Deakin launches “testbed” MOOC

Australian Financial Review    |     17 June 2013

Deakin_Worldly_Logo_keylineIn a move aimed at buttressing its position as a leader in online education, Deakin University  launched its first massive open online course (MOOC) on 17 June and plans to  use it as a test-bed for redeveloping its full learning environment.

Unlike the MOOC offerings from most universities, Deakin’s free online course will be a taster designed to promote fee-paying courses and will offer students a pathway to earning academic credit.

It will be free to all comers, but it also offers students a cheap way to study a unit for credit. For a fee of $495, students can be assessed and earn partial credit for acceptance into Deakin’s graduate certificate and master’s programs in international and community development, although the credit option is limited to 100 students.

“If you are sufficiently interested and you want to have your learning outcomes formally assessed, you can come in and we will assess it for you,” said Deakin vice-chancellor Jane den Hollander.

Deakin’s first MOOC will be a 12-week course starting in July, Humanitarian Responses to 21st-Century Disasters, an area the university believes attracts interest. It will examine the humanitarian aid sector and its role in disaster management, and is designed for people who work, or have considered working, in this field.

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