FutureLearn launches fully online BA
FutureLearn, the online learning platform attached to the British Open University, has launched its first undergraduate full degree program, in partnership with the University of Newcastle, Australia.
The degree will be available across four subject areas of: Film, Media and Cultural Studies; English and Writing; History; and Sociology and Anthropology. Students will choose major and a minor subjects, picking individual courses accordingly.
“It’s an important expansion of the university’s long history of flexible delivery”
Each of the programs will consist of 12 weeks of teaching, broken down into four, three-week courses.
The online semester will start at the same time as students on Newcastle’s New South Wales campus. This will allow the institution to continue to deliver its flexible study options, as on campus students will be able to take the online version of a course when available.
However, the program also retained some of FutureLearn’s key product identities, such as allowing the first courses of each program to be accessed for free, as part of a ‘try-before-you-buy’ initiative.
Mark Lester, FutureLearn’s MD for university partnerships, said the development was evidence that HEIs are adapting to the changing worlds of education and employment.
“We aim to showcase the exciting experience of being in an online classroom”
“There’s no doubt that [HEIs] are earnestly responding to the needs of a changing world, where people demand the ability to learn as they live. Education is being designed to suit people’s busy lives, and the fast pace of change in both industry and society,” he said.
Darrell Evans, deputy vice-chancellor (academic) at the University of Newcastle Australia said the partnership with FutureLearn allowed the institution to continue its flexible learning project, with “innovative” pedagogical tools from the provider.
“The University of Newcastle is excited to join FutureLearn in this important expansion of the university’s long history of flexible delivery. This partnership builds on our already established experience in delivering innovative learning for our students and is a core component in delivering on our NeW Education Framework,” Evans said.
“Students can tailor their study to their interests and career goals, also accommodating life’s other commitments. We aim to showcase the exciting experience of being in an online classroom, with the added dimension of having students from varied perspectives and places participate,” Catharine Coleborne, head of the school of Humanities and Social Science at University of Newcastle Australia, and the academic lead for the new program, added.