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History Enthusiasts from Around the World Sign Up for Trinity's First MOOC

Posted on 25 August 2014

More than 15,755 people have signed up for Trinity College Dublin’s first free online course. ‘Irish Lives in War and Revolution: Exploring Ireland's history 1912-1923’, Trinity’s Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), run in partnership with FutureLearn, began on September 1.

More than half of those who have expressed interest in the’ Irish Lives’ MOOC are from outside Ireland, with strong demand in countries with an Irish Diaspora such as the UK  and the US. The  figures show 27% have registered in the US, 14% in the UK and 11% from other countries including  Australia, Canada, Spain and France among others.

There is still time to register by visiting

The MOOC will explore the lives of men, women and children living through war and revolution, examining the political and social changes that shaped modern Ireland. By engaging with original sources - textual, visual and aural - and encountering contradictory viewpoints, participants will learn about the contested nature of all history, and the challenges facing historians.

The MOOC is available to anyone with internet access across multiple devices including desktops, tablets and smartphones. The six-week innovative course will enable students anywhere to experience a Trinity education. The MOOC will widen access to education, with dynamic content delivered by Trinity’s history lecturers.

“Our aim with the course is to question that there is a single narrative or an easy explanation of the past. We want to challenge the silent assumption that there can be one authoritative voice claiming to have all the answers. To that end, we have designed a course intended to stimulate in you a critical attitude towards the question of whose history gets recorded and sought out, and whose history, ultimately, gets told,” said Professor of Early Modern History and Historiography, Ciarán Brady from Trinity’s School of Histories and Humanities.

Trinity’s Associate Dean for Online Education, Professor Tim Savage, said online learning is disrupting higher education globally: “Online learning has the capacity to revolutionise how students learn, and to increase access to high-quality higher education. Trinity is at the forefront of innovation in Ireland, and we believe there is an opportunity for the university to leverage the disruptive potential of online learning, particularly in building our global reputation. The online environment will provide students with a stimulating learning experience by creating a structured, yet flexible, learning approach.”

The course has been developed by Trinity academics, Professor of Early Modern History and Historiography, Ciaran Brady, Assistant Professor in Modern History, Anne Dolan and Dr Ciarán Wallace of the Centre for Contemporary Irish History.

Watch a trailer and register for the MOOC here and follow #FLirishlives on Twitter.

Also more information on online education at Trinity College Dublin