Almost 14,000 begin free online history course at Trinity College

Half of all participants on 6-week programme are based outside Ireland

The course will explore Irish history from 1912 to 1923 using original source materials provided to students online. Photograph: Dara MacDonaill/The Irish Times

The course will explore Irish history from 1912 to 1923 using original source materials provided to students online. Photograph: Dara MacDonaill/The Irish Times

 

Almost 14,000 people have registered for a free online history course offered by Trinity College Dublin, the first of its kind for the college.

The six-week MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), which begins today, is aimed at giving people a “Trinity education experience” without having to attend the university.

Just over half of the 13,836 people who have signed up are based outside Ireland, with 27 per cent living in the US, 14 per cent in the UK, and 11 per cent in other destinations including Australia, Canada, Spain and France.

“Irish Lives in War and Revolution: Exploring Ireland’s History 1912-1923” has been designed by staff at the school of histories and humanities.

Using original source material available online, the course will “explore the lives of men, women and children living through war and revolution, examining the political and social changes that shaped modern Ireland”.

Participants are expected to spend five hours per week studying the course material, which can be accessed across multiple devices including desktops, tablets and smartphones.

“Online learning has the capacity to revolutionise how students learn, and to increase access to high-quality higher education,” said the college’s associate dean for online education, Professor Tim Savage.

“The online environment will provide students with a stimulating learning experience by creating a structured, yet flexible, learning approach.”