Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) at the University of Edinburgh
The University of Edinburgh is joining the Coursera consortium, and in July 2012 became one of its first partners outside North America. Coursera offers short online courses from top universities in an increasing range of subjects, all entirely free of charge.
All the courses are led by world-class academics, and supported by their teaching assistants. There are no entry requirements for students - all courses can be taken by anyone from anywhere online, and are generally offered two or three times per annum. These features ensure that access to world class education is available to anyone, regardless of their location or their financial capacity.
In the first instance, the University of Edinburgh will offer a range of short undergraduate-level courses, which are part of our contribution to extending access to higher education. We shall ensure the quality of our courses by means of the internal quality assurance processes that we apply to on-campus and taught online courses.
Although the University of Edinburgh MOOCs do not have formal university credits assigned to them, Statements of Accomplishment will be available to any student who completes a course with us.
The University of Edinburgh has now launched short open online courses in the following subjects:
These courses are available for sign up now.
To enrol on a University of Edinburgh MOOC, please visit the Coursera website.
The University of Edinburgh's MOOC offering on Coursera.
The University of Edinburgh has a substantial offering of high-quality Online Postgraduate Programmes, with 42 programmes available from 2012/13. More information about these credit-bearing postgraduate qualifications is available on the online learning postgraduate site:
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) complement the University’s existing online learning offering, providing students with another opportunity to experience a University of Edinburgh education through flexible delivery methods online.
The following table highlights the differences between a MOOC and an online taught postgraduate programme at the University of Edinburgh.
|MOOC||Online Postgraduate Programmes|
|Cost||Free to study. A Statement of Accomplishment will be available to all those who complete a course, also free of charge.||The fees for these programmes varies depending on the subject area. The level of fees for each is available here: http://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/postgraduate/online-distance-learning/finance|
|Qualification||MOOCs are not certified they do not constitute a formal credits or qualification from the University.||A variety of qualifications are available (for example, PG Cert, PG Diploma, MSc, MA), each carrying a defined number of SQCF Level 11 Credits.|
|Study-Level||University entry-level (SCQF level 7)||Postgraduate level (SCQF 11)|
|Quality||Courses are developed by our academic staff; the content and level is comparable to a standard University of Edinburgh course; quality control processes are applied.||Programmes must pass a rigorous validation process to ensure they achieve the required high standards of a University of Edinburgh qualification. Quality is assessed regularly to ensure the programmes meet the needs of the students.|
|Study method||Self-directed. The student follows the course materials, completes the readings and assessments, and gets help from the large community of fellow learners through online forums provided with each course.||Various. The study method is developed to fit the subject matter and learning objectives. Students are actively supported to ensure they can achieve their full potential. Assessments are paced and structured to provide full guidance, feedback and rigorous evaluation of each student’s progress.|
|Interaction with academic team||A MOOC offers light touch tutoring; questions are typically answered by the student community in a forum with direction from the MOOC Teaching Assistants.||These programmes vary but in all of them students have a high-level of interaction with the whole academic team and with small groups of fellow students, each of whom has been selected through rigorous application processes.|
|Access to student support services||None from the University of Edinburgh. Students taking the MOOC are supported by Coursera.||Students are offered a full student experience with the associated access to all student services (e.g. study skills support, library resources, IT support, Careers, Counselling, etc) as for any other matriculated student.|
|Entry requirements||None. Anyone can study these courses.||Entry requirements depend on the programme. Students must be able to demonstrate an agreed standard to secure a place on a programme.|
|Duration||Typically 5 weeks long with weekly study time of approximately 1-2 hours.||Duration depend partly upon the programme on offer and partly on the exit point opted for by each student. The online postgraduate programmes are designed to be flexible and part-time options are typical to fit the needs of our students. A PG Cert normally requires 1-2 years; PG Diploma = 2-4 years; MSc or MA = 3-6 years. Some of the programmes as designed as CPD and last one semester.|
If you have any questions relating to Edinburgh MOOCs, please contact the Online Learning Team:
This article was published on Feb 4, 2013