23 September 2013
New courses transform worldwide learning
Two ground-breaking courses under development at the University of Newcastle will be available to anyone in the world, free of charge, by the end of the year. Delivering unprecedented access to education, the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in Midwifery and Mining Engineering have the potential to transform learning world-wide.
"MOOCs will allow a greater number of our students to access more informed content and resources. They enable students to expand their knowledge and pursue their interests without dedicating fixed periods of time to fit a university schedule," said Professor Liz Burd, Pro Vice-Chancellor Learning & Teaching.
Aimed at large-scale interactive participation and open online access, learners participate using a range of tools including videos, readings and interactive user forums that help build a community for students, professors and teaching assistants.
With an emphasis on self-scheduled, flexible learning, MOOCs will benefit students looking to continue their learning or considering a degree in a MOOC field of study. The pilot MOOCs respond to growing support for online and interactive teaching models.
"We know that online learning methods are, on average, at least as effective as face-to-face learning; and that 'blended' methods, which involve both virtual and face-to-face learning, are more effective than face-to-face alone. We also know that open educational resources and game-based learning are at the top of the list of what students wished their teachers used more."
"We are confident that our two MOOC courses will provide a combination of top academic learning and a world-class online student experience after having worked very closely with Australia's leader in online learning Open Universities Australia," said Professor Burd.
The courses will be delivered through the Open Universities Australia (OUA) Open2Study platform.
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