The leading learning technology association for the education sector is launching out into a new venture providing free online courses with a difference – through MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses.
More than 1000 lecturers and teachers have already signed-up to participate in the Association for Learning Technology’s (ALT’s) first ever online course, ocTEL, which stands for open course in Technology Enhanced Learning.
Completely free and open to all, the MOOC will enable participants to understand better how to use technology in their courses over a 10 week course. Live webinars, starting with a session led by Prof Diana Laurillard, Vice-Chair of ALT and Professor of Learning with Digital Technologies at the London Knowledge Lab, Institute of Education, will also provide participants with a way to interact with each other in real time.
While there has been free access to courses on the internet for some time, the quality and quantity have changed significantly over the past 2 years with MOOCs gaining momentum globally. They have taken off in a big way in the US in particular where, last year, 90,000 students enrolled for a course taught by Research Professor Sebastian Thrun, a Google Fellow and a leading computer scientist through University of Virginia. A course in Artificial Intelligence also by Professor Thrun at the University of Stanford attracted 190,000 students from 190 countries.
Speaking of the UK venture this week, Maren Deepwell, ALT chief executive, said: "More and more students are signing up for MOOCs, but this course is for those who deliver learning and who are looking to improve their understanding of how technology can help improve learning and teaching. MOOCs are easy to access, free and flexible. They enable sharing of ideas and innovative practice and collaboration.
“This is a new venture for ALT but we're delighted that over 1000 lecturers, teachers and others have already signed up and more are doing so every day. We are looking to develop the course over the coming year, and we'll certainly share the lessons we learn, so that we can all benefit."
The course was designed by a group of members of the Association and all tutors supporting its delivery are doing so on a voluntary basis, showing a real commitment from learning technologists all over the UK to share their expertise and contribute to the professional development of teachers and lecturers around the world.
Participating is easy and registration will remain open http://ocTEL.alt.ac.uk . The development of the course was funded by the Transformation and Innovation Fund of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education. There is an open discussion list with a public archive, and forums operate under the same principle. We will be pulling together different types of content from across the web using the #ocTEL hash tag, and again making it available via the course site.
- Ends -
Notes to Editors
Maren Deepwell, Chief Executive of ALT, is available at 01865 484 405.
1) ALT (the Association for Learning Technology) is a professional and scholarly association which brings together those with an interest in the use of learning technology. As the UK’s leading membership organisation in the learning technology field, we work to improve practice, promote research, and influence policy.
2) Over 1000 individuals belong to ALT, as do over 220 universities, colleges, other learning providers, Government Agencies, and businesses.
3) Association for Learning Technology (ALT), Gipsy Lane, Headington, Oxford, OX3 0BP Tel: +44 (0)1865 484 125 Fax: +44 (0)1865 484 165 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org URL:
ALT is a Registered Charity in the UK, number: 1063519
For further media information contact
Journalism and Media Consultancy