Massive Online Open Courses

The RELIEF Centre is co-designing a series of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) with partners and community members in Lebanon to create vibrant, free online and blended learning experiences based on the research being carried out in Lebanon.

Our approach to MOOCs deliberately disrupts the typical model which features ‘talking head’ videos of university professors far-removed from the community who uses them. We will take our cameras directly to the communities in Lebanon to video local researchers, teachers and professionals so they can share their localised knowledge, skills and understanding with other. By doing so, we will create a collaborative learning environment, where participants can share their experiences and learn from each other. We also know how hard it can be hard to learn online amid the many pressures of life and with limited access to broadband internet. To overcome this, we are designing in local blended learning support to ensure reliable delivery of our MOOCs.

In summary the RELIEF centres distinctive approach to MOOCs that involves: 

·      Co-design of courses
·      Innovative uses of video
·      Collaborative learning activities
·      Dual language design (Arabic and English)
·      Blended learning support

To achieve this we have partnered with two online platforms: the English language free online course platform, FutureLearn and the Arabic language platform, Edraak. Learn more about our MOOCs below.


New Course: Transforming Education in Challenging Environments

Open for registration

Sign up at FutureLearn (English)

Sign up at Edraak (Arabic)

This MOOC aims to support the many teachers in Lebanon working in challenging circumstances with vulnerable children by providing a place to share experience and expertise across the public, private, UNRWA and NGO schools.

Discover practical ways teachers can transform the education of children and young people living in conflict-affected contexts. The course includes video case studies showing how teachers in some of the most challenging environments have transformed their approaches to teaching. If you are a teacher, a trainer, of a volunteer working with refugee and displaced children and youth or a university student completing your education programme and expecting to work in challenging contexts, this course is designed for you. 

The course is a social learning process – you watch short videos, try the activities, join the discussion, and exchange ideas with other participants. You can upgrade at any time to gain a Certificate of Achievement from University College London and the Lebanese American University when you complete the course. This gives you unlimited access to all the resources to use in your own local professional development courses.


Who is this course for? Anyone who is teaching or involved in some way with teaching in challenging environments. There is a focus on environments affected by mass displacement, but the challenges these teachers face - such as children who have experienced trauma, or diverse languages, cultures, age groups in one classroom, or children from disrupted families - can be found in all countries and communities.

Who designed it? Education academics who do research and teacher training, at two universities, University College London (UCL), and the Lebanese American University (LAU) in Beirut.

What will I gain from completing the course? You will have exchanged experiences, ideas, and solutions with other experienced professionals from a wide range of different countries; seen the inspiring interviews with teachers dealing with challenges and finding solutions; acquired resources such as videos, documents, and access to digital tools that you can continue to use; a certificate of completion if you complete and pay for the certificate.

Who is the course endorsed by? UCL and LAU.

Will it further my career? Learning online is a valuable experience in itself, giving you experience of digital learning which you can take into your own professional work. Employers value this kind of experience. Your engagement with innovative global courses of this kind will be a point of differentiation with other candidates for promotion or other positions.

How many hours do I need to invest per week? 3-4 hours per week.

Can I enrol after June 24th? Yes, at any time until 21 July, and you will be able to continue accessing it for 6 weeks after enrolment, no matter what you enrol.

Is this course completely free? Yes for the Edraak course in Arabic. For the English course on FutureLearn you can study the whole course free, but there is a charge for upgrading, which provides you with a certificate, and unlimited access to the course and its activities.

Will I be able to contact the course professors if I had any questions? You can ask questions of the Educators in the discussion which is attached to every Step.

Is this course only for individuals in Lebanon? No, although the video case studies are mostly based in Lebanon. It is open to participants from almost every country in the world.

Research Skills MOOC picture - Asma 1.JPG

Community Based Research: Getting Started

Our first MOOC invites participants in Lebanon, the MENA region and globally, to learn how to engage in the collaborative, community based research methodology of citizen science that sits at the heart of all of our research.

Community based research skills can give people the power to understand and transform their environments. This course starts from the principle that community members are themselves best placed to research their own lives. Participants will be introduced to the citizen social science methodology that underpins the RELIEF Centre approach and learn practical research skills that they can use to embark on their own community based research project. Participants will learn to construct their own research questions and select from a range of methods to find out what the community needs and how to achieve it. Participants will develop research skills to carry out local research projects sensitively and ethically. The course features community based researchers from Lebanon and East London who share their work to support aspiring community researchers on their research journey. The first run of the MOOC will launch on 25th February 2019 on the English language site FutureLearn and on the Arabic language MOOC provider Edraak.

Sign up at FutureLearn (English)

Sign up at Edraak (Arabic)