Our region, and the planet, is seeing the impacts of climate change on a daily basis. Metro Vancouver identified the need to help residents increase their climate literacy and build their confidence to have conversations about climate science, climate change and its impacts. We were fortunate to be a part of building a free online program to do just this.
Creating an Engaging, Audience-Appropriate Program
The goal of this project was to provide learners with an appropriate level of information to increase their knowledge of climate change – in other words to build their climate literacy – and to educate them on the different actions being taken within our region by local governments and Metro Vancouver to tackle climate change.
We wanted to ensure learners could engage with the material, reflect, and gain a clearer understanding of core concepts, including climate science topics such as:
- Understanding climate systems and climate change
- The impacts of our changing climate
- What effective climate action looks like
- The benefits of climate action
As the program is aimed at all residents of the Metro Vancouver area, we had to be mindful of keeping the language and approach audience-focused and not overly complex or overwhelming. We also needed to ensure the program was inclusive and accessible.
Ensuring Accessibility and Inclusivity
Our standard PathWise practice is to follow Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) to ensure accessible content. All videos have closed captioning, key images include alt-text, and we provided alternative activities for a few exercises that don’t work as well for screen readers. When working with Metro Vancouver’s branding, we also ensured that we checked all colour contrasts and fonts.
Something else we were mindful of was to represent the different communities covered by Metro Vancouver (a federation of 21 municipalities, one Electoral Area and one Treaty First Nation) through imagery from different cities and regions, not just the City of Vancouver.
Incorporating Video and Other Interactive Elements
To keep learners engaged (and to provide the client with standalone assets), we developed several whiteboard animations that tackle core climate science concepts and solutions. We also included interactive activities, exercises, and knowledge checks within the course. Custom illustrations add extra visual interest, along with photographs and diagrams that relate to the content.
Collaborating with Our Client
We worked very closely with Metro Vancouver throughout the process, to plan a clear focus for the course, adapting the material and design as needs and information changed. We were able to work with their web and development teams to ensure the program would function within their Learning Management System (LMS) and that branding and design was on target.
A Successful, Much-Needed Program
On 3 May 2022, the Climate Literacy in Metro Vancouver program was launched via Metro Vancouver’s website – free for all learners. You can take the program on their website. The program also includes useful links, additional resources, and more!
We’re very proud to be a part of such an important (and timely!) program.