FTA:Master Level Course Mode

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Learners interested in a certain topic form a group of peers willing to take part in a self-organised course and commit to contribute an agreed tuition fee to cover the course's costs. They (generally) choose from a list of existing courses and topics, though variations may be discussed. Peers contribute, within the course context, to the advancing of the existing knowledge base on the course topics. Currently available courses that are ready to be run are those with complete course books listed in FTA materials. With some additional work, courses from the draft common curriculum can also be run (please first consider how much additional work, and how as a community we could solve that best).

On Demand

Once the group is established and has reached a certain minimum threshold, it asks the FKI to organise the desired course. The FKI can then provide:

  • an experienced tutor who will guide the group through the course
  • course materials, generally already available as free materials or open educational resources (cf. fta/materials)
  • a course methodology based on group debates, individual and group assignments and peer and tutor feedback
  • the required campus infrastructure to run the course, within the FTA Campus
  • payment collection, and payment of tutors, campus and facilitators
  • learner support
  • general quality evaluation and ongoing improvements
  • a digital certificate at the end of the course

About the FTA Virtual Campus

All courses provided by the Free Technology Academy are conducted entirely online at the FTA Virtual Campus. The FTA learning methodology allows learners to define their own study schedule: asynchronous communication tools, few deadlines and activities that can be joined at different dates and times. This model allows for anyone to join FTA courses, regardless of their location and job, as long as they have regular access to the Internet.

About the Master Level Courses (MLC) methodology

FTA courses offered at master level are structured in a 13 week programme following the course book that can be downloaded freely in PDF from the FTA website. The study programme is guided by an academic tutor who provides feedback both in the online campus and on the Continuous Assessment Activities. At the end students who pass the course are entitled to an FTA Course certificate. In some cases these certificates are recognised through previously existing agreements with certain universities, in other cases, the relevant authorities of a particular university (e.g. exam committee) will need to validate possible waivers for their master programme. In general FTA MLC courses are worth 5 ECTS. See more on methodology

About Recognition

After the learners have passed the course, they get a digital (PDF) certificate, issued by the FKI. The difference with previous FTA Certificates is that those were issued by the FTA Consortium, and recognition agreements with the OUNL and UOC were in place. The new FTA Certificates are expected to obtain a similar treatment by the universities, but that would be decided by universities on a case by case basis. Also, new recognition agreements may be reached for specific courses with these and other university partners. If there is sufficient interest, priority can be given to this recognition work. See for details in the Talk page.

About Discounts

Where up till now the learners could enjoy an early bird discount on the tuition fee, this discount regime changes into the following. Discounts can be obtained by the group when reaching a certain number of participants. This reflects also the cost efficiencies obtained when organising the course with larger group sizes. The discounts might look like this:

  • standard tuition fee: 380 €
  • minimum # participants: 10
  • # participants: 15 -> 5%
  • # participants: 20 -> 10%
  • # participants: 25 -> 15%
  • # participants: 30 -> 20%

The peer group can decide to be flexible on who make which exact financial contribution, as long as the total fees sum up to cover the costs. Here is a table that shows the sums for different group sizes.

Tuition fees by group size
# learners 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30
discount - - - - - 5% 5% 5% 5% 5% 10% 10% 10% 10% 10% 15% 15% 15% 15% 15% 20%
tuition fee € 380 € 380 € 380 €380 €380 €361 €361 €361 €361 €361 €342 €342 €342 €342 €342 €323 €323 €323 €323 €323 €304
collected fees €3.800 €4.180 €4.560 €4.940 €5.320 €5.415 €5.776 €6.137 €6.498 €6.859 €6.840 €7.182 €7.524 €7.866 €8.208 €8.075 €8.398 €8.721 €9.044 €9.367 €9.120

About Sponsoring and Reduced Rates

Some people maybe willing to pay more than the default tuition fee per course, thereby helping the community and other peers who can't afford the full price. Especially as serious income inequalities can be appreciated in different sides on the planet, we want to do everything in our ability to make course participation possible. Those willing to pay more, please do so, and those who can't afford more than a reduced level, also please indicate this. After all, only when the group of peers together reaches the total amount of collected fees needed to make the course take off, that's when all can enjoy it.

Discussion spaces

If you'd like to take a course or join the discussion about the FTA, the first thing is to join the FTA discussion list. If you'd like to participate in the discussion about sustainability and revenue models for the FTA, be welcome to join the FTA Sustainability Models group. If you want to express your wishes to take a particular course and try to form a peer group around it, please use the FTA Course group.

Course:Community-Organisation Course:FTA-Revenue-Models