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Update: The next course begins on June 30, 2014.
The University of Leicester and FutureLearn are teaming up to offer a six-week online course that will examine King Richard III and his era. The massive open online course, which is freely open to anyone interested in the topic, begins on November 25th.
England in the time of King Richard III will be taught by Deirdre O’Sullivan, Lecturer in Medieval Archaeology from the University of Leicester. During the six-week course, students will learn about topics such as medieval warfare, the lives of peasants and farmers, food and culture, death and commemoration, the introduction of printing as well as how Richard III’s remains were discovered last year.
The course is one of the first being offered by FutureLearn, which is owned by the Open University. The idea behind this new initiative is to allow people all over the world to access free courses accessible on mobiles, tablets or PCs. The site’s design incorporates the expertise of The Open University, a world leader with over 40 years of experience in distance education and open learning. FutureLearn hopes that by combining their expertise with the social web to create an engaging learning experience.
Simon Nelson, CEO of FutureLearn said, “We wanted to make FutureLearn a fresh, different and enjoyable user experience. We have designed the website in line with principles of effective learning, such as storytelling, discussions and celebrating progress. We decided to go live with FutureLearn now, in an open testing phase, so that we can remain responsive to learners as we continue to develop the website.”
This is the first history course offered through FutureLearn – nineteen other courses have also been announced that will be starting either this fall or in early 2014. They include courses such as ‘The Mind Is Flat: The Shocking Shallowness of Human Psychology’ and ‘Web Science: How the Web is Changing the World’.