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Edge Hill University is entering a new phase in 21st century curriculum development and delivery by launching its first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Vampire Fictions – with, as a worldwide first, the added option of gaining 20 credits for successfully completed studies.

 

For motivated students around the globe wanting to acquire highly developed skills, looking to pick up extra credit or simply aiming to test their abilities, the MOOC is an innovative way to obtain an advanced level of education and experience a first year undergraduate module delivered by an award-winning lecturer at an award-winning University. As well as being a free online taster for anyone considering a University degree, Edge Hill’s first MOOC gives students the choice to pick up credit for work of a passable quality.

 

The module has immense popular appeal as it focuses on the perpetually fascinating figure of the vampire. It offers students an exciting and comprehensive introduction to the cultural history of the vampire in prose fiction from the early nineteenth century to the present day, examining key literary texts from classics such as Dracula to bestselling contemporary manifestations like Twilight. Students will have the opportunity to investigate the evolution of the vampire and its representations within different historical and cultural contexts. Adopting a range of critical lenses, from Marxist readings to Postcolonial approaches, the module will chart the development of the vampire as a literary figure.

 

Module leader Dr Ben Brabon, Senior Lecturer in English Literature and SOLSTICE Learning and Teaching Fellow, has spearheaded the development of this ground-breaking credit-bearing MOOC. Dr Brabon said: “There has been much debate on the impact of MOOCs on Higher Education. There is no denying that MOOCs are going to play an important role in the delivery of degree programmes over the coming years. In this respect, we are adopting a pioneering approach by validating our first MOOC on a subject within the Humanities with the option to gain credit. There’s nothing else quite like it in the world at the moment and ultimately we’re looking to provide more choice in the MOOC market, improve the student learning experience of MOOCs and also showcase to a global audience the outstanding courses we have to offer at Edge Hill University.”

 

“What’s so great about our MOOC format is that students can test the waters for free and if they like learning at this level, they can opt to take an assessment for a small fee and gain credit for their work. The credit that they earn on the course can be used as part of a degree at Edge Hill or recognised as offering prior learning credit for studies at another institution. It’s a concept that allows for flexible learning opportunities and the chance to become part of a unique global learning experience.”

 

“I’d encourage anyone who wants to feed their passion for literature and culture, as well as cultivate their critical thinking skills, to sign up.”

 

The module will be delivered online as a MOOC over a 12 week period starting on Tuesday 3rd September 2013. For more information visit the website www.edgehill.ac.uk/english/courses/vampire-fictions, or contact Dr Brabon via email at brabonb@edgehill.ac.uk