FutureLearn, the first UK-led provider of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), will unveil its first set of courses from leading international universities in mid-September. The first courses open to learners will cover a range of topics, including Literature, History, Social Sciences, Computing & IT, Environment & Sustainability, Marketing, Psychology and Physical Science.
September’s release will mark the beginning of FutureLearn’s open beta phase of development, which runs until early 2014. Learners will be able to sign up for a selection of courses – the first of which commence in October – with their feedback used to inform the ongoing development of the website. Members of FutureLearn’s mailing list will be given first opportunity to enrol in the open beta phase, as some course numbers may initially be limited during the early testing period. The website currently has potential learners registered from over 150 countries. Simon Nelson, CEO of FutureLearn said, “We’re looking forward to introducing FutureLearn to learners around the world. During the open beta period, we will be listening closely to the feedback from our users and using that to tailor FutureLearn into a uniquely engaging learning experience.” FutureLearn is being designed to enable people all over the world to enjoy learning through 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 will combine that expertise with the best of the social web to create an engaging learning experience. FutureLearn was created in December 2012 as the UK’s first provider of free, high quality MOOCs. Currently numbering 26, its partners and course providers comprise leading UK and international universities and cultural institutions including the British Library, British Museum and British Council.