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The Mind is Flat: How much of the world around you can you really see?

The-Weight-of-Reason- Warwick image

The Warwick team shares the inspiration behind their first MOOC, The Mind is Flat, and gives a taste of what is to come in this exciting new course starting on Monday.

We have been delivering distance learning for over 25 years, but the rampant enthusiasm and take up of The Mind is Flat MOOC has been breathtaking! To have it fill up so quickly was astonishing, but then to have the real outpouring of excitement once we mailed out some pre-reading totally surprised us. The twitter feed is buzzing, the hashtag #themindisflat is practically alive. We feel like we just increased our family by thousands in one fell swoop!

The topic was a natural choice for Warwick’s first MOOC as it is an area that is close to the heart of the Dean of Warwick Business School, Professor Mark Taylor. Mark worked in the City throughout the financial crisis in 2007 and recognised the role played by human behaviour in what happened. On taking up his position of Dean, Mark immediately set up a Behavioural Science research and teaching group within the School to help create a much broader understanding and awareness of human behaviour in business and society.

If you would like a taster of the course then you may wish to browse a couple of pages of pre-reading to get you thinking. The pages explore Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina (so beware there are some story spoilers if you haven’t already read the book).

Once you have read them, you may like to start to think about:

– How much do you feel you can see of the world around you?

– How well do you know your own preferences or even personality? Really well? Or maybe not as well as you first thought!

– How well do you know other people’s preferences and personality? Try to think about a member of your family, one of your friends, or maybe a work colleague.

If this stirs your grey matter then the next step is to sign up on the second run of The Mind is Flat which will start in early 2014!

To create a course from scratch is always an interesting prospect, and to load it into an online platform and see it start to live and breathe is immensely fulfilling. What’s been very interesting is that for this course we have really been able to use lots of skills drawn from across the whole of Warwick Business School. From Nick, our academic, to Ashley, our Press Officer, from Beccy, our Designer, to Christina, our eLearning Consultant, so many people have pulled together to get this off a piece of paper and on to t’internet.

We are thrilled to be part of FutureLearn. The team, from Matthew to Matt, Emma to Mark, Dharmesh to Roly, and many others have been a pleasure to work with and an inspiration.

We are now counting down the days to the actual launch of the course with trembling anticipation!

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