Friday, 2 October 2009

Open University Open Learn - Learn Stuff for Freeeee!

So, the unemployment drags on (really had enough now!) and to stop my brain turning into mush I've been taking some of the free online courses that the Open University offers on it's Open Learn website:

I've been studying the module 'Global Warming' which so far has told me some of the ways scientists have used to work out that the temperature is rising - information which I imagine will be helpful when talking to those irritating people who insist that climate change doesn't exist! I'll be nice to be armed with some facts and knowledge. I think next I'm going to the modules on 'Health and Environment' and 'Ecology and Ecosystems'.

I liked....
1. It's freee!
2. There are lots of topics to choose from (languages, art, maths, law, history, science and lots more) and courses at different levels, from introductory to advanced.
3. It's online so there's no paper waste.
4. I'm on an introductory course and it's quite simple, I'm not very familiar with sciency terms (I haven't studied science since secondary school) and although I felt a bit offended at being instructed on how to read a graph that was only temporary, because some people might not remember how to read graphs.
5. It's a good way to get information for free, I can't afford the time or money to go back to uni and study (again!), and although these online courses aren't accredited to anything it's nice to gain some knowledge in areas I'm interested in.

I don't like that it's quite a boring way to learn - I'm not so good at the sitting and reading stuff on screen for so long, but I can cope if I try to do 20 minutes or so every few days, and there is a discussion forum (which I haven't used) if you want to make it more interactive. But overall I think it's a really good way to motivate yourself to learn new things (You register and then sign up for courses, you can take as long as you like to complete them, but for me the fact that I've started something means I'm more likely to finish it!) and a nice free resource.

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