Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford University, Develops First MOOC

The University of Oxford engaged Construct to co-develop a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) aimed primarily at educational outreach and based on material from a lecture series delivered by Sir Paul Collier within the Blavatnik School of Government. The University of Oxford wanted to have an impact on learners globally. This high-profile project was the first real-time that the University moved beyond the classrooms of Oxford.

The Challenge

  • Design a MOOC based on the course offered in class but customized for an online audience.
  • The MOOC needed to be inclusive in its delivery, making it accessible to those from all walks of life.
  • Video content was used to capture the “essence” of the instructor—Professor of Economics and Public Policy, Sir Paul Collier.
  • The MOOC would play a role in building BSG’s brand awareness globally.

The Solution

  • Design and deliver a learning experience optimized for online consumption and captures all necessary key learning points from the live course.

  • We actively utilized Sir Paul Collier as the star attraction, but this was limited to 3min videos to ensure mobile and online audiences remained engaged.

  • Construct incorporated interactive elements and discussions rather than a “content-dump” to increase engagement.

  • To create a connection to the university, Construct included imagery of Oxford University throughout the course.

  • Case Studies used a gamified style to increase engagement.

  • Case studies enhance learning by using real examples to illustrate key learning points.
    All filming was done on-site in Oxford.

The Result

  • Increased access
    More than 100,000 learners enrolled in the MOOC – more than five times the entire physical student body at Oxford.

  • Global reach
    Learners from more than 150 countries were represented, with thousands of learners joining from developing countries.

  • A glowing third-party review of the MOOC.
Play Video about The Making of a Mooc
Blavatnik School of Government
Blavatnik School of Government

The Blavatnik School of Government is a school of public policy founded in 2010 at the University of Oxford, the oldest university in the English-speaking world.

Having been ranked the world’s number one university by Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings, Oxford University wished to progress its Digital Education Strategy, building capacity for the design and delivery of a range of online education experiences.

How can Construct help you?

Our experience gained from delivering thousands of online courses since 2013 has led us to be able to efficiently scaffold courses through tried and tested processes, enabling Construct and any new partner to focus on creativity, innovation, and quality.

Our services include:

  • Course design & development
  • Program / course migration
  • Learning strategy consultation
  • Instructional design
  • Media production
  • Student support
  • Course maintenance

A completely charming, highly informative course for those not terribly familiar with global economics. And, trust me, “charming” is the last word I’d ever expect to use about economics.

Karen Carlson, A Just Recompense

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