BSc Computer Science programme launches introductory MOOCs

The ‘taster MOOCs’ for the programme at the University of London will prepare students for the full online BSc degree

Students can now explore the University of London’s forthcoming online BSc Computer Science, launching in spring 2019, by taking two taster Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) delivered through the Coursera platform.

The two MOOCs, entitled Introduction to Computer Programming and How Computers Work, are now available to students all over the world, and have been developed by world-renowned experts from Goldsmiths, University of London, a member institution of the University of London.

Learners enrolled on Introduction to Computer Programming can acquire the requisite foundation skills to write computer programs. This includes learning to write interactive and graphical computer programs in real programming language, as well as learning to create 2D and interactive graphics. Academic, computer game developer and digital artist Dr Simon Katan, is the lead instructor for this introductory MOOC.

Dr Simon Katan, Lecturer in Computing at Goldsmiths, University of London, said: “In Introduction to Computer Programming, learners will be approaching the fundamentals of code through practical and creative exercises, and also explore how coders think and feel. We’ve drawn on our many years of teaching experience to deliver some cutting-edge pedagogy including our code adventure game Sleuth.

The How Computers Work MOOC is designed for learners who are proficient with computers, smartphones and the internet, but wish to improve their understanding of how they work, or go on to study computer science. On this MOOC, learners can acquire key computer skills that can be applied to word processing applications, e-commerce, the internet and websites. Instructor Dr Marco Gillies, Senior Lecturer in Computing at Goldsmiths, is a computer scientist specialising in computer graphics, animation, and new forms of human-computer interaction, and has extensive experience of teaching several innovative MOOCs with the University of London.

We’re bringing together the best learning technologies and the best teaching techniques to create a fantastic computer science learning experience for anyone, anywhere in the world.
– Dr Marco Gillies, Senior Lecturer in Computing, Goldsmiths

Dr Marco Gillies said: “I’m really excited to be working with the University of London and Coursera to create a new way of learning computer science for the 21st Century. We’re bringing together the best learning technologies and the best teaching techniques to create a fantastic computer science learning experience for anyone, anywhere in the world.”

He added: “How Computers Work will introduce you to some fundamental computer science concepts and you’ll find out how they apply to the kind of computer applications you use every day. It’s a great foundation for starting to study computer science, but it will also give you a better understanding of the technologies that are so important to modern life.”

Sam Brenton, Director of Educational Innovation and Development for the University of London’s distance and flexible learning programmes, said: “This is an exciting time for the university as it prepares to launch one of its most innovative programmes, the BSc Computer Science. We anticipate a very broad appeal for this degree programme from students all over the world; not just those working in the technical field but also those from other industries.”

“We’ve introduced these two new MOOCs because we want students to experience some of the learning prior to registering for the BSc Computer Science programme, as this will provide them with a taste of the learning experience they can expect. The learning we provide is interactive and immersive, as well as being very rich in creativity. Computer science is an incredibly diverse subject, the skills which students acquire on the course will appeal to employers around the world. Here at the University of London, we aim to deliver the very best BSc Computer Science programme, based on leading research in this field.”