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A more positive look at MOOCs

Some details of what Futurelearn Moocs might look like did emerge at the conference. Martin Bean, vice-chancellor of The Open University, which owns the platform, said there would be a “framework” to which participating universities would be expected to stick.

He said that a typical Futurelearn Mooc would take between six and 10 weeks to complete, require between two and six hours of study a week and comprise a combination of videos, slides and discussion broken down into “blocks and units”.

Mr Nelson dismissed concerns that these requirements might stifle the creativity of participating institutions. “Futurelearn is all about innovation. However, when you’ve got 21 partners that are radically different organisations at radically different stages, you want to create some level of consistency,” he said.

although Sir John Daniel “one of the world’s foremost thinkers in technology-mediated learning has dismissed massive open online courses as “fatally flawed” and “no more than a fad”.”

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