In March, we ran our first Modern Building Design MOOC (massive open online course) through FutureLearn. The three-week course explored global trends influencing modern building design. It covered topics related to our MSc in Modern Building Design and provided a taster of the full-time course. Learners gained insight into how climate change, technology and regulation are changing the way industry approaches design and construction.

Dr Ricardo Codinhoto, the Lead Educator, was on hand to discuss topics and answer questions throughout the course. The number of questions and comments highlighted how engaged the learners were. Those who completed the course also had the option to buy a certificate of learning from the University's e-learning partner, FutureLearn. Many learners finished the course and chose to mark their achievement with the certificate, a confirmation of its success.

The free online course was a way to reach and engage with more people interested in the future of our built environment. It provided a chance to share knowledge and expertise on a versatile and accessible platform. The course attracted participants from all over the world, proving how beneficial this type of learning can be. The content was put together as a joint effort between the academic team in Architecture & Civil Engineering and e-learning specialists in the Faculty of Engineering & Design and the Centre for Learning and Teaching.

On the success of the course, Dr Codinhoto said: “Developing and delivering the MOOC from scratch was a very positive experience. The team and I are delighted that we reached almost all countries in the world. The course has a strong message around sustainability and we hope it has raised the profile of the ethos of the Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering and our courses across the world.”

One of the learners commented: “Thank you for putting together this course. It has been one of the most enjoyable classes I've taken!"

The Modern Building Design MOOC will run again in June and September 2017.

Dr Ricardo Codinhoto is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Studies for the MSc Modern Building Design. The course is now in its third year and is going from strength to strength since its launch with HEFCE funding support in 2014.