Online learning course brings Shakespeare into the 21st century

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

A University of Adelaide online course will see students make use of fun, interactive learning tools to explore some of Shakespeare’s best-known plays and their enduring legacies, and to appreciate their relevance in the 21st century.

Shakespeare Matters’ is the latest massive open online course (MOOC) offered through the University of Adelaide’s open digital learning program, AdelaideX. It is the first Shakespeare MOOC to be offered by an Australian university.

To date, AdelaideX has provided free, online education to more than 500,000 learners worldwide. The program operates in partnership with edX, one of the world’s leading online platforms.

In Shakespeare Matters, course participants will explore the emotions of love, hate, and jealousy, and the manipulation of emotions, in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello, The Winter’s Tale, and Henry V.

To help students appreciate the contemporary relevance of these plays, they will have access to animations, interactive texts, performances, and interviews with experts in the psychology of emotions, both in Shakespeare’s time and now.

To become acquainted with the themes and characters they will meet in the MOOC, students can take an animated multiple-choice quiz to find out which Shakespeare character they are most like, and share the results on social media.

Associate Professor Lucy Potter from the University of Adelaide’s Department of English and Creative Writing says that the inclusion of digital learning tools makes both the plays and the language Shakespeare accessible and easy to understand.

“You don’t need to have read or seen these plays performed to participate in the MOOC,” she says. “We have lots of fun activities to help build knowledge and skills so that students can reimagine Shakespeare’s plays in modern contexts. In addition, we have engaged students from here at the University as co-creators and presenters so that students in the MOOC can see Shakespeare through the eyes of other students.”

“The overarching aim of the MOOC is to make Shakespeare, your Shakespeare,” Associate Professor Potter says, “that is, to make it personally relevant in terms of understanding what it means to be human.”

Enrolments are now open for the five-week online course, which will start on 14 December.
Further details of Shakespeare Matters, including how to enrol, can be found here.


Contact Details

Associate Professor Lucy Potter
Department of English and Creative Writing
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 4685
Mobile: +61 (0)438 383 014

Mr David Ellis
Deputy Director, Media and Corporate Relations
External Relations
The University of Adelaide
Business: +61 8 8313 5414
Mobile: +61 (0)421 612 762