FutureLearn has launched with an open beta website and a roster of free online courses. The UK based program is an alliance of many British educational institutions and also worldwide recognized names like British Council, British Library and the British Museum. FutureLearn is owned by The Open University and its making a foray into the very open space of Massively Open Online Courses (MOOC) with nearly 26 educational partners.
While Coursera and Udacity have become recognizable names in the online courses arena, FutureLearn is a late-starter. But the beginning has been made with the launch of its educational portal and free courses on offer from the partner institutes. The 20 pilot courses will run throughout the year and learners can join from any part of the globe. The popularity of the courses and population of students will help FutureLearn test the waters and expand the bouquet as the online education provider moves forward with more full-fledged and paid courses. The free courses listed on the website cover a broad range of subjects – from computer programming to medicine and forensic science.
The free courses also allow students from around the world to evaluate the quality for themselves. Some eminent universities are behind the educational content, but online students now have multiple options from quality course providers like Harvard and Stanford as well. Coursera and Udacity have a head start. It will take a few leaps for FutureLearn to come alongside them. In the meantime, students can grab the learning benefits as options and topics open up in the MOOC world.
Browse the courses on offer by FutureLearn. What you think about the prospects of FutureLearn? What does it mean for you as an online learner?