University of Surrey seeks the digital advantage with FutureLearn

The university has launched two brand-new MOOCs

The University of Surrey has announced a partnership with the leading social learning platform FutureLearn, hoping the move will broaden the reach of its educational offering and instil a digital advantage.

Driven by extensive pedagogical expertise and a research-led, industry-informed curriculum, the university has already launched two MOOCs on the platform: Communicating with Diverse Audiences and Ethical Decision-Making in Care, which are now open to applications and due to begin in January next year.

The first of the new programmes, Communicating with Diverse Audiences, has been specially-designed for professionals looking to refine their ability to communicate across linguistic and cultural boundaries. The ability to communicate effectively in a professional setting is essential for participants of this course as they learn how to interpret communicative behaviours, avoid communication bias, and forge valuable communication strategies with their colleagues.

On the other hand, Ethical Decision-Making in Care, which explores the ethical issues that arise in daily healthcare, teaches the best practices for making moral decisions. The programme is primarily aimed at caregivers, care assistants and nurses but will be relevant to anyone in the fields of health and social care. Participants will consider various ethical frameworks, including human rights, virtue ethics, and the ‘Four Principles’ of medical ethics: nonmaleficence, beneficence, justice, and respect for autonomy.

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Both programmes are cost-free and start from January 6, 2020. They are four weeks long and have been certified by the CPD Certification Service as conforming to continuing professional development.

“We’re delighted to be partnering with the University of Surrey, an outstanding institution [that] shares our commitment to practical learning and professional development,” said Nigel Smith, MD of courses and learning at FutureLearn.

“I am particularly excited about the launch of the two new courses. It’s fantastic that our partners can provide our learners with such relevant courses with real world application. I’m confident the University of Surrey will add great courses to our portfolio as well as be a great addition to our network of partners across the world.”

Professor Osama Khan, vice-provost of education at the University of Surrey, said: “The world is changing at an unprecedented rate for [the] better, where communities are connected through digital social and collaboration platforms. We, at the University of Surrey, are delighted to be part of the FutureLearn initiative, offering two exciting MOOCs to the world community. This is one way we can connect with learners across the globe so they can receive [a] Surrey education informed by the research undertaken by our talented academics. We have ambitious plans to expand our MOOCs and other online course delivery in the future, increasing access to Surrey Education across the globe.”