Edinburgh’s Coursera-based Moocs attract 300,000

More than 300,000 people have signed up to the University of Edinburgh’s free massive open online courses (Moocs) since they were first announced in July 2012, it has been revealed.

February 2, 2013

The university is offering six courses on the Coursera platform, which hosts Moocs primarily from universities in the United States.

For every student physically studying in Edinburgh, there are now ten online learners, a statement from the university says.

Timothy O’Shea, Edinburgh’s vice-chancellor, said he was “delighted” that the courses had “caught the imagination of the public”.

“As someone who has researched in this area for more than 40 years I am thrilled to bits that we have been able to attract so many learners to experience what Edinburgh has to offer,” he said.

“Online learning is an increasingly important method of teaching, opening up high-quality education opportunities to people around the world,” Professor O’Shea continued.

The majority of the courses run for five weeks and include “Astrobiology and the Search for Extra-terrestrial Life”, “Artificial Intelligence Planning”, “Introduction to Philosophy” and “Equine Nutrition”.

Professor O’Shea said that the courses were a “great complement” to other, paid-for forms of distance learning offered by the university.

Edinburghsaid it aims to attract 10,000 distance learning students over the next decade. It current has nearly 2,000 students enrolled on online taught master’s programmes.

david.matthews@tsleducation.com

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