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Futurelearn plans Moocs for mobiles

23 May

UK-based provider is readying itself for launch in the autumn

Keep taking the tablet: students will soon be offered mobile access to Moocs
[ Source: Alamy ]

By Chris Parr

The first massive open online courses on the UK-based Futurelearn platform will go live in the autumn and are being developed for use on mobile devices, the company’s chief executive has revealed.

Simon Nelson said he believed that his company, which has 21 UK university partners signed up to offer free online courses, would gain an advantage over existing Mooc platforms by ensuring that its courses were designed “for mobile first, rather than as an afterthought – transforming the convenience and accessibility of learning”.

Speaking to Times Higher Education at the Open and Online Learning conference on 16 May organised by Universities UK, Mr Nelson, who in a previous role helped the BBC to set up its iPlayer service, said: “I don’t think [US Mooc platforms Coursera, edX and Udacity] are performing particularly well on mobile yet, so it may give us a short-term advantage.

“In my experience it’s really, really hard to retrofit mobile on to platforms that haven’t had it thought about at the inception. To develop one of these services and not think about mobile portability, how it works on multiple devices, is just really old-fashioned thinking.”

The company is also looking at ways to offer Futurelearn students the option of paying for invigilated examinations, Mr Nelson said.

[ Full article available at Times Higher Education: http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/futurelearn-plans-moocs-for-mobiles/2004010.article ]

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Posted by on May 23, 2013 in MOOCs in the News

 

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