AccessHE Online project

February 1, 2016

As part of AccessHE’s Online project, nine new online courses are being developed, targeted at learners from Year 9 to Level 3 covering subjects ranging from Chemistry to Independent Learning Skills. Funded by the NNCO, these courses will bring innovation in learning and teaching to access to HE work.

Currently, two online courses have been produced by our member universities. The University of Hull has developed an exciting short online course for Year 10s studying GCSE Chemistry called ‘Molcraft – Molecules in Minecraft’. Dr Mark Loch, Senior Lecturer in Biological Chemistry, the University’s Minecraft expert Joel Mills and university students have together created the course which uses the popular computer game Minecraft to visualise structures of molecules. Students are encouraged to hunt for objects scattered throughout the world. By inspecting students’ inventories teachers can assess which parts of the world the students have visited. Mark says ‘Molcraft aims to take chemistry to a new audience of game proficient young people. By using a medium they are comfortable with and gamifying the subject we hope to dispel a lot of the trepidations young people often have about learning chemistry’.

London Metropolitan University has now completed the filming for their short online course ‘Social Problems and Issues’. Targeted at learners in Year 10 upwards, Dr Stuart Isaacs, Course Leader in Social Policy and Sociology, developed the content for the interactive course which covers homelessness, youth crime and migration. Sophie Cloutterbuck, Head of Schools, Colleges and Widening Participation, who came up with the idea said ‘Stuart and I wanted to ensure learners would engage with learning online and in order to bring it to life we decided to film at different locations including the Houses of Parliament and Brick Lane. We even have one session in which Stuart interviews a former gang member.

The next steps for both universities is to train up some of their Student Ambassadors who will help deliver the pilot courses in schools in London. To find out more about this project please email Olivia at