Open Access Courses

On Great South Land

Kate Ariotti, Lecturer in History at the University of Newcastle explains ‘the open course provides an overview of Australian history from the earliest known human occupation of the continent – the 60,000+ years of what is called “deep time” Aboriginal history – to the early days of British settlement. It covers pre-contact Aboriginal society through to the arrival and subsequent occupation of the land by British convicts and colonists from 1788 onwards.’ It’s far more than a course about dates and places and names. Great South Land tackles some big historical questions and issues, such as the extent to which Aboriginal peoples cultivated the land, the legitimacy of British claims to ‘discovery’ of the continent, and whether the convicts sent to the new colonies were victims of economic disenfranchisement or hardened, immoral criminals.

“Educator Spotlight: Great South Land: Introducing Australian History with University of Newcastle Australia,” -about.futurelearn.com/research-insights/educator-spotlight-great-south-land-introducing-australian-history-with-university-of-newcastle-australia. More about open access and other course offerings by HCCI staff can be found here. Further information on Dr. Ariotti’s teaching and research can also be found on her university profile page here.

On Studying History

A major study, the Collegiate Learning Assessment, recently tested college students nationwide at the start of their freshman year and then again after two years of study to gauge how well they were learning. It asked students to read a series of documents on a political or business problem and then write a memo about how to respond to it. Liberal arts majors consistently outperformed their peers in business, communications, and other newer ‘practical’ majors. Studying liberal arts teaches you critical thinking as well as imagination, empathy, and resourcefulness. It teaches you to research, evaluate evidence, communicate, and problem solve. Rather than train you narrowly for today’s job world (which will be obsolete twenty years from now), it teaches you how to learn for a lifetime. It teaches you not what to think (which will one day be outdated) but rather how to think.

“So, You Think You Want to Study History? - bu.edu/history/undergraduate-program/why-study-history/. Boston University has produced this helpful list of advice for those interested in studying history. This quote is taken from their myth #3, “History is just old-fashioned liberal arts. I need ‘real world’ skills. I should major in something ‘sensible’ even if it’s not what I’m really excited about.” As it happens, Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn recently commented in an interview for Wired Magazine that the greatest skills gap in the United States is “written communication, oral communication, team building, people leadership, collaboration.”

EdX Course on The History of Violence

A History of Violence: From the Middle Ages to Modern Times

The course examine the origins, changing nature, uses, and attitudes towards human violence in western history.

What is violence? What do we mean by it? Is it innate or learned? Are we becoming more or less violent? These are all questions that we will ask throughout this course. A History of Violence will examine the different types of violence that humans have practiced over the centuries, put them into historical context, and try to understand why those different forms of violence are used at particular times, and not others; why some kinds of violence are accepted in some parts of the world but not others?

Free access to the best education, open to anyone.

Enrollment for verified certificates closes on 12/05/2017.