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U Michigan expands portfolio with FutureLearn

The University of Michigan has announced a new partnership with UK-based social learning platform FutureLearn to offer three online learning experiences beginning in October.

UM clinical professor at the School of Information, Charles Severance (left) and FutureLearn CEO, Simon Nelson. Photo: FutureLearn

Enrolment begins September 24 and the courses start October 14

In partnership with the Center for Academic Innovation, UM faculty will start by launching three online learning experiences on the platform: Programming for Everybody: Getting Started with Python; Sleep Deprivation: Habits, Solutions and Strategies; and Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills.

“We need to help learners everywhere to learn with and from each other”

Enrolment begins September 24 and the courses start October 14, with additional courses launched later in the year.

The platform’s current content priorities, which include health, teaching, business and technology align well with several areas of the university’s expertise as well as interest and demand from global learners, said James DeVaney, associate vice provost for academic innovation and founding executive director of the Center for Academic Innovation.

“In order to create a more informed, peaceful, equitable and empowered society, we need to help learners everywhere to learn with and from each other,” he said.

“FutureLearn shares our aspiration to transform access to education and has demonstrated real expertise in creating social, mobile and local learning opportunities while bringing breadth and depth to learners at all levels.”

“Our purpose at FutureLearn is to transform access to education and we’re delighted to be partnering with the University of Michigan who are aligned with our purpose and values,” FutureLearn CEO Simon Nelson said.

“Our team is particularly looking forward to working with UM faculty who have an impressive track record developing quality online experiences and a large and involved alumni base.

“Our partnership will also include conducting new learner research and developing new pedagogies for learning at scale, and I believe, will ultimately push the boundaries of online learning.”

UM was one of the first universities to offer massive open online courses to learners around the world as a founding partner with Coursera in 2012.

Led by its Center for Academic Innovation, U-M has developed and released more than 160 MOOCs and Teach-Outs with faculty from the university’s 19 schools and colleges.

FutureLearn’s community includes almost 10 million learners worldwide, with significant reach across Europe and large communities in India, Egypt, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Ukraine, Spain, Brazil and China.

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