Lest We Forget

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.