The Changing University – Delivering the First Professional Services NOOC

The Changing University: Inside Nottingham – first run



The University of Nottingham professional services NOOC (Nottingham Open Online Course) ran for the first time in October and November. Thanks to a great deal of work by many colleagues this four week course had a great first run and over 400 members of staff signed up and participated.

The NOOC was designed especially for staff working in professional services across the University, in Malaysia, China and the UK and covered the ways in which the University works and how different parts of the professional services operate. During the four week course we will explored what it means to work at a leading global university and how gaining a better understanding of professional behaviours can help with developing careers.


A bit too much content

The course is entirely online and in theory required a time commitment of around 2-3 hours per week. As it turned out this was rather optimistic as most participants reported that there was just far too much material to get through each week. The course begins with an overview of universities and an insight into how they work including the role of professional services, the regulations that govern us, how our large numbers of staff collaborate and work together and the challenges that face the University as we look forward to 2020. Subsequent material looks a bit like this:

Extract from the course outline
Extract from the course outline

Learning across professional services

One of the really important aims of the course was to provide opportunities for participants to work with, learn from and collaborate with colleagues from across all of our campuses. There was certainly plenty of engagement from all parts of professional services and this was really one of the best things about the course for me – lots of staff talking about their experiences of working at the University and many expressing degrees of surprise about parts of the institution they were not aware existed!


The course is still open and available (to University of Nottingham staff only – details of how to join can be found on the course page) providing opportunities until the end of the current academic year to learn more about the University and the work of professional services.

As to the future, it would be great to run it again, either with some cutting of content or extending the course duration. Another possibility is to make it less Nottingham-specific and more generic and offer as an open MOOC.


And finally, thanks to those who made it happen

Enormous thanks to Sue Clayton for putting the course together, to Sarah Speight for advice and support, to members of the Learning Technology Team and the video unit in particular plus the group of incredibly enthusiastic facilitators who made it all work.

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