MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Course.

This term captures a huge range of courses that cover all kinds of topics. They’re super useful for boosting your knowledge or helping you get to grips with a new subject, but they can also impress during your university, apprenticeship or job application process. 

At The Friary, students access MOOCs via their Unifrog logins and can participate in these courses, free of charge, to gain valuable skills and knowledge that can be added to CVs and applied to future studies or employment.

Why take one ?

Apart from having an excellent name, there are four excellent reasons to take a MOOC:

  •   They’re interesting. If you have a particular niche hobby or field of interest, it might be hard to find related learning opportunities at school. MOOCs offer the chance for students to study across all kinds of different subjects, no matter how obscure.
  •   They’re informative. Studying for a MOOC gives you the opportunity to decide whether a specific field of study is right for you. Taking a qualification in your free time before you commit to an undergraduate programme gives you the chance to test the waters.
  •   They’re impressive. Taking the initiative to complete an online course shows that you’re a dedicated student. Universities and employers will see that you’re an independent learner who is happy to go the extra mile.  
  •  They can boost your skills. Whether it’s learning a language or improving your managerial skills, completing a MOOC will help you learn something new that you can bring to the workplace or your studies.

Currently, students have made over 1,214 searches for MOOC courses and 410 have been saved to their Unifrog profiles, where students have accessed and been working on completing them.

One such student who has benefitted from the uptake of a MOOC is Year 12 student, Grace McCue:

“The MOOC that I chose to undertake was “An introduction to Crime and Criminology” with The Open University. I chose this particular one because I have always had a fascination with criminology and I wanted to gain extra knowledge on the topic of crime, as it relates specially to one of the key areas we study in sociology, which comes under the study of crime and its relation to deviance.

The part of the MOOC I have enjoyed the most is learning about the different laws within the world of crime and the extent of these crimes. By completing this MOOC early on within my time in at Sixth Form it taught me how important independent study is in making yourself proactive with your studies. I have been better able to manage my time, have become more confident with conducting research and have learnt content which can be further applied to my studies. Taking this MOOC has also helped me in deciding the path to take in the future. Completing this specific MOOC has inspired me to pursue the potential academic route of criminal law or history at university. I would never have realised my interest in this  field had it not been for the MOOC which I have studied.

Advice I would give to future Y12s is to make sure you choose MOOC topics that you genuinely enjoy as it is a chance for you to select a topic that suits your skill-set and ambitions. Also, it is important not to limit yourself to one aspect of the subject; choose different MOOC modules that are new, different and challenging – these will hugely help to prepare you for independent study, which is vital in Y12 and Y13 – as well as beyond!”

Sarah Cresswell, Head of Sixth Form, added: “With physical work experience being postponed due to restrictions in force over the last year, MOOCs have become an even more valuable asset to our Sixth Form cohort’s enrichment programme. We are really impressed so far by the progress that students have made this year and are proud of their continued efforts, even in the most turbulent of times.”