Designing a MOOC on the Essentials in Development Studies

May 10, 2022

We are now in route to offer an Essentials in Development MOOC course!

As part of UniPID’s strategic priority to offer virtual studies to students interested in learning more about development-related issues, UniPID has started to develop a MOOC course, titled Essentials in Development Studies. The working group created for this Initiative is composed by UniPID's Education Support Specialist, and two Development Studies Programme representatives, one from the University of Helsinki and the other from the University of Jyväskylä. The course will introduce students with basics to multidisciplinary discipline of development studies and will motivate them to further their knowledge in the field.

The course will be rolled out as part of UniPID’s course catalogue, and it will be open to students from the UniPID member universities, and possibly also for other interested audiences. In the Essentials in development studies –course students will have the possibility to discuss and reflect the meaning of the concept of development; study its main theories; identify and analyze different actors, institutions, and policies for development; and acquaint themselves with debates on development practices.

As a part of creating this course, the working group joined a 3-hour ABC workshop, organized by the University of Helsinki Educational Technology Services, facilitated by an expert in modular design for online courses. The goal was to discuss the crucial elements and modalities around course development and design such as the learning objectives, best learning styles to use, as well as the most suitable modes of student assessment and evaluation. The workshop proved to be a crucial avenue for pooling together ideas on how to further develop the essentials of development studies MOOC.

The online course expert first facilitated an interactive lecture to help the working group to familiarize themselves with the ABC cards, which were later used to elaborate on the different learning types, teaching techniques, and interactive online methods that could be incorporated into the delivery of the course. The ensuing group discussion revolved mainly around the kind of teaching methods that would better support the course’s learning objectives, the kind of online tools the course design team could use, and how these tools would better facilitate students’ learning. The workshop also offered new perspectives on available online tools that could make the course as interactive as possible for both teachers and students.

Image 1: Snippet from the Padlet tool on how the APC cards were used in the workshop.
Snippet from the Padlet tool on how the APC cards were used in the workshop.

The workshop discussions yielded great progress. generated new ideas on how to further improve the course design and gave the team members more food for thought. A testament to this was the working group agreed to collaboratively work further on the Padlet tool. The work continues so keep your eyes and ears open!

If you are interested in getting to know more about this MOOC development and/or about our Virtual Studies Programme, do not hesitate to contact us at .


Photo credits: Bill Smith, 2019 on Flickr