Organisation - June 21, 2016

Five new online courses

Linda van der Nat

The number of MOOCs (massive open online courses) through which students can earn credits is set to increase considerably as of the coming academic year. Students will be able to choose from six MOOCs.

In the fifth and sixth terms of the current academic year, students were already able to earn credits for one course — ‘The Future of Food: Environmental Sustainability’ — in a trial run. About 60 Wageningen students enrolled for the course. As of September, there will be five new MOOCs: ‘Nutrition and Health 1: Macronutrients and Overnutrition’, ‘Nutrition and Health 2: Micronutrients and Malnutrition’, ‘Sustainable Soil Management: Soil for Life’, ‘Sustainable urban development: Discover Advanced Metropolitan Solutions’ and ‘Food Security and Sustainability: Crop Production’.

The courses can be studied entirely online. Twice a year, in February and August, there is an opportunity for students to take the exams on campus.

The additional MOOCs fit with the trend of letting students put together their own educational programme, says spokesperson Karin Hommen of Wageningen University. ‘In the future, we want students to be able to take courses at international universities and earn credits there.’

Ulrike Wild, the Distance Learning director, is curious to see how many of the roughly 60 students who took the first MOOC eventually take the exam and earn credits. ‘We will be carrying out an extensive investigation of the study feasibility and pass rate.’

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