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FutureLearn announces series of WW1 courses co-created by the BBC

Four FutureLearn university partners have collaborated with the BBC to create a series of massive open online courses on World War One (WW1), which marks the first time a major public broadcaster has contributed to MOOCs, FutureLearn announced today.

The collaboration between the universities and the BBC is a key feature in FutureLearn’s mission to forge relationships between world class universities and cultural centres of excellence. The BBC’s involvement reinforces FutureLearn’s approach to online learning, one which brings learning to life through a rich narrative course design.

Each free, online course from the University of Birmingham, University of Glasgow, University of Leeds and The Open University will use original multimedia content to explore an aspect of WW1. The BBC has contributed material of historical value from the its vast archive in the form of video, audio recordings and images, such as an interview with the English aviation pioneer, Sir Thomas Sopwith of the Sopwith Camel, and the World War One soldier and cartoonist Bruce Bairnsfather.

The courses are open now for registration and will begin between October and November 2014. They are:

Simon Nelson, CEO, FutureLearn, said: “It’s our aim at FutureLearn to connect our university partners to other great centres of culture and knowledge, so I’m delighted to see the BBC and these four universities come together to create new learning experiences. The collaboration reinforces FutureLearn’s approach to online education, which draws on experts in great storytelling and academics to produce compelling courses for learners around the world.  And it’s the learners who are the real winners here, gaining access to the unrivalled resources of one of the world’s best known broadcasters, world leading educators, and each other, around an event as significant as the World War One centenary.”

Sinéad Rocks, Acting Controller of BBC Learning, said of the BBC’s contribution: “The BBC is committed to education and looking at how we can exploit technology to best serve audiences. This is a great opportunity to explore how we can do that as part of our WW1 season, and working as a content partner with these four universities to help deliver online courses will help us establish how we can contribute to the UK remaining a world leader in online learning. MOOCs are an interesting and exciting area, and I’m looking forward to exploring what role we might play.”

To sign up to the courses, click here.


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