New Courses Announced by FutureLearn

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FutureLearn has recently announced adding five new courses to their already impressive selection of courses.  The following gives you a brief introduction to each course:

Introduction to Cyber Security

Course Date: 13 October 2014

Our lives depend on online services. Gain essential cyber security knowledge and skills, to help protect your digital life.

Tackling the Global Food Crisis: Supply Chain Integrity

Course Date: 17 November 2014

The challenges for food security in tracing and detecting food contamination whether it be by accident or as a result of fraud.

Good Brain, Bad Brain: Parkinson’s Disease

Course Date: 17 November 2014

Learn the fundamentals of Parkinson’s disease; what causes it and what we can do to ameliorate the symptoms.

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Ageing Well: Falls

Course Date: 24 November 2014

Explore why people fall, discover practical methods to reduce the risk of falling and recognise when to seek expert help.

 

How to Read a Mind

Course Date: 01 December 2014

How do we read and model fictional minds? Introducing cognitive poetics: the application of cognitive science to literary reading.

These sound very interesting!  Let us know which you sign up for on Twitter and by updating your Learner’s Profile.

 

Exploits in Education: Week One

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Welcome back!  Grab a cup of coffee (tea?  soda?) and get settled in for a bit of a read….

Wow – the first week of Discovering Business in Society was a real eye opener!  I have so many things I want to talk about – the exam, businesses vs. organizations, globalization, technology and challenges in management…

But first, I have to comment on my impressions of the course.  Any course which offers blogging prompts is A1 in my books. I believe blogging along with courses only increases the writers understanding of the materials – and of course, the increased understanding by the reader is uber important!  I also really appreciated the weekly recap – love that it isn’t pre-recorded and references our comments.  Did the review change my viewpoints?  Well…maybe not change per se, but definitely provoked further research and thinking.  I really appreciated the discussion on globalization and who the winners and losers really are.  (More on that later!)

The Exam

 

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Last week we talked about the exam that could be written for this course that would lead to an exemption of the ACCA F1 Accountant in Business paper.  You do earn your “Statement of Attainment” with it.  More details are available here.  Exams are delivered by Pearson VUE at one of their 175 testing centers. For a reasonable £119, you can get your certificate and be one step closer to earning your ACCA qualifications.

 

 

Businesses vs Organizations

business and organizations0005AWell, we jumped right in, didn’t we?  Businesses can be organizations, but are not necessarily organizations.  Organizations can act like businesses, but not be one.  Both can have commercial activities. Both can be Global.  Both can have multiple branches.  Both are complex.

This topic is complex.

Seriously though, it is complex.  With so many similarities it is easy to just think of them as one in the same.  But they aren’t.  Organizations exist to meet a social purpose (think Girl Guides and Boy Scouts, the Accredited Sommelier Association of Canada or the Cancer Society) but they still can offer products (Girl Guide Cookie anyone?  Perhaps a Daffodil?  An apple?) and services (life skills, professional development, research and development).

Key lesson for me: consider activities vs entities.  What are the values and missions of the group?  Are they there to meet a social purpose?  You work for a business to earn your wage, but you volunteer with an organization to feel good.

 

 

How has the job of managing a business is becoming more challenging over time

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This was a great discussion on the forum.  I tried to come up with my own list before reading, but I have to admit, I was able to grow my list from the conversations.  My list of 4 factors (with additional thoughts)

 

 

  1. Human Resources
    1. Hiring the right people
    2. Training
    3. Interaction between management and employees
    4. Discipline
  2. Changes
    1. Pivoting
    2. Product
    3. Technology
    4. Regulations
  3. Competition
    1. Maintaining a Competitve Advantage
    2. Globalization
    3. More Competition 
  4. Needed it Yesterday!!
    1. Newer, Better, Faster
    2. Balancing Expectations

Yikes!  I think I just aged myself a good 5 years whilst developing this list!  Management sure has changed from the days of just directing “take A and move it to B and then perform C”.

Globalization

business-316906_150Who wins?  Who loses? Will it reverse?  Three great questions.  No easy answers.

Who wins?

Who loses?

Made_in_USA_Brand_Certification_Mark_logo.svgWill it reverse?

As countries go through economic challenges, there is always a push to move jobs back home, bringing back the idWe ea that products made at home are of a high quality (Who doesn’t proudly buy items stamped Made in “insert your home country name here”?

 

Changes in Technology

When I was in university, there was a major project underway to open a new business school building.  It was going to have the latest and greatest technologies and prepare our business graduates to head out into the big scary world able to use whatever technology was sent their way. That was our way – our school had a legacy of technological advancements to uphold.

It was an amazing sight when it opened.  There were ethernet cable ports built in to every table for students who carried (lugged) their laptops to class (wifi wasn’t a reality then – Cabled Networks was an exciting upgrade from dial up modems!).  We had whiteboards (as in dry erase marker boards not the app) installed in every classroom to avoid getting chalk dust into the computers.  I remember the excitement of using group study rooms to prepare for a test or work on a project.  It was so avant garde.  Cutting Edge.

It was so 1998.

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Fast forward to watching the video of the Exeter lecture hall.  Tables with embedded touchscreens for group work?  Lecture halls with multi purpose screens?  Microphones?  No struggling to hear the professor and having recorded lectures that you can easily review after the fact?  (I remember carrying a little pocket sized recorder with micro cassettes to class and having to ask permission to get a poor quality, grainy recording.  Most times, all I could really hear was me breathing!)

 

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Has technology made me more productive?  I doubt it.  Any increase in productivity has likely been lost to the time spent researching topics online, making things look “pretty” and analysing things I never would have considered looking at 5 years ago.  Yes, I can type an article on my laptop much quicker than I could on a typewriter with a lot less wasted paper, but I wouldn’t have worried about having just the right image to highlight my point before either!

In Summary

So, this week covered technology advances (and I only focused on computer technology…others would have led to a far longer post to read!), globalization, the increasing challenges in management and business vs organizations.  Next week we are looking at rules and regulations, taxes and laws.  It should be interesting!

 

Exploits in Education: Discovering Business in Society – The ACCA

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Welcome back!

 

Glad to see you again – grab a mug of your favourite beverage and let’s begin!  Last week we chatted about the new “Discovering Business in Society” course being offered by Exeter and the ACCA via FutureLearn.  We discovered a little about Robin Mason, the lead instructor for the course and then we signed off with plans to learn more about the ACCA this week.  I don’t want to forget about FutureLearn – they had some exciting news this week that I thought would be fun to share with you.

 

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What is the ACCA?

 

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants.  Their goal is to offer qualifications to people based on application, ability and ambition who are looking for careers in accountancy, finance and management.

The formation of the ACCA is an interesting tale.  Way back in 1904, 8 people got together and formed the London Association of Accountants.  While there were 2 existing accountancy organizations around, they had a goal of providing greater access to the accountancy profession . As typically happens, they went through several mergers over the years.  In 1984 we were granted a Royal Charter of Incorporation. In 1996 they took on their current name, the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).

 

Why did the ACCA partner with Exeter?

 

I got to wondering why the ACCA decided to partner with Exeter (which is, of course, an excellent school).  I asked around (inquiring minds want to know, etc!) and was told that it was because of an existing relationship with them to promote an MA in Leadership Studies for ACCA members.

More than their existing relationship, the ACCA knew that Exeter had been amongst the first universities to launch a MOOC on FutureLearn and that experience would be beneficial – Exeter already has a great production team with many ideas that could be applied.

This ties in well with ACCA, who started delivering computer-based exams as early as 1998.  As an innovator, the ACCA would want to be involved with MOOCs.  Their commitment to both innovation and education lends well to this project.

 

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What are the ACCA qualifications?

 

According to Wikipedia, “The ACCA Qualification is the professional body’s main qualification. Following completion of up to 14 professional examinations, three years of supervised, relevant accountancy experience and a professional ethics module, it enables an individual to become a Chartered Certified Accountant…The syllabus comprises 14 examinations, although some exemptions are available. The qualification is structured in two parts. The Fundamentals level consists of 9 examinations: F1 Accountant in Business, F2 Management Accounting, F3 Financial Accounting, F4 Corporate and Business Law, F5 Performance Management, F6 Taxation, F7 Financial Reporting, F8 Audit and Assurance, and F9 Financial Management. The Professional level involves 5 examinations. Within the Professional level three papers are compulsory: P1 Governance, Risk and Ethics; P2 Corporate Reporting; and P3 Business Analysis. Two of the following four options papers must also be completed: P4 Advanced Financial Management, P5 Advanced Performance Management, P6 Advanced Taxation and P7 Advanced Audit and Assurance.”

According to the course details, you just need to complete the summative assessment of the course to earn an exemption from the paper F1, Accountant in Business.  I’m looking forward to learning more about how this will work…as more details come out, you can be sure I will share!  In the meantime, I am going to take screen shots of my work (scores, not answers!) and scan my notes to upload to my Learner’s Profile (Feel free to connect with me there!).  I’m also going to start saving my change so that by the end of the course I have enough “change” saved up to get the Statement of Achievement (if that’s how you write the summative assessment) or the Statement of Participation.

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Next Week

 

We start exploring week 1!  I’m pretty excited to begin – I’ve warned the family that this course is starting soon and they should prepare themselves to make a sandwiches for supper while I am studying.  I’ve loaded up on loose-leaf and pencils (yes, I like to write my notes instead of typing them!) and stopped by my favourite coffee shop to stock up on my speciality pods for those times I stay up late watching videos.  How have you prepared?  Share your preparations in the comments below or on Twitter using #exBIS and tagging @accredible.

Exploits in Education: Discovering Business in Society – An Introduction

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Welcome!

We are about to embark on an expedition to discover more about business in society.  Our guides through this journey will be FutureLearn, the University of Exeter Business School and the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants).  Our mission is to find a greater understanding of various aspects of business – from regulations to ethics to behaviours and perhaps, a greater understanding of ourselves and our own roles within the businesses that effect society.

So, who is this MOOC for?

The short answer is everyone!  The beauty of this course was that it was designed for each of us to be able to apply our knowledge, cultures and experiences to the materials.  Whether you have just freshly graduated from High School or spent the last 20 years working in the corner office with the spectacular skyline, this course has something to offer you.

Who is teaching this course?

Robin Mason, the Dean of the University of Exeter Business School and a Professor of Economics. He is also a fellow of the CEPR and a Member of the UK’s Competition Commission.  He’s had an impressive career, with many interesting roles, a multitude of awards and several published papers.

As well, senior staff from the EQUIS-accredited University of Exeter Business School will lead various modules.

What’s next?

According to the “Discovering Business in Society – We’re starting in a week” email, “In the first week of the course Stephen Taylor will introduce you to some of the key challenges for business in the 21st century. Starting with observations about the nature of firms and other organisations, he’ll then be considering the impact that globalisation, and technology in particular, is having on business and on our expectations of business to assist in resolving wider societal pressures and demands.”

What’s the story behind the blog series?

Over the next few months, we will be taking this course together, learning many new things along the way.  This series covers my own journey and will share my own highs and lows as we work through the material.  You might gain insight into topics that I needed to learn more about to get a full understanding (which will hopefully help you too!).  Why am I taking the course?  There are 3 things I am passionate about studying – education, Renaissance English Lit and business.  I was looking for a course that would look at the global impact of big business – from the role of shareholders, to leaders, to government regulations – and it’s impact on society.  This course ticks each box!  I can’t wait for the course to begin!

Please, feel free to leave your thoughts or questions in the comments below.  I will do my best to answer either in the comments or in the next blog post.  Thoughts on the previous week will be posted on Tuesdays.  So come along, join the excursion and see what we can learn together!

Next week, same time, same place!

Next week we will learn more about the ACCA qualifications.  What is it?  How will it help you?  Who are the ACCA?  The ACCA is new to me, and I am looking forward to learning more!

I can take a class in that?!

I can take a course in that

MOOCs offer a remarkable variety of classes, sometimes in subjects not typically taught in traditional university settings. Here are four upcoming classes that are outside the box.

Applying to US Universities

Offered by Coursera and taught by a professor at Penn, this class is meant to help anyone, but specifically non-American and non-English speaking students, navigate the non-standard application process for American colleges and universities.

  • Started August 3, goes through August 31
  • Estimated workload: 3-6 hours/week

Managing Fashion and Luxury Companies

Taught by two management professors at the Università Bocconi, this class teaches you market drivers, business models and brand management strategies by using case-studies. 

  • Starts October 3, goes through November 7
  • Estimated workload: 3-4 hours/week

Curanderismo: Traditional Medicine

This class is taught by a published author and self-taught expert in the folk healing tradition of the Southwest US and Mexico. Discussing the effectiveness of these traditional methods as well as the specific healing methods.

  • Starts August 18, goes through October 13
  • Estimated Workload: 10-12 hours/week

Understanding Numbers

So you think you know numbers? Well this class will stretch how you think about numbers and start thinking like a scientist. Learn how to relate numbers to the real world and describe the world, as well as communicate your findings.

  • Starts August 18, goes through September 14
  • Estimated Workload: 3 hours/week

FutureLearn Courses Starting in September

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FutureLearn has several new courses starting in September – there is something for everyone from literature to business, from science to history and from computers to medicine…and several things in between!  Check these out!

 

irish lives

 

Irish Lives in War and Revolution: Exploring Ireland’s History 1912-1923

Starts: Sep 1 Length: 6 weeks

Explore the lives of men, women and children living through war and revolution and social changes that made modern Ireland.

 

science of medicine

 

The Science of Medicines

Starts: Sep 1 Length: 6 weeks

Learn the science behind how and why medicines work, and what can improve the patient treatment experience.

 

 

 

inside cancer

 

Inside Cancer: How Genes Influence Cancer Development

Starts: Sep 1 Length: 6 weeks

An ideal introduction for those interested in understanding how genetics influences the development and spread of cancer.

 

 

english

 

Exploring English: language and culture

Starts: Sep 1 Length: 6 weeks

This course for learners of English looks at British culture and examines English in use to help you improve your language skills.

 

 

psych and mental health

 

Psychology and Mental Health: Beyond Nature and Nurture

Starts: Sep 8 Length: 6 weeks

How a psychological understanding of our emotions and behaviour can give us new ways to improve mental health and well-being

 

 

heart health

 

Heart health: A beginner’s guide to cardiovascular disease

Starts: Sep 8 Length: 4 weeks

Learn more about how your heart works, the causes of heart disease and what you can do to keep your heart healthy.

 

 

 

business in society

 

Discovering Business in Society

Starts: Sep 8 Length: 8 weeks

Discover how businesses function and interact with the wider socio-economic environment. In association with ACCA.

 

 

 

decision making

 

Decision Making in a Complex and Uncertain World

Starts: Sep 15 Length: 6 weeks

This course will teach you the first principles of complexity, uncertainty and how to make decisions in a complex world.

 

 

 

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Innovation: the key to business success

Starts: Sep 15 Length: 3 weeks

If you are interested in commercial innovation, how innovations emerge and, how ideas become reality this course is for you.

 

 

 

mathematical symbols

 

Getting a grip on mathematical symbolism

Starts: Sep 15 Length: 3 weeks

Want to be an engineer or scientist? Lack mathematical confidence? Learn to think mathematically and explore essential concepts.

 

 

research project

 

Developing your research project

Starts: Sep 15 Length: 8 weeks

Undertaking an Extended Project Qualification, IB extended essay or any other scholarly research? This guides you step-by-step.

 

 

teaching computing

 

Teaching computing: part 1

Starts: Sep 22 Length: 4 weeks

This two-part course is for primary and secondary school teachers who are preparing to tackle the new computing curriculum.

 

 

hadrian wall

 

Hadrian’s Wall: Life on the Roman Frontier

Starts: Sep 22 Length: 6 weeks

Explore the archaeology of the most heavily fortified frontier in the Roman Empire, its people and their lives.

 

 

 

electrify

 

Electrify: An Introduction to Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Starts: Sep 22 Length: 6 weeks

How do we move things with electricity? How do the parts inside your computer work? Find out in Electrify.

 

 

basic science

 

Basic Science: Understanding Experiments

Starts Sep 22 length: 4 weeks

This hands-on course introduces you to science-based skills through simple and exciting physics, chemistry and biology experiments

 

 

shakespeare

 

Shakespeare and his World

Starts: Sep 29 Length: 10 weeks

Together with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Professor Jonathan Bate explores Shakespeare, his works and the world he lived in.

 

 

 

intro to journalism

 

Introduction to Journalism

Starts: Sep 29 Length: 6 weeks

Together with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Professor Jonathan Bate explores Shakespeare, his works and the world he lived in.

 

 

 

importance of play

 

Exploring Play: The Importance of Play in Everyday Life

Starts: Sep 29 Length: 7 weeks

Understanding the nature and value of play through the course of our lives, across cultures and communities.

 

 

corpus linguisitics

 

Corpus linguistics: method, analysis, interpretation

Starts: Sep 29 Length: 8 weeks

Offers practical introduction to the methodology of corpus linguistics for researchers in social sciences and humanities

 

 

 

With so many great courses to choose from, how will you ever decide?  Whatever you choose, make sure to update your Learning Profile today!

News & Views (Week of 8/4 – 8/10)

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This week’s MOOC news includes a profile of Gandhi, workshops, and new courses in highly unique subjects. Check it out!

News

Similar to last week’s news, Udacity has opened up a few more of their classes to have the option of getting a verified certificate.

Coursera‘s blog has a fascinating infographic on the supply and demand of MOOCs and IT jobs (in Europe specifically).

Starting tomorrow, edX, Canvas, and many other MOCO providers will participate in a workshop series on MOOCs. Watch the livestream and get the schedule of events here.

Futurelearn has recently updated some of their site’s features, including messaging and notifications.

 

What is Team Accredible Learning?

Open2Study, the MOOC provider which has month-long courses on a wide variety of topics, has a few courses starting in August! From Mobile Robotics to Antarctic Science, check them out here.

One of our writers has a profile on Mahatmi Gandhi, and his self-directed learning journey. Did you know he was a poor student and more interested in sports and games as a student in school?

 

Upcoming Courses From Canvas, FutureLearn and iversity

courses starting in Aug

There are lots of great courses starting in August!  To give you a sampling, these are some of the courses starting soon from Canvas, FutureLearn and iversity!

Future-learn

Basic Science: Understanding Numbers – Starts August 18th

This practical, hands-on course will help you to start thinking like a scientist, by using numbers to describe and understand the natural world. It might be the size of the Greenland ice sheet, the number of molecules in a raindrop, or the latest set of mind-boggling numbers about climate change basic sciencepresented in the media. No longer will you be put off by averages or percentages, and you’ll even learn to love negative numbers. You will understand and manage numbers like a scientist. The course will introduce all the main skills you’ll need to understand and communicate scientific numbers, relate them to the real world, and share your discoveries with other learners.

Study skills for international students – Starts August 18th

study skills for intl stuThis course looks at some of the key skills that international students need in order to be successful at a UK university. It is special because of the way it has been produced. Our English language and study skills teachers at INTO UEA surveyed and interviewed students who had already successfully completed a course and progressed to study at the University. We asked them about the things that they had found most challenging when they started their university programme. This course has been developed as a result of what those international students told us, as well as the experience INTO UEA colleagues have in preparing international students for university study. Over the four weeks of the course you will hear top tips from international students already studying at university in the UK. You will also hear teachers talking about the key skills that international students need to do well. Our aim is to give you the best possible chance of success in your studies. Each week there will be videos, articles, quizzes and discussions that will help you develop your study skills. At the end of each week there will be an exercise which will review what has been learned. There will also be the opportunity for you to discuss your ideas with other learners on the course. 

Medicines Adherence: Supporting Patients with their Treatment – Starts August 25th

regulating medicineIt is estimated that 30-50% of patients do not take their medicines as prescribed. So how should we, as healthcare professionals, respond? As medicines are key to the successful management of chronic conditions, underuse or non-adherence represents a lost opportunity for the health improvement for the patient as well as being a waste of valuable resources for healthcare systems. In Europe alone, the cost of poor adherence to treatment is estimated at 195,000 lives and €20 billion annually. This two week course is designed for pharmacists, doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals with a role or interest in supporting patients with long-term conditions. We’ve invited a range of inspirational healthcare professionals. researchers and clinical academics from across King’s College London’s Institute of Pharmaceutical Science and the Pharmaceutical Clinical Academic Group at King’s Health Partners to contribute to this course. You will be able to immerse yourself in our engaging video material, scenarios and discussions to explore the challenges of medicines non-adherence, factors that may influence patient medicines use and approaches that can be used to effectively engage patients in patient-centred consultations about self-managing medicines.

Towards Scottish Independence? Understanding the Referendum – Starts August 25th

scottish referendumWe aim to place participants in our course at the heart of the Scottish referendum debate. Participants will engage critically (and constructively) with the arguments of both sides and with each other, whilst being informed by input from leading Edinburgh University academics. In addition to weekly live-streamed Question Hour with a panel of experts, the course provides video explanations of key issues, interactive debates and role play exercises. The course begins three weeks before the referendum and also considers afterwards the implications of the result. It is structured around six main questions: Why is Scotland having a referendum? What does ‘Yes’ mean? What does ‘No’ mean? What do Scots think? The Day After What Next? Read more about examples which will be explored in the course, and its weekly live-streamed seminars, at Alan Convery’s blog post.

iversity Accredible

Vehicle Dynamics II: Cornering – Starts August 19th

From Bugatti Veyron to Volkswagen Bettle, from racing to passenger car: learn more about cornering and drifting and look deeper into Kamm’s circles and Kemple’s diagram.  In this second part of Vehicle Dynamics, we will illuminate the lateral dynamic aspects of vehicles. Clear and brief: the cornering of a car. In Detail: We will start with a simple single-track model and then describe the slip angle of a wheel. The slip angle results in cornering forces, which are essential for understanding lateral dynamics. After that, we will look at the dependency between longitudinal and lateral forces using Kamm’s circle and Krempel’s diagram. Then we will investigate steady state cornering, stability and the influence of different weight distributions between inner and outer side wheels of the car. The course will finish with two applications from automotive mechatronics.At the end of course understand basic principles of cornering of a car. know slip angle and cornering forces. understand the single track model. understand the steady state cornering, stability and the influence of different weight distribution between inner and outer side of the car. be able to calculate simple properties of a car.

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Hybrid Courses: Best of Both Worlds – Starts August 4th

hybrid courseAre you a Higher Ed instructor or K-12 educator? Double your impact by taking advantage of both the classroom and online environments. Explore methods to effectively combine the two formats and build a class community that engages students and supports active learning in any subject area. For educators both new and experienced.

Project Management for Business Professionals – Starts August 18th

project managemnetThis course provides an introduction to the concepts, techniques, and principles of project management. Primary emphasis will be on learning the project management process outlined in the Project Management Institute’s PMBOK Guide (Project Management Body of Knowledge Guide). Agile, extreme, and other variations of project management will be discussed and their key features related to the PMBOK Guide. Upon completion of the course students will be able to plan, schedule, budget, estimate, control, and monitor projects. In addition, they will become familiar with resource allocation, resource loading and the creation and use of GANTT and PERT charts.

Business Ethics for the Real World – Starts August 18th

business ethicsThis course is designed to provide an introduction to the subject of ethical behavior in business. The course provides an understanding of the nature of ethics, the role ethics plays in business, and the most commonly encountered ethical dilemmas in a business career. It provides practical advice on how to identify ethical dilemmas when they arise, how to get enough information to assess one’s responsibilities, how to analyze a complex ethical choice, and how to marshal one’s own resources and courage to act ethically. While the course includes some ethical theory, it is designed to be approachable by the seasoned manager, the novice businessperson, and students in business schools. No specific background or preparation is necessary. 

Which courses will you add to your To Learn list?  Let us know in the comments below!

Future Learn + 4 Universities + BBC= 4 Amazing WW1 MOOCs

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FutureLearn has announced an amazing collaboration between 4 University Partners and the BBC which gives learners a chance to learn about World War 1 in a whole new way!  The BBC has opened its archives and shared multimedia content covering various aspects of the war and each university will present a different aspect of the first World War – from Aviation to the Treaty of Paris and more.  

Why The Focus on World War One?

2014 marks the centennial year of the beginning of the First World War. The war began in the Balkans, but it soon spread to become a European conflict, and developed into a world war. It was a war of unprecedented scale and brutality, with countless casualties. It also left a poisonous legacy for the 20th century and beyond, and many of the issues that were left unresolved in 1918 would lead to another world war in 1939. 1914-1918 was a period in history that has proved provocative and culturally resonant for the last hundred years.

The BBC’s Commitment to Education and Technology

This is the first time a major public broadcaster has contributed to MOOCs, according to Future Learn.  “The BBC is committed to education and looking at how we can exploit technology to best serve audiences,” says Sinéad Rocks, Acting Controller of BBC Learning. “This is a great opportunity to explore how we can do that as part of our WW1 season, and working as a content partner with these four universities to help deliver online courses will help us establish how we can contribute to the UK remaining a world leader in online learning. MOOCs are an interesting and exciting area, and I’m looking forward to exploring what role we might play,”

Simon Nelson, CEO, FutureLearn, said: “It’s our aim at FutureLearn to connect our university partners to other great centres of culture and knowledge, so I’m delighted to see the BBC and these four universities come together to create new learning experiences. The collaboration reinforces FutureLearn’s approach to online education, which draws on experts in great storytelling and academics to produce compelling courses for learners around the world.  And it’s the learners who are the real winners here, gaining access to the unrivalled resources of one of the world’s best known broadcasters, world leading educators, and each other, around an event as significant as the World War One centenary.”

 The New Courses

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University of Glasgow – World War One: Paris 1919 – A New World Order?      (Starts 13 October)

The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 ended a Great War, but it also designed the post-war future. In 1919, world leaders assembled in Paris redrew the map of the world, partitioned and created countries, and ushered in a new era of international relations. The naivety of the peace-makers of 1919 has been justly criticised. However, in setting up a permanent ‘world organisation’, the League of Nations, they changed the management of world affairs forever…

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University of Birmingham – World War One: Aviation Comes of Age                  (Starts 20 October)

This course will investigate how the early days of aviation gripped the imagination of the general public, galvanised industry and excited far-sighted members of the military.  Aviation evolved rapidly during World War 1 with modern and more effective aircraft soon replacing the very basic machines that took to the skies in 1914. By the end of war, air power wasn’t just being used for reconnaissance but in ways that are still recognisable today. When the war was over aviation had truly come of age with the opening of mail routes, exploration and record setting exploits.

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University of Leeds – World War One: Changing Faces of Heroism                     (Starts 27 October)

Did the First World War make heroism meaningless or was it the conflict that gave it the most meaning?  Through discussion and analysis of art, literature, film and television, guided by our experts, you will explore the portrayals of heroism before, during and after the war. Drawing on rarely seen archive you will be curating a mini exhibition, exploring a war memorial and writing a review of a representation of war.  Together we will examine the changing faces of heroism from distant figureheads and brave warriors to the ordinary ‘Tommy’ and front-line nurses. The emergence of alternative hero figures, including anti-war campaigners and vulnerable, shell shocked soldiers, is also covered. 

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The Open University – World War One: Trauma and Memory                                               (Starts 3 November)

You will study the subject of physical and mental trauma, its treatments and its representation. You will focus not only on the trauma experienced by combatants but also the effects of the First World War on civilian populations. In this three-week course, you will discover just how devastating the effects of the First World War were in terms of casualties across the many combatant nations and look in depth at the problem of ‘shell shock’ and how deeply it affected the lives of those who lived through it. You will also develop the skills to carry out your own independent research.  The war was not only experienced on the battlefield, however, and you’ll explore the many and varied ways in which civilians’ lives were affected by it, for example in the way combatant casualties affected the lives of loved ones who were left behind.

 Which courses will you add to your To Learn list?  

 

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