Plous’ MOOC Promotes Compassion

Professor of Psychology Scott Plous’ Social Psychology MOOC is believed to be the world’s most popular massive open online course, but its impact is being felt even beyond the hundreds of thousands of students who enrolled, according to BBC News. The story featured the results of Plous’ “Day of Compassion” assignment, in which he challenged students to live 24 hours as compassionately as possible.

“It doesn’t matter who you are, or what you do,” Plous told the BBC. “You don’t have to be a physician or in education. Anyone can look at what they can do and if they are dedicated enough they can make a difference in just 24 hours.”

In response to the challenge, a doctor in India dedicated herself to combatting sexual abuse of young girls:

One day last year a doctor walked into a school near her clinic in a rural area near New Delhi in India and taught 2,000 girls how to protect themselves against sexual abuse.

Dr. Balesh Jindal’s talks evolved into being constantly on call at her surgery for girls and their mothers and to teaching boys from impoverished backgrounds how to respect women.

She is paving a new way for women to protect themselves in India, where there has been anger at a number of high-profile rape cases and concern about the availability of sex education.