A new Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) at King's
Post by Dr Sarah Lewis

The English department at King’s has worked closely with both Shakespeare’s Globe and the British Library for many years now. The ‘Shakespearean Studies’ MA programme, which is taught with the Globe, was established over ten years ago, and the ‘Early Modern English Literature: Text and Transmission’ MA has been delivered in partnership with the British Library since 2008. In September this year, we will be further developing our collaboration with these two important cultural organisations by launching a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), which we have built in partnership with the BL and the Globe, and which draws on the structure of these two MA programmes. Shakespeare: Print and Performance, will be free, open to everyone, and will run for four weeks in September.

Learners who sign-up for the MOOC will have the opportunity to explore Shakespeare’s plays on both page and stage: across a series of 38 short films, they’ll hear from London Shakespeare Centre academics, go into the archives with curators at the BL and behind the scenes with actors, directors and musicians at the Globe. They’ll engage with interactive tools, complete online exercises and contribute to discussion boards to find out more about Shakespeare’s early modern world and to consider his construction as a global icon today.


Filming a MOOC lecture at the Globe

The project has been managed by the wonderful King’s Online team, and every member of the London Shakespeare Centre has been involved with producing content. It’s been a real collaborative effort, and as a result, the end product will showcase the huge range of Shakespeare related research that is currently taking place in the department, as well as at the BL and the Globe. Thanks so much to everyone who has given their time and expertise to this project. We have been working on the MOOC for nearly two years now, and we are currently filming content. We’ve all been practicing our ‘to camera’ faces! As a free online resource, the MOOC will enable people from all over the world to really get a sense of Shakespeare in the theatre and on the page, in both early modern and contemporary London: they’ll see Shakespeare’s Folio in the BL, and watch actors performing on the stage at the Globe theatre. Learners will have access to the kinds of materials that are normally reserved for those who are studying on our own MA programmes. The MOOC is driven by a desire to open up the BL collection, the Globe stage, and the work of academics in the London Shakespeare Centre, to as many people around the world as possible.

Watch this space for more information about how to sign-up for the MOOC… the trailer is also on its way…!