Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts, will lead the discussion at a high-profile conference about The Digital University: MOOCS and the Humanities at Edge Hill University.

Organised by Dr Ben Brabon – convenor of the UK’s first undergraduate credit-bearing MOOC – the event on Thursday 15 May will explore the relationship between MOOCs and the Humanities in order to better understand the idea of the Digital University in the twenty-first century.

In particular, the conference will ask what do MOOCs mean for the Humanities and what types of opportunities and challenges do they raise?

Confirmed speakers include: Dr Stephen Jackson (Director of Reviews, Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education), Dr Siân Bayne (Associate Dean, Digital Scholarship, University of Edinburgh), Hannes Klöpper (Managing Director, iversity), Professor Neil Morris (Director of Digital Learning, University of Leeds), Peter Bryant (Head of Learning Technology, London School of Economics), Simon Nelson (CEO, FutureLearn), David Kernohan (Programme Manager, e-learning, JISC), Saint John Walker (Head of Development, Creative Skillset), Carl Dawson (Managing Director, proversity) and Professor Andrew Ng (Co-founder, Coursera).

Dr Ben Brabon, Reader in English Literature and Digital Education, said: “The conference provides a wonderful opportunity to examine a number of emerging themes within Higher Education and connect with policy makers, regulators and leading figuring in the field. We will explore a wide variety of topics, from MOOC pedagogies and examples of good practice, to business models and educational policy.

benbrabon“The Humanities as a discipline has an important role to play in shaping Higher Education in a Digital Age and stimulating the creative economy. From debates about global literacy to insights into what it means to be human, Humanities MOOCs have the potential to be at the forefront of educational change.”

Dr Brabon spearheaded the development of the UK’s first undergraduate credit-bearing MOOC in 2013. He has contributed to the QAA’s working group in this area and he has acted as a consultant for a policy report on MOOCs for the Swedish Ministry of Education.

His paper for the QAA’s ‘Talking About Quality’ series on ‘Massive misalignment: the challenges of designing and accrediting MOOCs’ will be published in April. His work has also been featured in a HEA report on The Pedagogy of the Massive Open Online Course: The UK View.

Join the debate on Twitter @HumMOOCs