Tuesday 23 January 2018

Three free online courses from FutureLearn start soon

FutureLearn is owned
by The Open University
Starting soon via FutureLearn, The Open University's digital education platform, are three free online courses which may be of interest to researchers of Irish heritage.

In each case, the courses are open to all and are presented using videos, online discussions (active engagement is optional) and, sometimes, the preparation of written assignments.

There are no formal qualification criteria for joining, just an interest in the subject to be studied.

The three courses are:

Irish Lives in War and Revolution: Exploring Ireland's History 1912-1923

This course is presented by Trinity College Dublin. Looking beyond the familiar names and famous faces, it explores how the events that shaped the nature of modern Ireland – the Great War, the Easter Rising, the Irish War of Independence and civil war – were experienced by the people who lived through them or in spite of them.

No formal qualifications are required, just a basic interest in Irish and modern European history as well as a curiosity about how conflict shapes civil society. It runs over six weeks and a commitment of six hours per week is suggested for participants. The course is starting now. Details.

Irish 101: An Introduction to Irish Language & Culture

This three-week course aims to introduce the basics of the Irish language and explores Ireland’s culture of dance, Gaelic games, music, storytelling and literature. Created by Dublin City University, it starts on 29 January.

No formal qualifications are required; the course is aimed at anyone interested in Irish language and culture. A commitment of three hours per week is suggested for participants to get the full benefit from the teaching materials and optional online engagement with other learners. Details.

Genealogy: Researching Your Family Tree

This free MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) from the University of Strathclyde's Genealogy team is aimed at beginner family historians. It isn't an Irish genealogy course. It's a more general course that aims to help the researcher develop an understanding of basic genealogy techniques and how to communicate their family history – valuable skills no matter where your heritage originates.

It starts on 29 January and runs for 6 weeks. Four hours of study per week is suggested. More than 57,000 students have previously taken this online course, which has been updated to include more information on autosomal DNA testing and will include ‘live’ updates from the RootTech conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. Details.