Given the number of FutureLearn courses that I’ve undertaken over the last few years, it’s been interesting to spend 5 weeks as a mentor on the Lancaster University/FutureLearn course on Lancaster Castle: The View From the Stronghold.

The course takes participants through the region’s history from the Romans to the twentieth century, although obviously in only 3 hours a week for five weeks it’s something of a whistle-stop tour:

  • Week 1 – from the Romans to the 11th century
  • Week 2 – the mid to high Middle Ages
  • Week 3 – the early modern period
  • Week 4 – the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries
  • Week 5 – the twentieth century
Lancaster Castle

The videos are hosted by current and retired staff from Lancaster, including Professor David Shotter – which is a bit of a blast from the past because my mum was a secretary in the Classics department at Lancaster when she was younger, while Professor Shotter was working there.

It’s been interesting to view a course from the other side. As course mentors, we took a very light touch, preferring to let the learning community help one another. We tried only to step in when needed, for example, when someone had asked a question to which no-one else responded, or if there were technical problems which needed investigation. And it’s been really nice to see how everyone responded to one another, helping each other with further links to other material, discussing the issues that were raised and trying sort out any problems that arose.