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Online course

Innovation: the World's Greatest

Understand what innovation means and consider the history and developments of innovations that are important in our daily lives.

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No access to course tests
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • Access to course tests
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Innovation: the World's Greatest

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Why join the course?

This course considers innovations throughout history identifying that very few innovative ideas are new; the vast majority take something that is already working and improve it, be it a product, service or process.

You’ll consider the development of an innovation that you are particularly interested in, and, through a short project, produce and share with other learners your interpretation of its history.

Download video: standard or HD

Skip to 0 minutes and 11 secondsInnovation is what moves us forward, from the wheel to the internet and everything in between. This course focuses on important innovations throughout history. We start by exploring different types of innovation. You'll see that very few innovative ideas can be thought of as completely new. The vast majority take something that is already working, improve upon it, or apply it in a new way. Through videos, activities, and quizzes, this course will look at some of the different types of innovation that exist. And you will discuss with your fellow learners which innovations you rate as being the world's greatest and why.

Skip to 0 minutes and 46 seconds Along the way, you'll have plenty of opportunity to interact with learners from around the world, giving you new perspectives on the topic. Sign up now to The World's Greatest Innovations.

What topics will you cover?

  • What is innovation? Interpretation in business and within a wider context
  • Determining types of innovation: products, processes, services
  • Levels of innovation: incremental, radical, disruptive
  • Innovation in action: the challenges of an independent, serial innovator
  • The solar fridge: finding innovative solutions to challenges in Africa

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

  • Discuss great innovations from history and share ideas with fellow learners.
  • Compare your ideas with those of educators and students from the University of Leeds.
  • Explore what the term ‘innovation’ means and reflect on how it is interpreted in business and in wider contexts.
  • Contribute to the discussion regarding the different types of innovation and think of examples of each.
  • Identify examples of the three levels of innovation: incremental, radical and disruptive.
  • Evaluate your chosen innovation in light of your understanding of the types and levels of innovation.
  • Research and report on the history and development of an innovation of your choice.
  • Record and report on the history of your chosen innovation.
  • Share and discuss your report on your chosen innovation with fellow learners.

Who is the course for?

This course is part of the ‘Going to University’ collection which has been specifically designed for schools and colleges. The course can be used as a teachers’ classroom enrichment resource or can be studied independently by students.

Who will you learn with?

Dan Trowsdale

Hi, I'm a Senior Teaching Fellow at the Univesity of Leeds. My areas of interest are based around the subject of design. Key areas are innovation, creativity and employability.

Who developed the course?

As one of the UK’s largest research-based universities, the University of Leeds is a member of the prestigious Russell Group and a centre of excellence for teaching.

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No access to course tests
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • Access to course tests
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Get extra benefits, upgrade this course. For $54 you’ll get:

Unlimited access

Upgrading will mean you get unlimited access to the course.

  • Take the course at your own pace
  • Refer to the material at any point in future

If you’re taking a course for free you have access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join. If you upgrade the course you have access for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn.

Access to tests

When you upgrade you’ll have access to any tests during the course.

  • Validate your learning
  • Ensure you have mastered the material
  • Qualify for a certificate

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to take any tests and score over 70%. You don’t get access to tests if you choose to take a course for free.

A Certificate of Achievement

Upgrading means you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course.

  • Prove your success when applying for jobs or courses
  • Celebrate your hard work
  • Display on your Linkedin or CV

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to mark 90% of the steps on the course as complete, and score over 70% on any course tests.