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Developing a Massively Open On-Line Course to teach the Materials Science of Steel

Prof Mark Miodownik | University College London, UK

Developing a Massively Open On-Line Course to teach the Materials Science of Steel

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This talk describes the process of conceiving, writing, filming and running a Massively Open On-Line Course (MOOC) to teach the materials science of steel and steel making [1]. This course is an introduction to steel, exploring its history and cultural context, where it comes from, how it works, why we use so much of it, and how we might use it in the future. The course has no academic pre-requites and is designed to appeal equally to school children, teachers, workers in the steel industry, and to the general public. The course is delivered in a lively manner using everyday examples, demonstrations, and film footage of steel making. It was launched in June 2015 and within six weeks the course had been taken by 7200 participants from 139 countries and a had completion rate of 28%. The work was carried out in collaboration with the steel company Tenaris and the MOOC is hosted on the edX platform [1]. In this talk I will describe the problems and pitfalls we encountered, discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this type of educational resource, and its potential impact.