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Educational Design and Engagement

Educational Design and Engagement

Enriching the student learning experience & supporting development of on campus and online courses.

Reflecting on 10 Years of MOOCs: The OCP Service. Team

A graphic celebrating 100 MOOCs at the University of Edinburgh from 2013-2023.

The University’s first massive open online course or MOOC launched in 2013. Ten years on the service behind short online courses continues to go strength for strength. To mark ten years of designing engaging online learning and helping produce over 100 MOOCs, some of the team members of the Online Course Production Service have shared their musings, memories and hopes for the future of short online courses at the University.

Stuart Nicol

“The Making of the US President – A short history in five elections”, which launched in 2016 on Coursera, allowed me to learn a lot from the team of US historians in our School of History, Classics and Archaeology and, as one of our ‘event’ MOOCs, there was a sense of anticipation (and exasperation) as the election result was announced in the final week of the course. It was a privilege to spend time helping to deliver these real-time educational events at a moment of global importance alongside world-leading experts on the subject.

Rachael Mfoafo

It’s been rewarding to see the progressive evolution of our partnerships with external platforms (edX, FutureLearn, and Coursera) and our course production processes. From the deliberate shift towards more interactive content, prioritising social learning over media-heavy materials, to our unwavering commitment to a learner-centric approach, it’s been an illuminating journey.

While quietly pondering the future of our short online courses, I have absolute confidence in the OCP team and the University as a whole to continue to empower, experiment, engage, and enhance teaching and learning at scale.

Lauren Johnston-Smith

It’s a privilege to be responsible for promoting free short online courses to global audiences from all walks of life. I love to hear from learners about the positive impact of our courses. Openly accessible education can change people’s lives and even change the world. That’s pretty powerful.

Marcello Crolla

My role within OCP gives me the opportunity to work on different projects which presents me with a wide variety of work and gives me great insight into the different parts of the university.

Lizzy Garner-Foy

A fond memory of mine is working on the COVID-19 Critical Care MOOC. It was a real challenge, but it was great to be part of a project that supported so many people. It’s a fantastic feeling knowing your work has had a real-world impact and helped to save lives!

Ari Badlishah

In conjunction with the 10 Years of MOOCs celebration, the marketing team collaborated with the platforms hosting the MOOCs to conduct Instagram giveaways of certificated online courses. It was a fun yet challenging project to work on, and it felt great to share the happiness of the lucky winners who were randomly selected. I’m looking forward to following up with them to get their feedback on the courses. On top of that, we gained more engagement, followers, and brand awareness.

Ellen Groen

I look forward to the University of Edinburgh increasing their already exciting range of topics on offer to reach even more learners across the globe. What’s more, I hope the MOOCs keep adding to positive change by upskilling individuals from any background, and that it continues to help connect people from all over the world.

Juan Martos Diaz

One of the things I love about my role is meeting experts from different disciplines and helping them visualise ideas in an effective and engaging way through my videos.

Fiona Buckland

MOOCs have allowed us to share our knowledge and make an impact on so many learners. This is something we have been able to expand by dual listing our courses on more than one platform over the course of the year and I am excited to see this continue to flourish in the coming years! Our partnerships with the three main platform providers allow us to maximise on their considerable learner base to ensure our have the ability to reach anyone, no matter where they are and without financial barriers to high quality education.

Scott Coutts

I’m looking forward to supporting the growth in the number of MOOCs available over the next 10 years to ensure that education continues to be available to all; no matter where you live in the world, your level of income, previous qualifications or subject knowledge.


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