Short Online Courses
We support academic teams to create engaging online courses for a worldwide learning community.
Short online courses
Short online courses are free courses that enable learners around the world to gain a new skill, expand their interests in a topic, or fulfil professional development needs.
The University has been delivering free short online courses since 2012, and we have created more than 90 courses hosted on three partner platforms: Coursera, Edx, and FutureLearn. These partners take our courses to millions of learners around the world. More than 4 million learners have taken one of our free short online courses.
Why should you develop a Short Online Course?
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) are one form of short online course that provide a fantastic vehicle for the University to achieve our strategic priorities. Our University Strategy 2030 includes an objective to enable global participation in education – these free courses enable learners around the globe study a vast range of subjects.
Our short online courses also play an important role in supporting the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDGs). The University's commitment to providing free, open-access materials to learners around the world on a broad range of topics supports the key aims; to address global challenges, inspire action, and work towards a better future for everyone. Find out more about how our courses support the 17 SDGs.
Potential benefits of developing a short online course:
- Widen participation and community outreach
- Engage with a global audience
- Research and innovation
- Strengthen strategic relationships through MOOC collaborations and partnerships
- Re-purpose existing content and contribute to Open Education Resources
What's involved in Making a Short Online Course?
The University has a formal MOOC approval process where the Short Online Courses Strategy Group reviews the proposal. This group is chaired by Colm Harman and members include a number of assistant or vice principals, or their representatives. Proposals will be collated and submitted to the Group for review throughout the year.
The Online Course Production (OCP) team are available for initial consultation on projects and to assist with the development of costed estimates. Where relevant, ISG may work with Schools or Colleges to identify alternative funding opportunities and/or partner in planning bids. Projects are run in partnership between the academic school, or department, and ISG.
Feedback from academics
Football more than a Game, offered through Edinburgh University's Academy of Sport has been enabling learning both online and in communities since 2014. The move to offer the online dual offering on Future Learn and Coursera was facilitated by the professional expertise provided by Learning Technology team. This made the production and management of the two-mode option seamless for tutors. The advantage of having the dual mode offering is that it helps us to reach more, people, more often in more communities. In the first run of the new Coursera offering more than 2,500 people participated. The quality of the production facilitated by all involved is impressive. The course has been offered in football stadiums around the world, working with underserved communities to enable access to education. The quality of the learning resources produced online makes it easier to facilitate classes on a face-to-face basis in football stadiums around the world and in Edinburgh.
The range of people who take the course can help you see your subject matter in a wider context. If you use your practice in managing a MOOC to feed into your other teaching practice, it can have pedagogical benefits in terms of feedback and interactions.
Impact, impact, impact! If you want to have a real-world impact as an academic, this is a great opportunity to share your passion about your discipline with thousands of people worldwide. It can also help raise your profile and attract students or collaborators
Contact Online Course Production
We are passionate about providing a high-quality service that meets your specific needs and budget. If you would like more information about the support we can provide, please get in touch.
If you're already working with the Online Course Production team you can reach us at: firstname.lastname@example.org