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Introducing ‘Ecosystems’ from The Open University

The Open University gives a preview on what their first course on FutureLearn will cover and suggests some pre-course materials to get learners involved ahead of its start.

OU Ecosystems

The Open University (OU) will launch its first MOOC (massive open online course), ‘Introduction to Ecosystems’ on Monday 18th November. Drawing on 40 years’ experience of delivering online and distance education to global audiences, the OU is using this knowledge to create a visually captivating online course for UK and international audiences.

‘Introduction to Ecosystems’ draws on the stellar research and thought leadership of the OU’s Science faculty and is a six-week course exploring the relationships between living organisms. Learners on this MOOC will gain an understanding of the natural world and how the web of life works with examples from around the globe.

The OU has traditionally excelled in bringing nature to life through its long-established partnership with the BBC to co-produce award-winning TV series including Frozen Planet and Life (narrated by Sir David Attenborough), Coast (with eight series to date) and most recently, The Great British Year.

Dr David Robinson, a renowned OU zoologist, will lead the  delivery of the MOOC and will be sharing experiences of his research on Galápagos. He will be joined in Week 3 by Dr Mark Brandonwho will give insight into his work as a polar oceanographer and Principal Academic Advisor on Frozen Planet.

Throughout the course, three instructors, handpicked from The Open University’s 13,500 strong team of Associate Lecturers, will facilitate discussions within the course at key points to further embed learning experiences. Learners will also have the opportunity to view videos narrated by Sir David Attenborough on life in the trees, partake in discussions on the human impact on nature, and share their experiences of exploring their own ecosystems via iSpot (a sharing nature community hosted by The Open University).

You can still sign up to the course on FutureLearn and, if you can’t wait until next Monday, get involved in advance by enrolling in iSpot and delving into the seasons of The Great British Year on OpenLearn.

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