A massive open online course (MOOC) created by CELCIS and the University of Strathclyde, is attracting high levels of social participation. To date, the MOOC has had 48,000 participants from more than 145 countries. Sixty per cent of learners joined online discussions during the first run of this course, which is run on FutureLearn, the social learning platform.
Caring for Vulnerable Children has inspired participants to enter into the child care profession, with those already working with or caring for vulnerable children having their skills and knowledge enhanced.
The course is about to take on its sixth cohort, since its beginning in early 2015.
The MOOC scooped a Learning on Screen Award last year. This accolade was given specifically for Billy's Story. This is the film included within the course which follows the compelling story of Billy, a 12-year-old-boy, examining the risks and vulnerabilities that he faces in his life. The team behind the MOOC also won a Strathclyde Medal Award for their considerable commitment and contribution to the community and University.
The MOOC appeals to anyone working with, or caring for, children including child care workers, teachers, nurses, kinship carers, foster carers, new adoptive parents, social workers, and academics.
The rising trend for MOOCs globally is due, in part, to the fact that they are completely free to all, and learners can go at their own pace, when and where it suits them.
Claire Burns, Director of Programmes and Services, at CELCIS comments: "At CELCIS, we are committed to developing best practice to support vulnerable children, and we see encouraging the next generation of child care workers as part of this journey.
"We wanted to deliver course content as accessible as possible to a diverse global audience. There is a real buzz around massive open online courses just now, hence why it was an obvious platform for us to deliver this course.
"The response from participants so far has been tremendous, and there has been demand for us to run this course repeatedly. For some, participation on the course has cemented their decision to enter into the child care profession, which we at CELCIS have been encouraged to see."
Fiona Tweedlie, a mother of five young children who took part, said: "The course content was exciting and innovative and delivered in a flexible and easy to access format. I loved the idea of flexible learning which fitted around my family life."
Nigel Smith, Head of Content at FutureLearn, commented, "We're delighted to be the chosen partner platform for these courses. The people that care for vulnerable children, whether they are professionals or not, do an amazing job for society. We're proud to be part of that and we're delighted that our platform can provide an opportunity for discussion and support for those involved."
Other feedback from participants included aspirations to enter the field of social work being fulfilled.
Enrolment is now open for Caring for Vulnerable Children starting 27 March 2017.
Mike Findlay, CELCIS Communications Manager
T: 0141 444 8512
CELCIS, based at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, is committed to making positive and lasting improvements in the wellbeing of Scotland's children living in and on the edges of care. Ours is a truly collaborative agenda; we work alongside partners, professionals and systems with responsibility for nurturing our vulnerable children and families. And together we work to understand the issues, build on existing strengths, introduce best possible practice and develop solutions.
The University of Strathclyde is a leading international technological university, inspired by our founder's vision of a 'place of useful learning', and committed to excellent education, research and innovation that makes a positive impact on the lives of our students, wider society, and the global communities we serve. We are home to staff and students from more than 100 countries, and our alumni community carry with them our global outlook throughout their careers in business, healthcare, academia, industry, politics and the media around the world. Our research is international in scope and impact, whether helping UK businesses to compete internationally, or improving quality of life for communities around the world.
Founded by The Open University in 2012, FutureLearn is a social learning platform, designed to support learning through conversation. It offers 5.2 million learners free online courses from world-leading UK and international universities, centres of research excellence and specialist education providers like the British Council, Creative Skillset and European Space Agency. FutureLearn is an international platform with over 75% of its users based outside of the UK.