Free online course launched
tHOUSANDS of overseas students can take their first steps in essay writing, thanks to the University of Reading’s (UOR) new, free online course launched recently.
“A Beginners’ Guide to English for University Study” will go live on Feb 17 next year. Students can sign up online now.
It is UOR Malaysia’s second MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) announced by FutureLearn, the online learning platform set up by the Open University.
The four-week course is aimed at international students thinking about starting a degree in the United Kingdom or in an English-speaking country.
It provides a brief introduction to academic writing, including grammar, essay planning, structure and execution. It analyses academic writing from former students using a mix of video, on-screen examples, discussions and quizzes.
Assistant director of the university’s International Study and Language Institute, Dr Liz Wilding, says: “UK universities attract significant numbers of students from around the world, many of whom might not have any experience in writing academic essays in English.”
Dr Wilding says this short course gives students an overview of the basics of academic writing. It is based on materials developed by ISLI staff to teach international students here at Reading.
It is a free taster that will raise awareness, help build confidence and start levelling the playing field.
“We think it has the potential to reach a wide audience and help prepare them for university study,” Wilding says.
The university’s first MOOC, “Begin Programming: Build Your First Mobile Game”, was filled within 24 hours of opening for applications last month. A second run with unlimited numbers will be held early next year.
Apart from the venturing into MOOC, the UOR will open its new, purpose-built campus within EduCity, Iskandar, in 2015. It has opened its doors in Malaysia, currently operating from Menara Kotaraya in Johor Baru.
As one of the larger partners in the new EduCity, it will be offering a wide variety of undergraduate, postgraduate and foundation programmes such as Law, Pharmacy, Quantity Surveying, Real Estate, Psychology, Business & Management, Finance as well as English language courses.
UOR Malaysia is accepting applications for its Foundation in Business (January and March 2014 intakes) and the BSc Finance and Business Management (September 2014 intake).
The UOR is ranked in the top 1% of the world’s universities. Through its world-class research, giving international students the best experience and strong teaching and business partnerships worldwide, UOR is a major global force in higher education.
For more information, log on to www. reading.edu.my or e-mail my.enquiry@reading. edu.my or find it on Facebook at www. facebook.com/universityofreadingmalaysia
University of Reading operates from Menara Kotaraya in Johor Baru.