New MOOCs for Derby

New MOOCs launch at the University of Derby for people wanting to learn about dementia and those wishing to boost their digital reputation

The free MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) will start in July and have been developed by the University’s Academic Innovation Hub, supported by the University of Derby Online Learning (UDOL).

‘Bridging the Dementia Divide’ is the first MOOC to be launched on July 13, in conjunction with UDOL and the University’s College of Health and Social Care. The MOOC is aimed at both family members who want to care for someone living with dementia or health and social care professionals.

An estimated 850,000 people in the UK are living with dementia, and 670,000 people act as primary carers for them. Numbers are expected to double within 30 years as the population ages. Dementia costs the UK economy an estimated £26.3bn or £32,250 per person per year, comprising social care, health care and unpaid carers. While there is no cure for many forms of dementia, it is possible to improve lives and save costs.

The second MOOC titled ‘Digital Me: Managing Your Digital Self’ has been developed with UDOL and the University’s Learning Enhancement Unit. The course will be launched on July 6 and is aimed at anyone wanting to improve or create a positive online reputation. 

The course aims help individuals to develop relevant skills and knowledge to understand and analyse the quality of their digital footprints, harvest the “power of the web” and increase their ability to use technology to improve their professional and personal life. 

Julie Stone, Director of UDOL said: “As experts in online learning we hope our MOOCs will inspire learners to engage further in their educational opportunities and knowledge acquisition.  Our free courses cover subjects that we specialise in making it easy for individuals to progress to their studies with us at undergraduate or postgraduate level.”

Munib Hadi, Head of the Innovation Hub at the University of Derby added: “One of the primary reasons we undertook the MOOCs project was to bring down the barriers to higher education and give a flavour of the high quality teaching on offer at UDOL. As part of our open education strategy, our courses have no prerequisite requirements.

“Even though they are free courses, University of Derby MOOCs have a gone through a similar quality review process as our paid for courses. This ensures our MOOC learners get a quality learning experience.

“Typical retention for MOOC is around 5%. At the University of Derby we believe the traditional methods of retention calculation are a bit obsolete in MOOCs context due to the free and drop in dropout nature of some of these courses. A great deal of learners who log on to MOOCs do learn but don’t have the time to complete a typical six to eight weeks course. 

“With this in mind we are developing tools and mechanisms around our proposed MOOCs to record these micro learning achievements. As part of this approach our learners will be able to gain digital open badges even if they are completing part of the course. The free courses will include six units with universal Mozilla open badges awarded at the end of each unit which are recognised by the majority of employers and educational institutions around the world. This would interest learners who enrol on MOOCs to learn about specific aspects of a course but are not interested or don’t have time to complete the whole course.”

Enrolment opens on the June 10 2015, for more information go to: www.derby.ac.uk/freeonlinecourses.

 

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