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FutureLearn MOOCs – learning of the future has just arrived


I’ve done enough of the FutureLearn MOOCs to be certain of one thing: those produced by The OU are incredible.

Somehow, not surprising really, they know how to put on a show. Just the right amount of content, the right number and type of activities, the right amount of moderation and support.

Over the last few years I’ve see a quest for a format that can be a panacea for challenges to learning. Setting aside the obvious need for a person to have the kit, the line and therefore the budget to use online learning … and probably a space, or context where they can do so undisturbed for regular parts of the day, there have been various efforts over the last decade to make ‘social learning’ or ‘connected and collaborative’ learning work.

FutureLearn is now achieving this. 

I’ve done, or tried to do some FutureLearn MOOCs that are either make false promises and are rather hollow in content, failing to exploit the value of the platform, and others that are so intense that I feel you need to be a postgraduate with a niche interest. In both these cases I could simply say that very different target audiences were addressed: school leavers and those applying to university in some instances, those seeking to go on to PhD research at the other. In which case, no wonder I struggle to relate to either one.

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3 Comments

  1. mgozaydin says:

    It seems Future learn ,is ahead of EDX and Coursera .

    Do they provide degrees ?
    Are courses same as oncampus courses ?

    If so they can conquer the World .
    Best wishes

    • Not yet, and that may not be the remit of FutureLearn who run a platform to introduce people to learning at university and offer plenty of wonderful free content. I did one MOOC that gave 10 credits towards a degree on completing an assessed 4,000 word essay. Increasingly these open MOOC can be used to complement learning in a blended course. One day they could help enhance all formal online distance learning – I have an MA from the Open University in education, for example.

      • mgozaydin says:

        Vernon you say
        ” I did one MOOC that gave 10 credits towards a degree an asssed 4,000 Word essay . ”
        So they give degrees too. Am I right ?

        They should provide credits and degrees and charge a fee of $ 100-200 per course . Nothing can be free forever . I am after degrees from first class universities at a nominal fee like $ 100-200 per course .
        If Future Learn does that, then they can have millions enrollments and make billions $ profit too. No harm . As long as they are non profit they would invest that Money to make even better education .

        Not well known universities in the USA have been providing online degrees for the last 20 years at huge prices nobody objected them even though they have bad quality. Now why on the earth first class universities do not provide online degrees at a nominal fee AND SAVE THE WORLD
        In USA if EDX provides degrees then 3,000 colleges would be closed 2 million teachers would be jobless within 3-5 years . Therefore edx is under pressure not to provide degrees . I am also considered about 2 million teachers being jobless. Some solution must be found to that .

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