After The New York Times hailed 2012 as The Year of MOOC – massive open online courses – it was clear that a whole new phenomenon had entered a world where massively expensive degree courses taking much of a lifetime to pay off reigned supreme.
I welcomed this radical new move and searched for courses to enrol in, especially amongst the non-profits that appeared to dominate in the early days of MOOC. There wasn’t much if anything that appealed, but now it looks like we’re in a real turnaround.
I recently came across a cluster of universities, centers of excellence and specialist organizations starting to offer free, self-paced courses that really appeal and meet some outstanding personal needs. Future Learn is the sharp end of an initiative by colleges and universities from all around the world basing its methods on those of the UK’s venerable The Open University.
According to Future Learn’s ‘About Future Learn’ FAQ page, The Open University has provided its initial investment thus allowing the initiative to get started.
On glancing through Future Learn's Partners page, I was pleased to note a number of organizations I have long held in high regard for their sense of social responsibility and commitment to high quality education, especially London-based ones I made good use of when living and working in the UK – The British Museum, British Library, British Council, The British Film Institute, National Film and Television School and D&AD.
Colleagues from advertising and design agencies in the UK continue to be involved in D&AD which has extended its reach well outside the UK in recent years. D&AD was co-founded as British Design & Art Direction in 1962 by a group of prominent creatives, including two of the greatest photographers/directors, David Bailey and Terence Donovan.
At D&AD’s core are the twin missions of encouraging the finest creativity around the globe and doing so by providing superb education. D&AD’s first contribution via Creative Skillset to the Future Learn initiative is Brand Storytelling: How to Use Narrative to Sell.
Other Creative Skillset courses include Digital Storytelling: Filmmaking for the Web, An Introduction to Screenwriting, and Film Production: Behind the Scenes of Feature Filmmaking.
I have enrolled in the Digital Storytelling and Brand Storytelling courses. The former commenced on September 28 while the latter begins on November 16. As the courses are self-paced, it won’t be a problem that Digital Storytelling is already in its first week. Two sides of the same coin, as it were, covering both sides of the agency creative/creative supplier equation.
I encourage you to check out the course descriptions and seriously consider enrolling. Free is good and Future Learn's lists of partners and teachers are impeccable. [bctt tweet=”Enrol now! Digital Storytelling: Filmmaking for the Web, free training from UK’s Future Learn.”]
Digital Storytelling: Filmmaking for the Web – free online course at FutureLearn.com
About the Course
The University of Birmingham, the BBC Academy and Creative Skillset have combined forces, to create this four-week, free online course.
It will look at filmmaking theory and practice, and how they interact to produce good and even meaningful stories, helping you develop short films for digital platforms.
Whether fact or fiction, there are many principles and processes that make a story work on film, so that what viewers see is more than just a sequence of events, but is instead a compelling narrative, which holds their attention, makes them think and keeps them coming back for more.
We will cover all aspects of production – from how to research your story to adding the finishing touches in the edit. The course will address many issues along the way, including critical thinking; story structure; style; genre; ethics; legalities; practical techniques for camera, sound and lighting; and more.
This course is for those who want to start creating and distributing their own film content online.
You could be a graduate or already working within the television industry, either as a new entrant or an established freelancer wanting to expand your skillset.
You may have hobbies, places, causes or a business that you wish to promote online. It’s for anyone who has a story to tell and wants to use the medium of film to tell it, but doesn’t quite know where to start.
Learn more about Digital Storytelling: Filmmaking for the Web
(cover photo credit: snap from FutureLearn)