Amid COVID concerns, SDG Academy highlights resources for online teaching

Schools and universities around the world are moving lessons online in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For many educators, the shift to remote teaching is brand new territory; and while their universities may send them guidelines on how to adapt their classes to an online format, many are struggling to find innovative ways to keep their students engaged in this new environment.

Covering a wide range of subjects related to the field of sustainable development, the SDG Academy’s free, high-quality online educational content can play a unique role in helping educators create engaging, multimodal online learning experiences. 

In the SDG Academy Library, educators can find engaging video lectures and case studies on a range of subjects related to the interdisciplinary field of sustainable development, including public health, economics, policy, climate science, human rights, ethics, early childhood development, and more. The videos can be searched by lecturer, relevant SDG, academic subject, or keyword. English-language transcripts are available for most videos, and some feature transcripts in additional languages, as well. Both the transcript and the video file itself are downloadable for offline viewing, which can be particularly useful in contexts where internet access is inconsistent. 

As with traditional text readings, educators can assign relevant videos from the Library to students (embedding them in a learning management system or sharing the link directly) and use them to introduce a topic or prompt discussion or debate (via asynchronous message board or synchronous chat or video conference).   

The SDG Academy also offers nearly 30 massive open online courses (MOOCs) on sustainable development and related topics, hosted on, one of the world’s largest online learning platforms. Each course contains lecture and case study videos (also available in the Library), comprehension quizzes, readings, interactive activities, and discussion boards with a global cohort of fellow learners.

Instructors are encouraged to enroll in relevant courses to “borrow” quiz questions or activity ideas, or to download readings to share. Students can also enroll directly to complete specific sections or the entire course, at their instructor’s discretion. To enroll, students must create a free edX account. All SDG Academy courses are available for free via edX’s Audit Track. 

It is our hope that these resources will ease the transition to online teaching that many educators are facing, and continue to be useful to educators and their students across many disciplines and areas of education and training. 

Last week, the SDG Academy held a webinar to introduce these resources and ideas on how to integrate them to a broad audience of educators from around the world. A recording of that webinar is available in the SDG Academy Library and can be viewed here.

To all the educators out there, we say: stay strong and teach on!