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European MOOC Platform Expands to 5 U.S. Universities

FutureLearn, the largest MOOC provider in Europe, today announced its first United States university partners. The social learning platform owned by the Open University will offer massive open online courses from American University, Colorado State University, Penn State University, Purdue University and the University of Virginia Darden School of Business throughout 2017.

Since launching its first courses in October 2013, the U.K.-based FutureLearn has counted more than 5 million learners and more than 13 million course enrollments. Learners represent almost every country around the world, and can access the FutureLearn platform on any device with internet access. The company's "social learning" approach is designed to support "learning through conversation"; students participate in group activities and discussions and work with collaborative learning tools such as peer review.

A number of the U.S. universities' FutureLearn courses are launching in the coming weeks:

The partnership with FutureLearn will allow the universities to extend their reach internationally and tap into new communities of potential learners, according to a statement from the company.

"As both an international and land-grant university, Purdue is committed to offering access to learning opportunities that bring a global perspective to a broad audience in ways that meet their educational needs," commented Jonathan Harbor, director of digital education at Purdue University, in a press release. "Our partnership with FutureLearn provides exciting opportunities to serve new and existing audiences in the U.S. and globally using an innovative social learning platform, and is part of our broader strategy to enhance our online presence moving forward."

"The University of Virginia Darden School of Business is excited to partner with FutureLearn to extend and expand our reach and impact across the globe. FutureLearn's focus on the learning community perfectly aligns with Darden's collaborative and participative approach to business education," said Tom Steenburgh, senior associate dean for executive education and non-credit at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. "Darden looks forward to the partnership providing another avenue for the school to drive innovation in pursuit of transformational learning opportunities for all."

For more information, visit the FutureLearn site.

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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