As far as course names go, it might have one of the strangest - but The FA’s first ever MOOC, or Massive Open Online Course, has made quite an impact on learners around the world.

The qualification – titled “Youth Football Coaching: Developing Creative Players” - was created in partnership with the University of Birmingham.

Between the 30 January 2017 and Monday 6 March, when it closed for new registrations, a total of 6,549 learners from across 154 countries registered for the course, with the biggest enrolments recorded in the UK, China, USA and Egypt.

Dr Mark Griffiths, from the University’s School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, supported the development of the three-week online course, which provided learners with three hours of innovative and engaging content each week. He explained why it has been so successful:

“The MOOC has provided a free, open, online opportunity for a global community of learners, giving them access to evidence-based content.

“The collaboration between the University of Birmingham and The FA has offered a unique opportunity to draw on the expertise from both organisations in constructing online educational materials.”

Feedback collated from a selection of learners that have completed the course has also been positive.

"A great course and a great example of what good quality CPD should look like,” one said.

“The interaction with other learners and reading their comments also helps and gives additional viewpoints.

“More courses of this type would be very useful and can only help the game we all love improve over the coming years".

Another explained that it had left them with a better understanding of how to create learning environments that will make a difference to their players’ football experience.

"It's been great. The course has encouraged me to think more about what I do as a coach and how I can develop a more creative learning environment.

“I have no doubt that our players will benefit and hopefully, they will enjoy their football that much more."

Nick Baker, learning design & development manager talks us through what’s next for online learning in The FA:

“We have been extremely pleased with the engagement of learners on this course and the feedback we have received so far has been overwhelmingly positive.

“We now intend to develop more online opportunities such as this and build on the partnership we have with the University of Birmingham.

“We’ll also be feeding into an online learning research project with Birmingham which will help shape future MOOC developments, as well as our own in-house digital learning.”

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