Kent’s Erlang expertise now available to 5 million learners for free

numbers overlaid on students studying

Functional Programming in Erlang‘, the first MOOC (massive open online course) dedicated to Erlang, is now open for enrolment. This is the first MOOC from the the University of Kent in partnership with FutureLearn, the social learning platform with 5 million learners.

The Erlang MOOC will begin on 20th February 2017 and learners can enroll now.

Functional programming has become increasingly important in providing global-scale applications on the internet. For example, the language is the basis of the WhatsApp messaging system, which now has over a billion users.

Simon Thompson is the main educator on the MOOC. He is Professor of Logic and Computation at the School of Computing at the University of Kent and has been a teacher and researcher in functional programming for most of his career.

This first course is designed to teach the principles of functional programming and combines treatment of the theory of functional programming, and the practice of how that works in Erlang and is reinforced through practical exercises as well as more substantial suggested practical projects. The course is suitable for learners who have some prior experience of programming but functional programming experience in particular is not required. A further 3-week course “Concurrent Programming in Erlang”, focusing on concurrency, will be offered from April.

In addition to the Erlang Programming courses, The University of Kent is also developing courses in understanding autism and in endurance sports performance which learners will be able to enroll for early next year.

Nigel Smith, Head of Content at FutureLearn, commented, “The University of Kent is considered one of the leading authorities in functional programming so we are delighted that their first course on our platform will enable our learners to benefit from their years of expertise in this subject area.”

Dr Mark O’Connor, MOOCs project lead at the University of Kent, commented, “We are very much looking forward to an exciting partnership with FutureLearn. We first investigated MOOCs with a successful pilot in Erlang, as part of a ‘Beacon Project’ celebrating the University of Kent’s 50th anniversary. One of the key recommendations from our pilot was to partner with FutureLearn, so that we can use their excellent and accessible specialized MOOC platform and achieve greater reach for our courses. We’re now delighted to bring this improved course to a wider audience and to develop further online courses to strengthen public engagement with scholarship and research at Kent.”

Founded by The Open University in 2012, FutureLearn is a social learning platform, designed to support learning through conversation. It offers over 5 million learners free online courses from world-leading UK and international universities, centres of research excellence and specialist education providers.