What are MOOCs?
Put simply, a MOOC is an online course that is open to anyone who has internet access.
The beauty of a MOOC is that it can be taken at your own pace within the comfort of your own home.
It gives you the option to be curious and explore other areas that are perhaps contrary to what you do in your full-time job - sort of like a digital try and buy. And who knows, that new area of expertise could be your new calling.
Some MOOCs have questionnaires at certain points throughout the course which are used as part of a wider study or research into a particular area, so not only are you upskilling yourself but also contributing to research.
From SQL to mindfulness, the range of subject areas covered are vast and to think this is all free is a great human achievement.
The rise of MOOCs continues and so to do the number of organisations, colleges and universities jumping on the digital bandwagon.
Here are a few for you to dip in and out of:
Age of Algorithms: A maths game for creatives.
Brand Storytelling: Since 1962, D&AD have devoted their time to stimulating the finest in advertising and design to become even better and this course introduces students to the use of storytelling as a method of advertising one's brand.
Explore Animation: Whether you’re a budding animator or a fan of animation who wants to understand more about what happens behind-the-scenes, this free online course from the internationally acclaimed National Film and Television School (NFTS) will have something for you.
How to build a sustainable fashion business: The Ethical Fashion Forum, are the global industry body for sustainable fashion and have been helping fashion professionals achieve commercial success, while maximising benefits to communities and minimising negative environmental impacts.
This five-week, free online course explores what sustainability means in the context of running a fashion business.
Unlocking Film Rights: Undertsnading UK Copyright: Whether you’re a junior researcher, producer or archivist, this free online course from BAFTA Research, Film London and UCL will help you get to grips with the fundamentals of UK copyright for film and TV.
Film Production: Behind the scenes of Feature Filmmaking: The Production Guild of Great Britain, guided by respected film and television professionals, will demystify the process of making a feature film.
Visual Effects for Guerilla Filmmakers: Learn how to create no-budget visual effects (VFX) and take your filmmaking to a new level.
Commercial Photograpghy: Still and Moving Image: Develop your visual sensibility and get to grips with new forms of commercial photography.
Digital Storytelling: Filmmaking for the Web: The University of Birmingham, the BBC Academy and Creative Skillset have combined forces, to create this course looking at filmmaking theory and practice, and how they interact to produce good and even meaningful stories, helping you develop short films for digital platforms.
An Introduction to Screenwriting: Explores the key concepts and fundamental principles involved in the process of screenwriting.
And here are a few other MOOCs-based websites to check out:
Codecademy: Courses primarily teaching a range of coding languages increasing in difficulty upon completion of each level.
FutureLearn: A database of MOOCs covering a wide range of subject areas.
Coursera: Another great source of MOOCs to choose from.