Jisc welcomes the announcement by the Open University today to bring together a range of free, open, online courses from leading UK universities through MOOCs (massively open online courses).
Professor Martyn Harrow, chief executive at Jisc said: “The development of Futurelearn aligns with Jisc’s vision to make the UK the most digitally advanced education and research nation in the world. We are excited about the possibilities MOOCs offer and are looking forward to supporting the Open University and other education institutions in exploring their benefits.”
Jisc has been supporting activity within online learning across the UK to enhance the learner experience and open up access to education and learning for over 20 years.
One recent example has been the development of the ‘open classroom’ model funded by Jisc at Coventry University – linking in with over 60 universities across the world. The MOOC is a photography module which is being run with fee paying students as well as virtual learners. The benefits are already being realised as the larger class size means international contacts can be made, renowned and higher profile speakers and lecturers are secured and learners gain a wider variety of peer reviews from around the world.
This announcement by the Open University is an important step in allowing UK education to be at the forefront of the next generation of MOOCs – helping to build an online community for learners.
If you’re new to MOOCs read David Kernohan’s blog post on an introduction to what they are and how they can benefit learners.