General Education courses go online


Session 2, 2002 saw the introduction of two fully online General Education courses offered by the School of Physics. One of these, Science and Religion, was adapted from the popular lecture version of the course, which has been running for several years. The other, Brave New World, was a new course developed especially for delivery over the Internet. This course uses science fiction to teach some of the more exotic areas of the physical sciences, while at the same time exploring the future. The books and movies covered are very much driven by student interest and in session 2 included old and new favourites such as “Brave New World”, “1984” and “The Matrix”.

Students are able to take the whole of both courses over the Internet. They can view lectures, submit their assignments and take part in discussions all in the comfort of their own home and at any time of the day or night. Students and tutors enjoyed the experience of studying online. Some comments made by students in these courses were:

“I think that because the discussion was not face-to-face, and there was ample time to consider my opinion, I made a better contribution than I would have in a normal tutorial environment. The availability of all the information meant I could easily refresh the lectures when I needed to.”

“I loved the online lectures. They were so understandable. If something was confusing, I could re-read it, I didn’t have to take notes, I could just print. I also love being able to submit assignments online, don’t waste paper or time. LOVE IT.”

“I just wanted to thank you for this excellent general education course … now I find that every time I go to write a script or short story, I am going into sci-fi mode to reflect what I want to say! I have officially caught the sci-fi bug and may well hound you with scientific questions in the future that puzzle my humanities brain.”

Maria Hunt and Robert Stening



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