Dork Geek Nerd

"Rational romantic mystic cynical idealist"

Saturday, September 07, 2019

Open slather

The UK's highly regarded Open University has a spin-off website called OpenLearn that offers more than 1000 free courses.

These are separated into three levels - Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced. They range in estimated length from one hour to 100 hours, though I'd say most are under 20. Often, they are excerpts from OU degrees (they tell you which).

The material isn't taught only via text and pics/maps/tables/graphs/etc. but also audio, video and links to external news articles or essays.

While students aren't graded, they may be asked to do quizzes, write responses and, in one case I've seen, contribute content to an online forum.

At the completion of any course, there is the option to print a nice-looking statement of participation giving the name and duration of that subject.

Since discovering OpenLearn a few weeks ago, I've finished the following:

* Being An OU Student
* The Incredible Shrinking Chip
* Library Of Alexandria
* Does Prison Work?
* Eating For The Environment
* How Do Empires Work?
* Galaxies, Stars And Planets
* Approaches To Software Development
* Art In Renaissance Venice
* Energy Resources: Tidal Energy
* The Business Of Football
* Babylonian Mathematics

And I'm currently working through another doozy on the philosophical problem of imagination.

My pal AH asked me how these free courses might be used to improve a resume. My suggestion to him was to avoid a scattershot approach like mine and do everything on a certain topic, then include a line like, "Completed a total of 50 hours of Astronomy courses on the Open University's OpenLearn website." (Made-up example.)

Sounds all right, doesn't it? What are you waiting for?