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Aug. 17, 2020

Lockdown causes massive surge in online learning at the University of Derby

University of DerbyThe number of people enrolling on free online courses offered by the University of Derby has reached over 100,000 – with thousands signing up for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) during the coronavirus lockdown.

The number of enrolments each week became thousands from late March, following the government’s decision to put the country in lockdown, and by the end of the first week of lockdown – on Friday 27th March – recorded enrolments were 500% up compared with the previous seven days.

During April, the University of Derby recorded an average of more than 3,000 new enrolments for MOOCs each week, with the highest number of enrolments in a single week being 4,788.

Interest was focused particularly on psychology courses, which could reflect the new pressures the population found themselves being effected by as a result of coronavirus and lockdown. More than 70,000 people have now enrolled on Derby’s Understanding Autism, Asperger's and ADHD course, with thousands more registering for other courses on mental and physical health issues and GDPR data protection skills.

Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor and Director of University of Derby Online Learning, Julie Stone, says, “This is a significant milestone for the University. Crucially, it underlines our commitment to maximising access to high quality learning for anyone wanting to broaden their knowledge as MOOCs are free and are open to everyone regardless of age, background, education level and location.”

Ms Stone continues, “While our courses are available to all via the internet, we know that learners enrolling on our MOOCs are overwhelmingly from the UK. It is encouraging to see that so many people from across the country have been keen to use to the additional time they may have because of the lockdown to learn new skills, which will benefit them either when they are able to return to their careers and workplaces, or in their personal lives. It also demonstrates the deep interest there is in developing a better understanding of autism and depression, which may have been particularly affected by the restrictions of the lockdown. It is pleasing to see that people are clearly recognising that the expertise of our academics can help them to achieve that.”

The University of Derby’s range of short, accessible MOOCs was launched in 2016 to enable people to enhance their personal and professional development and learn new skills.

Find out more about MOOCs at the University of Derby.

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Content added on 17th August 2020. 

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