FutureLearn, the UK-led mooc provider, has now opened its beta website and published its first set of course offerings, which includes Begin Programming: Build Your First Mobile Game.
As we noted when FutureLearn was first announced back in December 2012, it is an initiative from the UK's Open University, which has a long-established pedigree of over 40 years of providing distance learning. It initially pioneered with using television programs to deliver course content but, with the advent of widespread broadband,has used Internet technology over the past decade.
Begin Programming: Build Your First Mobile Game, is the only Computer Science course among the 20 offerings in FutureLearn's initial list and its beta version starts on October 7. However, before you head over to sign up, you are already too late to join the first beta run as all the places were taken within the first few hours of it being notified to those who had joined the pre-launch mailing list or are on the Open University's alumni mailing list. You can, however, sign up for the second run, scheduled for early 2014.
Begin Programming is a 7-week course from the University of Reading to be taught by Karsten Øster Lundqvist. It's aimed at complete beginners and those with some basic programming skills and sets out to teach the basics of Java programming by developing a simple mobile game that you can run on your computer, Android phone, or tablet, requiring 3 hours per week
According to its description, it will:
introduce the basic constructs that are used in many programming languages and help you to put this knowledge into practice by changing the game code we have provided. You’ll have the freedom to create a game that’s unique to you, with support from the community and educators if you get stuck. You’ll learn how to create algorithms to solve problems and translate these into code, using the same tools as industry professionals worldwide.
Of course, as this is a mooc, it is available, free of charge, to any student, anywhere in the world. It will also be included in our regular roundup of Computer Science MOOCs for the month in which it starts - so stay tuned.