Aberystwyth University and the University of Bath have worked in partnership to produce a free online course to help pupils studying the Welsh Baccalaureate.
Launched at Aberystwyth University on Friday 7 September 2018, the Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) will be available in Welsh and English.
How to Succeed in Your Welsh Bacc: The Individual Project Essentials / Sut i Lwyddo yn dy Fagloriaeth: Hanfodion y Prosiect Unigol has been designed to support post-16 students in Wales who are working towards the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate.
The MOOC will offer practical support to pupils and will take two weeks to complete from the point of enrolment (approximately three hours study per week).
Openly published and free to access, the Welsh Baccalaureate will be the first Welsh-medium MOOC to be offered on FutureLearn, the leading social learning platform owned by The Open University.
Kirsty Williams, Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Education, said:
“The Welsh Baccalaureate prepares individuals for further education, training and future employment, and I urge everyone working towards achieving the Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate to take full advantage of this free and accessible platform. Ensuring students have the support they need to reach their full potential is crucial. It’s a pleasure to see institutions working collaboratively, across the border, to help individuals succeed in gaining this qualification.”
The new online course builds on the work already carried out by Aberystwyth University to support schools offering the Welsh Baccalaureate.
Since 2012, the University has been welcoming learners from across Wales to Aberystwyth to take part in the one-dayWelsh Bacc Experience at Aberystwyth – a joint initiative between the University, the National Library of Wales and the Welsh Government.
To date, more than 2,700 sixth-form students have completed the Welsh Bacc Experience with Aberystwyth hosting 73 visits by schools and colleges.
Professor Elizabeth Treasure, Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwyth University, said:
“One of the aims of the Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate is to equip post-16 students with the essential skills they need to go on to their next destination – be that university, further training or employment. As a University, we have worked with schools in Wales on developing some of those key transferrable skills and offering expert guidance on how to research, write and reference the individual project component of the qualification. By launching this bilingual Massive Online Open Course, we aim to give schools and colleges in Wales an additional toolkit which they can use as part of this valuable learning process.”
Mike Nicholson, Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach at the University of Bath, said: “The University of Bath is delighted to have worked in collaboration with Aberystwyth University in the development of the bilingual Welsh Baccalaureate MOOC. We recognise the value that additional breadth of study, particularly the development of project skills, gives to students. We give additional credit to students applying to Bath who achieve a B grade in the Skills Challenge Certificate, and many of our students find that they can use their experience when securing placement or internship opportunities, which we offer in all our degree courses.
Caroline Morgan, Welsh Baccalaureate Framework Manager for the Welsh Joint Education Committee, said: “I am very appreciative of Aberystwyth University and the University of Bath for bringing their expertise and experience to provide an online research course for students in Wales. Both universities have developed this bilingual online course that will be available free to all Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate students to support them in completing their Individual Project. The WJEC Welsh Bacc team have provided guidance in developing this project, and I am sure the students and their teachers will be extremely grateful.”
Emma Davies, Head of the Welsh Baccalaureate at St John’s the Baptist School in Aberdare, said: “The Individual Project is increasingly becoming part of the university application process and many students include it as part of their personal statements so to have an online resource that can support them at each stage of the process will improve their confidence and attainment not only for the Individual Project but also to prepare students for Higher Education.”
How to Succeed in Your Welsh Bacc: The Individual Project Essentials / Sut i Lwyddo yn dy Fagloriaeth: Hanfodion y Prosiect Unigol will be available on the FutureLearn social learning platform from Monday 10 September 2018.
Schools and colleges interested in arranging a Welsh Bacc Experience at Aberystwyth should contact the University’s Schools Liaison Team on 01970 621735.