badge Overview.

What are Community Badges and what are they good for?

You will receive community badges for engaging with the MOOC community. There are two types of community badges: Interaction Badges and Major Badges. Interaction Badges can be earned by engaging with the MOOC community in different ways. For more information on what you have to do to earn Interaction Badges please refer to the list below. You will be awarded one Advanced Badge for having earned five Interaction Badges. With regard to Community Badges only the Advanced Badges bring you closer to earning the Course Certificate.

 

What happens if I have to take a break during the course?

You can always take a break and return later to access the course content to keep doing the course work and contributing to the MOOC discussions and activities. You will still be awarded those badges that you meet the requirements for. Please refer to the ‘Badge Overview’ for detailed information on the requirements to earn the different badges.

What happens if I do not manage to meet the deadlines?

Unfortunately we won’t be able to grant any extensions for existing deadlines.

What deadlines do I have to be aware of?

The submission for Assignment 1 is due on Feb 21st 2016.

The submission for Assignment 2 is due on March 20th 2016.

The last day to take the Final Exam is April 3rd 2016.

Do I have to submit all of the assignments?

You do not have to submit any assignments if you do not wish to get a certificate. If you have limited time to participate but still want to learn more about PAEGC and the interconnection of sustainable energy and agricultural value chains, you are most welcome to participate and contribute to the MOOC. There are no small contributions! However, you have to complete and pass at least one of the assignments in order to obtain a ‘Course Certificate’ of completion at the end of the course.

Do I have to participate in all of the activities?

No, it is not mandatory to participate in all of the activities if you do not wish to. If you have limited time to participate but still want to learn more, you are most welcome to participate and contribute to the MOOC. However, to maximize your learning experience, it is strongly advised you undertake and successfully complete as many activities as possible. A certain number of activities need to be completed to be awarded a ‘Course Certificate’ of completion at the end of the course. Take a look at the Badge Overview to see how to earn Badges and the ‘Course Certificate’.

Can I join the course after it has already started?

You are always welcome to join and contribute to the course; even after it has started. However, you may not be able to fulfill all required activities to obtain a Course Certificate at the end of the course (have a look at the deadlines above).

Do I have to pay a course fee?

No, participation in the course is absolutely free of charge.

What are the prerequisites for participation?

The only prerequisite for participants is to have an interest in food security, renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency in agricultural value chains. PAEGC warmly invites all professionals, decision-makers (public and private), and researchers interested or already involved in the topic to participate.

Who can participate?

The PoweringAg MOOC is open to anyone with an interest in food security, renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency in agricultural value chains.We are expecting participants to be practitioners in the field, academics, consultants, public service employees, activists, journalists, and business owners, amongst others. This diversity in backgrounds, professional experiences, and career aspirations, is the basis of encompassing learning, as participants will be able to work together and discuss the different perspectives and basic concepts of the Energy and Food Nexus and the importance of renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency in agricultural value chains. Ultimately, this MOOC is designed to build a strong, diverse community for Powering Agriculture – Sustainable Energy for Food.


Proceeding of the MOOC »

How will the work of each group member be graded?

Neither the certificate nor the assignments will be graded, but instead will be marked as a ‘pass‘ or ‘not pass‘. In order to pass, the assignment needs to be posted. Assignments will be read by the expert Tutors of TH Köln who will provide collected feedback. Further, each team member will have give two comments on other groups’ assignment.

How can I contact the online and expert tutors?

Our team of Online Tutors is always available to you. You may contact all tutors via our PoweringAg profile. Just go to Community/Participants and search for “PoweringAg”. You can send us a private message or you can reach us by including @poweringAg in any of your posts on the course platform.

When and how are the teams formed?

You will start forming Teams in the first course week and should choose your team by the beginning of the second course week at the latest. Please go to Community/Teams to build and join team your team.

How will the course be structured?

This course consists of 8 units. The course will take place over a period of eight weeks from February 1st to March 27th 2016. Please read more on the course structure here.

Code of Conduct

In order to be successful, the MOOC highly depends on its participants. It is our highest priority to build a community of learners in which everybody supports each other, and everybody feels free to share ideas and opinions. We are convinced that sharing diverse perspectives from people from all over the world with different backgrounds will enhance the productivity and richness of the course. To ensure this, every participant has to keep in mind and is expected to act in a responsible way, following these rules:

  • Every participant uses only one account and all information he/she provides about him-/herself is correct.
  • Participants will only make contributions that are a result of their own creativity and their own work (except for assignments that explicitly demand collaboration with others).
  • If participants use the work or part of the work of others, they will make a clear reference to the original source.
  • Participants will not engage in activities that dishonestly improve their own results or improve or hurt the results of other participants.
  • Participants will respect opinions of others and try to always behave and respond in a polite and proper way.
  • Participants will not spread or pass any kind of content or material harming or discrediting others, violating the right of others or encouraging illegal activities.
  • Participants will not use the MOOC to advertise or sell products or services.
  • Participants will respect the rights and privacy of others.
  • If participants have to evaluate or grade each other they will do so in a respectful manner, explaining their reasons and stressing positive aspects as well as areas that could use improvement.

Anyone believing that someone has violated this code of conduct can notify the Online Tutors. Our team of Online Tutors is always available to you. You may contact all tutors via our PoweringAg profile. Just go to Community/Participants and search for “PoweringAg”. You can send us a private message or you can reach us by including @poweringAg in any of your posts on the course platform.

Can I access the course content after the course has finished?

The course material will be published under a creative commons license and will be open to the public. However, postings, profile settings, and the work performed by the teams will remain confidential, and only available for three months after the course for those who have registered (e.g. teams which have been created by participants are owned by those who created them and others who accepted requests to join in).

How can I unregister from the course?

As it is an open course, there is no need to unregister. However, we would appreciate if you would post a goodbye message in your team and the forum or send us a feedback e-mail at powerinag.mooc[at]gmail.com. Please notify us here if you wish to be removed from the participants list.

Who is involved in the MOOC and what role does everyone play?

The MOOC is offered by the global initiative Powering Agriculture – An Energy Grand Challenge for Development (PAEGC) in cooperation with TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences.

Powering Agriculture – An Energy Grand Challenge (PAEGC)
PAEGC seeks to identify and support new and sustainable approaches to accelerate the development and deployment of clean energy solutions for increasing agriculture productivity and/or value in developing countries. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Duke Energy, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) have combined resources to fund Powering Agriculture. GIZ support the initiative on behalf of BMZ.

TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences
TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences sees itself as University of Technology, Arts, Sciences. With its disciplinary and cultural diversity and openness, TH Köln’s activities are aimed on cultural and technological breakthroughs of high societal relevance; TH Köln contributes substantially to resolving social challenges.


Further Contributors to the MOOC

Tetrac Tech
Miguel Franco, Senior Environment Specialist at Tetra Tech, contributed the contents for week 3 of this MOOC on bioenergy. Please have a look at the ‘Course’ site for more Information on Miguel Franco.

Center for Development Research (ZEF)
Alisher Mirzabaev, Senior Researcher at ZEF, University of Bonn, contributed the contents for week 5 of this MOOC on policies and regulations for the Energy-Agriculture Nexus. Please have a look at the ‘Course’ site for more information on Alisher Mirzabaev.

UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
FAO prepared week 6 of this MOOC on micro-level aspects of the Energy-Agriculture Nexus. Please have a look at the ‘Course’ site for more information on Stefania Bracco.

Online-Tutors
Our Online Tutors are responsible for the development of the instructional design of the PAEGC MOOC and will be available to answer questions related to the course concept and organization details. Please do not hesitate to post your questions and direct them to the Online Tutors by including @poweringAg in your post. Alternatively you can send us a private message. Just go to Community/Participants and search for “PoweringAg” to find our profile page and send us message.

Can I switch to another team?

Yes. If you want to join a different team please go to ‘Community/Teams, pick the team you would like to join and communicate with the members of that team upon joining. Make sure to leave your former team and notify your former team members about you leaving.

What are the teams for?

The combination of team and individual work enhances the depth of the learning experience. The combination of the two addresses different learning dimensions as acquisition, experience, application, and reflection. It is therefore our hope to create a more profound learning experience by having participants work in teams.

What kind of assignments do participants have to submit?

There are two team assignments. One team assignment needs to be completed in order to receive a certificate for this course. However, we encourage you to deliver both assignments to get as much as possible out of the MOOC. Based on your interests, you will be able to choose the group with which you execute your team assignments. There are also individual assignments such as the quizzes and the final exam. Please have a look at the Badge Overview page for more information.

What level of English do I need?

Even though the MOOC is offered in English, we would be happy to have many languages and nationalities represented in it. Non-native English speakers should be able to read the texts in English and follow conversations and video lectures. Questions to tutors should be asked in English. If you have trouble understanding some terms, you can always use an online translator (e.g., Google Translate, wordreference.com), adjust the video speed, or start a study group for speakers of your native language.

What kind of workload should I plan for?

The total course duration is 8 weeks (February 1st to March 27th 2016,) with a minimum of 3-4 hours a week for reading course materials and collaborative online work.

What format is the course given in?

The course is made available as a Massive Open Online Course on the platform Global Campus 21. You need an e-mail account in order to register for the course and have access to the course content. Please be aware of spam filter problems if you are using a webmail account or possible firewall filters if you are working on an office computer. The course content is made available to you in form of PDF documents when the course starts, quizzes for self-assessment, and pre-recorded videos as the course progresses. You will be working in a team and use collaboration tools to jointly work on a final team project.

How can I get help with technical problems?

Check the FAQ or use our Contact and Support Form at Help/Contact.

What kind of hardware do I need for successful participation?

You need a computer to access the course material, participate in forum discussions, and turn in your assignments. You will also need a reliable internet connection.

Can I use mobile technologies for course participation?

The course is web-based and would not work on basic phones. On Tablets and smartphones, the webpages should automatically adopt to the size of your screen. However, as there are texts to read it might be difficult to follow on a smartphone.

What kind of software do I need for successful participation?

The course pages can be accessed with all common operating systems such as Windows XP, VISTA, 7, with Tablets or a Mac, etc.. To watch the videos, you will need a video player or the relevant add-on in your browser. Office software and standard applications such as MS Word and Excel are also advisable. In order to open a PDF document, you need a PDF reader software (e.g., Adobe Reader, Foxit Reader, Nitro PDF Reader, PDF-XChange Viewer), which might already be installed on your computer or included in your web browser. If not, you will need to download and install a PDF viewing software of your choice.

My Login-Account does not work, how can I reset my password?

In your first e-mail after registration you got a link to change your password. In case you did not notice or have forgotten, simply click on the text Forgot your Password” found to the right of the login button:

Forgot Password

What kind of computer skills do I need for successful participation?

You should be able to download and install software on your computer in order to be able to participate in all of the activities. You need to be able to manage different browser windows and to download material. Being familiar with the use of social media on the internet would be an advantage. You may use Microsoft Office and/or statistical software packages if you wish.


Content »

Do the videos have subtitles?

Yes, all Course Videos have subtitles.

What do I need to watch the videos?

The videos are made available on the PAEGC YouTube Channel and posted here on the course website as well. You will need internal or external loudspeakers in your system and a stable Internet connection. If the video on the front page works, then everything should be okay for viewing.

Can I download the videos?

All videos are available via the PAEGC YouTube Channel, and unfortunately, it is not possible to download them.


Registration »

How and where can I change my personal profile data?

For this MOOC, please got to MY MOOC > MY PROFILE. There you will be able to change or add to your profile. Changing the profile on the MOOC-site will not change your profile on the GC21 Global Campus.

Does my profile data change in my GC21 account too?

No. Changing the information in MY PROFILE does not change the profile on GC21.

My Login-Account does not work, how can I reset my password?

In your first e-mail after registration you got a link to change your password. In case you did not notice or forgot, simply click on the text Forgot your Password”, found to the right of the login button:
Forgot Password

Are there different language settings?

The system language adapts to your operating system (e.g., if your operating system is set to German the dialogue windows might appear in German although the course pages and postings etc. are in English)


Certification »

What can I do with my MOOC Badge?

A digital badge is an equivalent to traditional physical badges, and allows you to display your skills and accomplishments. This may help you with your future career and education opportunities. Your MOOC Badge shows your level of commitment during the MOOC. Further, a certain number of badges is required to obtain the Course Certificate.

What can I do with my certificate?

The certification is a demonstration of your successful completion of this online course, and can be used to enhance your career options, put into a job application, or for college/university applications.

You can also get an Open Badge that will be a digital proof that you have successfully completed the PoweringAG MOOC. Together with the MOOC BADGE you will receive an automatic e-mail on how to set up a Credly account where your open badge will be stored. For more information about credly, visit its FAQ page. From Credly you can also export your badge to your Mozilla Open Badge Backpack.

Will there be a grade on my certificate?

No, there will be no grade on your certificate.

Will I be getting a hard copy of my certificate?

No, hard copies will not be handed out. However, you might print out the document if you wish.


 

 

 

6 Comments

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  1. Profile photo of Jean Baptiste Ndiaye

    Want to have courses in french. What and how I can do

  2. Profile photo of Arthur Karomba

    Cant access week 2 Quiz… Can anybody help on this?

    • Profile photo of Dismas Angura Odula

      To get to Week 2 Quiz: go to The course on the menu bar of poweringAg MOOC, Click on week 2 at the right side of the sub-window that appears. A list of activities in week 2 appears on left hand side. scroll down below the table and you will get Quiz 2, click on it. There you are

  3. Profile photo of Ahmad Murtaza Ershad

    Thank you very much for such an opportunity to learn more about energy and agriculture nexus.

  4. Profile photo of kwame ofori

    Thank you for the information on how to use my phone for this course.Very good information.

  5. Profile photo of Peter Oduor

    How do I download my certificate? I hear others have got already

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