Free and Open Learning

I have been a fan of the Futurelearn site for a long time. It provides free short moocs (massive open online courses’ mostly developed by universities across the globe.  There is a huge subject base with courses as diverse as ‘Spanish for Beginners‘ to ‘Effective Nursing in Times of Crisis‘ – the latter being particularly relevant in the current pandemic.  The site is managed by the Open University a marvellous organisation that celebrated it’s 50th birthday this year. They run a huge variety of courses with new ones starting every week.  You can see a pretty eclectic selection from the screen shot below, including Children’s visual culture, Korean Philosophy and The Book of Kells.

Selections of courese on the FutureLearn site.
Current selections on FutureLearn

I’ve done some great language introduction courses as well as a few history ones and a few that I didn’t complete but hey, that’s what happens with free courses. 

Selection of courses from Open Learn.
Current courses available on Open Learn.

Futurelearn is also related in some way but I’m not totally sure how, to Open Learn – also part of the Open University. You can see another selection from Open Learn above, Hieroglyphocs to Emojis, Antibiotic resistance, Food marketing for children and music listening – I’m not too sure about this but that probably says more about me.

Blue Planet II promotion showing a walrus above the water and a seal underwater.
Blue Planet II – promotional image from the series.

It’s also worth noting that many of the really excellent factual programmes on the TV come with OU sponsorship or at least support from the OU.  These include the brilliant, Springwatch, Autumnwatch and Winterwatch, wildlife series as well as the great Civilisations and the ground breaking Blue Planet series.

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