05 Feb 2014

Fly me to the moon – new free FutureLearn course offers lunar treat for space enthusiasts

Explore moons with the OU

Explore moons with the OU

The wonders of the Earth’s Moon and moons generally have been a source of fascination for scientists for centuries, and now a new free course by The Open University will harness that knowledge to enlighten ordinary enthusiasts.

Moons is The Open University’s second course offered free on its social-learning platform FutureLearn. Learners can explore the many moons of our Solar System and discover, through interactive learning and a visual feast of images and video, exactly what makes moons so special. Interviews with renowned moons experts from around the globe are included as well as fun learning activities such as an online game of Moon Trumps.

Topics covered will include asking the bigger questions - such as whether it makes sense to send humans back to the Moon - as well as looking at the composition of moons, their importance and why some of them are thought capable of hosting microbial life. Learners can view lunar samples and explore detailed images of the surfaces of the moons of other planets. The course is accessible for those new to the subject and with no prior knowledge. Spread over eight weeks, learners commit to three hours of study each week. Weekly multiple-choice checks culminate in a final review, also carried out in a multiple-choice format.

Lead academic David Rothery, Professor of Planetary Geosciences, said: “This is such an exciting time for moons exploration. The course will provide a lot of answers to those who want to know more about moons, and perhaps spark further learning of planetary science and astronomy.”

Moons is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) starting on Monday 17th March and registration is now open. For more information on the course and FutureLearn visit:

About MOOCs
Massive Open Online Courses are free, high quality online courses created by leading universities, which anyone can access, anywhere in the world. They are designed for large numbers of learners.

About FutureLearn is the first UK-led multi-institutional provider of free, open, online higher education courses. It will offer courses for people to access and enjoy wherever they are in the world on multiple devices. Courses will be created by the Universities of Bath, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, East Anglia, Edinburgh, Exeter, Glasgow, Leicester, Loughborough, Kings College London, Lancaster, Leeds, Monash, Nottingham, The Open University, Queen’s Belfast, Reading, Sheffield, Southampton, Strathclyde, Trinity College Dublin and Warwick. In addition, the British Council, British Library and the British Museum have all agreed to partner with FutureLearn to share content and their expertise and collaborate in the development of courses through

All Open University Science MOOCs presented on FutureLearn are produced with the kind support of Dangoor Education.

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