british council (1)

The British Council has launched a series of free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on IELTS and English for teachers and students on the FutureLearn platform. The two current courses include: Understanding IELTS: Techniques for English Language Tests and Exploring English: Language and Culture.

The IELTS course will include all the stages of the IELTS test, namely the reading, writing, speaking and listening while the Exploring English course will include info on the language, British culture and ways to improve the users’ English language skills. Last month, the Council had launched a course on Understanding Language: Learning and Teaching of teachers of English. The course focused on exploring English language and tactics of learning and teaching other languages. The British Council claims to have over 400,000 registered users for its MOOCs previously.

FutureLearn is an MOOC platform, owned by The Open University in England and partners with the British Museum, the British Council, the British Library and over 50 UK and international universities. The British Council is a charity British organisation which specialises in international educational and cultural opportunities.

Some of the recent developments in the MOOC space include:

– One of the largest acquisitions in the MOOC space has been of LinkedIn’s Lynda.com acquisition. The former spent a $1.5 billion in a cash and stock deal to acquire the latter, last month.

– The Delhi University launched a series of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) in January this year. The courses would be free, open and accessible worldwide. The University was also planning to provide offline interactive facilities at four colleges, including Aryabhatta College, Maharaja Agrasen College, IP College for Women and Keshav Mahavidyalaya.

– In December last year, IIT Kanpur was developing its own platform for MOOCs called MOOKIT. Under MOOKIT, the institution will develop MOOCs around verticals like agriculture and computer science among others. Then, the institution tied up with IIT Ropar to jointly give students who successfully complete the Arch4Cloud course certificates of accomplishment, while providing learners completing its MOOC on MOOC course with certificates of participation.

– In November last year, the Union Cabinet approved the signing of a Joint Declaration of Intent between the HRD Ministry and the U.S. Department of State for co-operation on the former’s upcoming Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platform SWAYAM (Study Webs of Active-Learning for Young Aspiring Minds) which was expected to launch by the end of last year.

– In August last year, IIM Bangalore joined edX, a MOOC provider and online learning platform to provide several of its courses on the edX platform for free. The courses from would become available on the edX platform within last year.

– In July last year, BITS Pilani partnered with the MIT & Harvard’s massive open online course (MOOC) platform edX to offer MOOCs to its own on-campus and off-campus students as well as students outside BITS.

Also read:

Trends in the Online Education sector in 2014  

#Outlook15: What Indian Online Education Companies Plan To Do In 2015

Image Credit: Flickr user Amplified Group