Welcome to the global classroom

November 2nd, 2014

The University of Nottingham is offering a free course on sustainability as part of a new venture in social online learning.

The University is part of FutureLearn — an online platform offering free course content from the UK’s top universities, which had its official launch on September 18.

FutureLearn, the first UK-led provider of massive open online courses (MOOCs), offers learners around the world access to free, high-quality courses from its internationally renowned university partners.

Social interaction is central to the FutureLearn experience, enabling people to learn actively by engaging in conversations around the learning material, or vicariously, by following discussions. FutureLearn has also been designed to work on smartphones, tablets and desktop computers, so that learners can enjoy the same high-quality user experience, regardless of the screen size.

FutureLearn is wholly owned by The Open University. A new website combines the best elements of the social web with The Open University’s 44 years of expertise in distance and open learning.

The University of Nottingham is offering a course entitled Sustainability, Society and You — exploring the major global issue of sustainability and how individuals can have a real impact on the future. Sustainability, Society and You will begin in January 2014 but registration for the course is already open.

The course is led by Dr Sarah Speight, archaeologist, educator and the University’s academic lead on sustainability. It features contributions from academics across a variety of disciplines, supported by expert facilitators.

Dr Speight said: “Sustainability is one of the big global issues of our time. It is crucial that we all play our part in protecting our world for current and future generations. This course provides you with the knowledge and skills to do this by investigating sustainability from multiple angles and exploring what small steps you can take to have a real impact upon all our futures.”

The FutureLearn website will run until early 2014. Learners will be able to sign up for a selection of courses from FutureLearn’s university partners, with learner feedback used to inform the development of the website. So far learners from over 165 countries have registered their interest in taking a course on FutureLearn.

Simon Nelson, CEO of FutureLearn, said: “We wanted to make FutureLearn a fresh, different and enjoyable user experience. We have designed the website in line with principles of effective learning, such as storytelling, discussions and celebrating progress. We decided to go live with FutureLearn in an open testing phase so that we can remain responsive to learners as we continue to develop the website.”

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said: “FutureLearn has the potential to revolutionise conventional models of formal education. I encourage all our institutions to explore the opportunities offered by new modes of technology, such as MOOCs. This will keep the UK ahead in the global race to deliver education in worldwide markets.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Other Issue 71

Dear John…

We are living in an age when we are more likely to fire off an email […]

Pop Art to Britart

One of the most important collections of late-twentieth century and contemporary art in private hands is […]