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Free online course gives prospective students a real taste of Structural Geology

Prospective students now have access to videos, lecture notes and exercises from an earth sciences course.

Free online course gives prospective students a real taste of Structural Geology

Birkbeck’s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences (EPS) is offering a free online taster course in Structural Geology with full streamed-video content. The course has around 20 hours of video material from a course delivered to students in central London, supported by a detailed lecture notes and practical exercises. There are no exams or tutoring for this free course, but the same material forms a 15 CATS points module as part of distance learning degrees (360 CATS points) in BSc Geology, BSc Earth Sciences, BSc Environmental Geology and BSc Planetary Sciences with Astronomy. This online taster is the department’s contribution to the growing trend for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) hosted at top universities.

Watch, revise and learn

This free course content is typical of the style of teaching on fee-paying modules of distance learning BSc degrees offered by the Earth and Planetary Sciences department. Professor Gerald Roberts, who lectures on this free course, commented: "MOOCs are an excellent way for universities to offer tasters of what it would be like to study as a fee-paying student at top universities. However, at Birkbeck EPS we offer whole degrees online with video support. We see distance learning supported in this way as an excellent way to broaden participation for those who cannot attend face-to-face, but also to support students who can attend because they can watch videos of lectures they sat in previously, but can ‘pause’ the lecturer to write detailed notes to supplement those provided. They can also use the videos for revision in the days before exams. As a lecturer, I like the idea of being 'paused' if this helps students."

The course can be accessed through the EPS distance learning website via the link in the right hand column: See our sample course here, and is hosted within a Moodle environment.

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