Massive Open Online Courses in the Arts and Humanities: Opportunities, Challenges and Implications Across UK Higher Education

  • Date: 25 Apr 2014
  • Start Time: 10:00 am
  • Location/venue: School of Language, Literature and International Studies, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, Lancashire , England, PR1 2HE

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This event is funded as part of the Arts & Humanities workshop and seminar series 2013-14. The workshop is free to attend for delegates from both subscribing and non-subscribing institutions but booking is essential to secure your place as numbers are limited.

The workshop will examine the opportunities and challenges presented by new forms of online learning arising from the debate about Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Addressing the Arts and Humanities, the workshop will consider key aspects of the discussion through a combination of invited speakers and audience participation.

Featured Speakers include;

One of the most important questions facing new forms of online learning is whether they are compatible with the Arts and Humanities. Courses in these areas are least represented in MOOC platforms and this may be a result of pedagogical styles which are more suited to smaller groups and personal forms of teaching and learning.  The workshop is open to participants from all disciplines in the Arts and Humanities and aims to develop their knowledge in the following areas:

  • The historical context of online learning
  • Scalability and quality assurance
  • Pedagogy
  • Accreditation
  • Future implications of MOOCs in the Arts and Humanities

Following the growing interest in MOOCs in 2012, FutureLearn was established by the Open University as a UK alternative to EdX and CourseEra, the most prominent developers in the US. While FutureLearn currently has 23 partners, none are drawn from the Million+ group which includes some of the largest providers in the sector. Most courses currently offered by MOOCs involve STEM subjects and it is not clear what role FutureLearn will ascribe to the Arts and Humanities.

The proposed workshop is situated in the ‘Creativity, innovation, professional practice’ strand and aims a) to be inclusive and involve participants from across the UK HE sector; b) focus on the Arts and Humanities vis-à-vis key Higher Education Academy themes (flexible learning, OERs, internationalisation and employability); and c) promote a research-based approach to online learning.

While MOOCs have a growing group of advocates (combining technology vendors, the academic press and educational technology professors), few research studies have been conducted to date. In his comprehensive 2012 report, Sir John Daniel argues that the real revolution promoted by MOOCs will be the emergence of a ‘scholarship of teaching’. The workshop will examine this claim and the potential role of the Arts and Humanities.


09:15 – 10:00

Registration Desk Open

10:00 – 10:15

Welcome from the Organisers and the HEA

10:15 – 11:00

Keynote: Sir John Daniel / Stamenka Uvalic-Trumbic

11:00 – 11:15


11:15 – 12:00

Keynote: Professor Tony McEnery (Lancaster University)

12:00 – 13:00

Networking Lunch

13:00 – 14:00 

Panel A: Dr Ben Brabon (Edge Hill University)

Monstrous Pedagogies and Questions of Credit: A Case Study on the UK’s First Undergraduate Credit-bearing MOOC

Panel B: Dr Liam Murray (Limerick University)

Developing and Implementing Collaborative Evaluation Approaches with MOOCs and SLA

14:00 – 14:15


14:15 – 15:15

Panel C. Beverly Leeds (University of Central Lancashire)

The Potential of MOOCs for Open Education: A Critical Evaluation

Panel D: Jeffrey Young (Chronicle of Higher Education)

Beyond the MOOC Hype

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