Monash enters world of MOOCs

Online learning

Next month, Creative Coding, the University's first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) will be offered through UK-based FutureLearn.  

It will be followed later this year by two other courses: The Science of Medicines and Water for Liveable Cities.  

With thousands of students enrolling in free courses, MOOCs have generated talk of a revolution in higher education, but some of the hype has now passed.

Professor Darrell Evans, Vice-Provost (Learning and Teaching) and lead for Monash MOOC development, said the new innovative way of learning would help grow the capability of the University.

“It is exciting to be able to take a new Monash course to such a worldwide audience, but it is what we can learn from building and delivering MOOCs that will be the most important outcome for the University and our students,”  Professor Evans said. 

The core business of the University is on-campus students, he said, but every Monash degree is becoming more blended thanks to the benefits of online learning: flexibility, mobile access and multimedia resources.

As short courses, MOOCs won’t provide the scope or depth of single unit in a Monash degree. What they do give Monash is the opportunity to create high-quality learning materials and evaluate them through learning analytics.

FutureLearn has been chosen as the platform because it emphasises social learning, and is rolling out small-group learning and peer-assessment that help students feel connected. 

"Monash can learn from such features as we seek to give all our students greater opportunities to interact and learn from each other online," Professor Evans said.

More than 10,000 students have already enrolled in the Creative Coding course, and for most it will be their first experience of Monash.  

For more information on FutureLearn or to register in a Monash MOOC, visit