UConn Partners with FutureLearn to Expand Digital Education Presence Globally

The University of Connecticut has partnered with FutureLearn, one of the world’s leading social learning platforms, to begin offering courses globally as massive open online courses.

Gateway UConn sign surrounded by snow

(Sean Flynn/UConn Photo)

The University of Connecticut has partnered with FutureLearn, one of the world’s leading social learning platforms, to begin offering courses globally as massive open online courses (MOOCs).

UConn, a research-intensive, top 25 public university, will mark the launch of the partnership with courses on racism in the United States. A two-course series will open for enrollment on FutureLearn starting March 14. Individuals can enroll in this free, public, online offering at FutureLearn’s website.

The first course, “Anti-Black Racism in America” by UConn sociology professor David Embrick, provides learners with a foundational grasp of anti-Black racism in order to inform a broader understanding of the global history of racism and the black-white binary that exists. It begins on March 14.

The second course, “Black Agency: Resistance and Resilience” by UConn communications professor Shardé Davis, broadly addresses anti-Black racism in the current socio-political racial climate, and, more specifically, how Black Americans contend with it in their everyday lives, including through acts of resistance, coping strategies, and cultivating pride. It begins on April 11.

These courses introduce learners to the socio-historical and political underpinnings of anti-Black systemic racism and emphasizes that anti-Blackness is a perennial issue that exists all over the world, yet shows up in notable ways in the US with effects that have persisted across centuries.

The primary course objective is to expose learners to foundational research and concepts related to Black history, Black consciousness and Black resistance while developing learners’ understanding and potential capacity for disrupting anti-Black racism.

FutureLearn partners with over a quarter of the world’s top universities to support millions of learners across the globe to develop skills and achieve their personal and professional goals. They use design, technology and partnerships to create flexible short online courses and microcredentials, as well as undergraduate and postgraduate degrees.

“We’re delighted to announce our partnership with the University of Connecticut, and to begin building on our mutual commitment to making education and continual learning accessible for all,” said Holly Shiflett, Director of Partnerships at FutureLearn. “We’re particularly proud to announce the launch of their first two courses, which are both timely in the ways they address the crucial socio-political issues surrounding anti-Black racism in the US and around the world. Looking ahead, we are excited to work with the University’s world-class faculty and experts on future courses, to develop a broader portfolio of quality online learning experiences.”

UConn’s FutureLearn courses have been developed in partnership with UConn Online and the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), which has been leading the University’s efforts in online course excellence for nearly 20 years.

“We’re excited to partner with FutureLearn to deliver open courses to a broader global audience. FutureLearn’s platform and learning approach of social and peer-to-peer learning aligns with UConn’s goals to enhance individual learner engagement to improve the learning experience,” said Peter Diplock, associate vice provost for CETL. “We look forward to working with FutureLearn to deliver courses that meet the needs and interests of their global audience.”