Moocing an impact: What lessons can we learn from massive online courses?

This session took place as part of the 2021 Conference. The presenters were Andy Parsons and Iain Barr.


The ‘Exploring Everyday Chemistry’ (or eeDc) course is a pioneering University of York free online course, or Mooc, launched in 2017 in response to a national drop in undergraduate chemistry applications. Over five runs of the course, over 21,000 learners from 150 countries have participated and they have completed over 294,000 steps and posted almost 17,000 comments. Targeted at pre-university students, the course allows learners to build on their subject knowledge, develop independent learning skills and gain an insight into York teaching and research. The success of eeDc as a recruitment tool led to it being used as a model by the University for establishing a suite of over 20 free Moocs, in different subject areas. These courses are targeted at pre-university students and over 170,000 learners have participated.

The York Moocs have utilised good practice in the sector and also introduced distinctive features. With the move to online learning within the university sector, what lessons can we learn from Moocs? This presentation will start with an overview of York Moocs, including why these courses were developed and how they are presented on the FutureLearn platform. We will then give an overview of course design, noting some distinctive features of eeDc. Finally, we will look at how eeDc has influenced how the author has adapted his own teaching, including online delivery of chemistry lectures, to facilitate active learning.

You can access the recording of this session at this link here:

Moocing an impact: What lessons can we learn from massive online courses? (UoY Panopto log-in required)

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