It’s not all fun and games, running and cooking here at the Hen House, you know. I like to indulge in a spot of old-fashioned study too.
November is the perfect month to indulge. Especially with all the war commemoration stuff on now.
Have you heard of MOOCs? They’re Massive Online Open Courses. Taster courses for universities, they offer you a few weeks of structured reading and online engagement with materials on a wide range of subjects.
Last September I engaged on a five week course on the history of Ireland from 1912-1923. This was delivered in collaboration with Trinity College Dublin and it was utterly fascinating.
This month I’m dallying around the difficult subject of trauma and injury inflicted in World War One.
Not the prettiest of topics, but timely and enlightening. It’s presented by the Open University and, with two more weeks to run on a three week course, you still have time to sign up.
Apart from the fact that they are free, MOOCs added attractions are that they draw on a wide variety of methodologies to engage the learner. So, one can download transcripts via pdf, for instance, or just follow the video clips. And the learner is also guided towards the best of online resources and to books to encourage one’s own research.
Discussion with fellow learners is also widely encouraged. And, quite often, one can glean an enormous amount just from reading through the comments.
There are courses on everything. Not just history. I’ve signed up for a management one next year and am hoping they’ll run a journalism one again because I missed it last time round.
Nothing on running yet though. Or how to get one’s sad ass out there on a dark wet November morning. Though my trawls through the trenches in this week’s MOOC have certainly put rain-sodden rambles into perspective.
Yes, no harm to think of those who have sacrificed so much for our comforts to-day. Lest we forget.
More information on futurelearn course here.
If you have participated in a MOOC already, I’d love if you’d let us know about it in a post, or here in a comment.
I’d love to do a structured course on Irish history. Even after reading around the subject over many years there are many things I don’t understand.
I have participated in a MOOC before but found that there was so much interesting stuff to read that I had little time for anything else! So you need to be wise about time! Learning is such fun, we can ne er have enough information! I am fascinated by the subject you are studying, and so appropriate for the time of year.
Thanks for sharing this! It caught me completely, are there more courses for December?
Our local uni just offered one on fitness training complete with a free FitBit. I admire you studying. After my last lot of uni I decided no more – but I am still yet to learn how to back a trailer so if there is a course in that I’d be in and I’m very serious. It’s embarrassing to be on a farm and not be able to back a trailer.
Ah, it isn’t like studying really. Gosh, I haven’t the time or the inclination for that either. More about reading up on whatever takes your fancy. Absolutely no pressure-just following your interests.
Ooohh, I like the sound of that fitness training one with the freebie though.
And if I find a backing trailer one, I’ll let you know!
oh, you piqued my interest. i’ve done a little on Khan Academy, but I think I’ll take a peek at the MOOCs.
Now, I’ve heard of Khan but must go google for more. Could suit me too.
Fascinating – I hadn’t heard of MOOCs and will have to investigate.
Oh, you’d love them!
Brilliant! Thanks for the info on this, I’ll definitely take a look!
Yep, they’re right up your street, Jenny-new ways of learning and all. You’d love to dip your toe into all of that, I know.
Thanks for the info about MOOCs. It’s amazing how the world of learning has changed, even in the last year or two.
Absolutely. It’s hard not to get welded to one’s laptop though!