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Monday, 24 February 2014 22:42

Monash launches first online FutureLearn courses

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Monash University has announced the launch of its first Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) in partnership with the UK-led MOOC provider, FutureLearn.

The University’s first two MOOCs will teach computer programming for creative design, and the science behind medicines used to treat major health issues such as heart disease, depression, diabetes and pain control.

The courses - ‘Creative Coding’ and ‘The Science of Medicines’ - will launch on FutureLearn, the free, online social learning platform.

Monash University Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) Professor Darrell Evans said the expansion of the University’s course offerings provided “exciting new educational opportunities for students.”

He said ‘Creative Coding’ and ‘The Science of Medicines’ will incorporate FutureLearn’s strong storytelling elements, guiding learners through a compelling narrative made up of videos, articles, real life case studies and other rich media elements.

‘Creative Coding’ will begin on 2 June and ‘The Science of Medicines’ on 1 September. Learners can register their interest in these courses now on the FutureLearn website.  

“We are very excited about our partnership with FutureLearn. With its focus on student engagement and social learning, we see FutureLearn as the perfect fit for Monash MOOCs. This is an opportunity to make Monash courses open to the broadest audience, further enhancing our international reach,” Professor Evans said.

Simon Nelson, CEO of FutureLearn, said the new titles bring to 46 the number of free online courses added to FutureLearn since its launch in September last year, and builds on the website’s growing portfolio of Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths (STEM) and Art & Design offerings.   

“Our partnership with Monash University gives learners around the world access to some of the highest quality teaching from a truly global educator. The new courses will be a valuable addition to the FutureLearn portfolio, providing vital, practical knowledge to improve their lives and careers.  

“At FutureLearn, we want to support our partners – both in the UK and internationally – to become world-leading digital practitioners. The two courses from Monash University promise to be really enjoyable learning experiences, combining topical subjects with a strong compelling narrative, for our growing community of learners.”

Professor Evans said the courses not only reflect important strengths of the University, but were well-suited to the MOOC format.  

“The Creative Coding course is truly multidisciplinary, cutting across information technology and art and design. Being a course that will encourage creativity, we see the FutureLearn platform as the ideal way to facilitate a vibrant exchange of ideas amongst students from the broadest mix of geographical and cultural backgrounds.

“The Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is a world leader in research and education, and so was a natural choice to develop one of our first MOOCs. “The Science of Medicine” course will showcase the innovative ways the Faculty presents pharmacology but will do so in a way of immediate practical value to the students taking the course.”


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - an iTWire treasure is a mentor and coach who volunteers also a writer and much valued founding partner of iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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