Trinity College Dublin is set to launch a new online history course early next year offering course credits to undergraduate students. It will be the first such course offered by an Irish university.
The college, along with the University of Melbourne, has joined online education provider Semester Online, which provides undergraduate courses from several universities including Boston College, Brandeis University, Emory University, Northwestern University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Notre Dame, Wake Forest University and Washington University in St Louis.
TCD will offer its first Semester Online course in spring 2014. Ireland in Rebellion, 1798-1916, led by Dr Patrick Geoghegan, associate professor in history, will explore the foundation of the Irish Republic by examining the period from the 1798 Rebellion to the 1916 Rising.
The first course from the University of Melbourne on the Semester Online platform will be Classical Mythology, taught by Professor Parshia Lee-Stecum.
Semester Online courses are delivered via live virtual classrooms where students attend lectures and engage in discussions and exercises, and the learning environment aims to be as similar to on-campus learning as possible. The courses differ in this respect to massive open online courses, where classes and other learning materials are delivered on-demand.
Several Irish colleges have already launched online education initiatives — Hibernia College launched a MOOC in exploring Irish identity earlier this year, and NUI Galway lecturer and researcher David O’Sullivan is currently delivering a MOOC in Planning Change and Innovation.