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Online courses team win bid to deliver British Council MOOC


The University's Online Courses team, part of the Centre for Quality Support & Development (CQSD), in partnership with the International Study & Language Institute (ISLI), have won the contract to deliver an innovative new MOOC with the British Council. Over a four-week period, Study UK: Prepare to Study and Live in the UK prepares prospective international students for university life in the UK, through a series of online articles, videos, discussion tasks and quizzes.

Professor Matthew Nicholls, Director of Online Courses at the University of Reading, said: “We are delighted that the expertise of our Online Courses team and of our ISLI colleagues was recognised in this competitive tender. Having made 21 online courses for the University, we were glad to use our expertise in online course design and production to help the British Council address this large and important audience.”

After winning the contract through a competitive bidding process in May, the Online Courses and ISLI teams had just three months to develop the course structure, write the content from scratch, and deliver a range of bespoke learning resources in time to benefit incoming students this academic year.

Jonathan Smith (ISLI), the lead educator on the course, said: “It’s widely recognised that many international students face challenges when adapting to the UK education system, but on this course we also encourage them to value the contributions they bring to the academy, through their diverse experiences, perspectives and backgrounds.  This has been a great opportunity to work with the British Council to equip prospective students with the knowledge and skills they need to ensure the smoothest possible transition to studying in the UK.”

Study UK will open on 3 September 2018 on the FutureLearn platform, providing an ongoing resource for students to refer to throughout their stay in the UK. Topics covered include:

  • Characteristic features of higher education in the UK: active engagement, critical thinking, evidence-based argument, independent study, academic integrity.
  • Study modes: lectures, seminars, tutorials, student presentations, group assignments, their roles and functions.
  • The language skills needed to achieve success: academic writing, reading, listening and note-taking, speaking.
  • Understanding assessment in higher education.
  • Support services available to students: library, English language support, counselling etc.
  • Practical issues around living as a student in the UK: accommodation, settling in, what to bring, things to do on arrival.

Our Teaching & Learning Strategy 2018-2021 sets out a commitment to support all members of our increasingly diverse student body to participate positively in the University’s teaching and learning community from transition through to completion. This new course will not only support prospective Reading international students to transition successfully, but also those enrolling elsewhere in the UK.

Please join us in congratulating the Online Courses team (Matthew Nicholls, Nicky McGirr, Anastasia Rattigan and Yen Tu), as well as colleagues in ISLI (in particular, Jonathan Smith, Liz Wilding, Joan McCormack, and Sarah MacBurnie) for their role in developing and delivering this course.

For further information visit the Study UK webpage.  


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