I love learning something new. I’d 100% go back to uni to learn more things, if only I didn’t have to prove that I’d learned it. I’m not desperate to write another dissertation or sit any exams, but to sit in a lecture hall and soak up some knowledge, take notes, be inspired, learn. I’d give my right arm for that. Oh and also, uni is expensive, even if it is an investment in your future. It’s almost wasteful to spend all that money on something I’m curious about rather than because I want a career change.
And Kim obviously feels the same as back in March her This Month I’m Loving was Skillshare (which, if you missed it, you can catch up on here) a website full of classes and courses you can participate in just because you want to. Well, this month I’m going with Future Learn, which has a similar premise to Skillshare in that there are various online courses to choose from and most can be done for free. The courses have start dates, but you can pick them up at any time, and they will be available to you, for free, for the duration of the course plus an extra two weeks at the end. There are options to upgrade your membership where you’ll have access to each course for as long as it exists on Future Learn as well as access to course materials to download and keep and any certificates that are available from your course.
Each course is divided into weeks and you’ll be told roughly how many hours a week it will take to complete. I’ve found that these are fairly overestimated, completing my first weeks in almost half the time allocated. Courses are delivered via written text and videos of lecturers speaking as well as exercises to go away and do. There’s also a forum at the bottom of every course page for you to chat and discuss ideas with other students as well as the lecturer (in case you have any questions). You have to mark a section as ‘complete’ before you move on to the next.
Some courses let you go through reading, taking notes, taking advice for further reading and that’s all. Some will involve completing tests to prove you’ve learned it. They tend to be more factual than discursive so they’re just really checking that you’ve paid attention. I haven’t found one where you’ve had to write an essay or anything although they do exist. I’m not sure which courses offer them, but I imagine you’ll be informed of that in the course description before you take it on.
On offer are courses from business, creative arts, law, literature, politics, maths and so many more. You can choose to do short courses or more in depth learning and there’s even degree courses (although these are obviously far more expensive than merely upgrading your FutureLearn membership) and all courses are delivered as a distance learning course from universities all over the world.
So if you need me next month, I’ll be learning about Digital Skills: Social Media (watch for us upping our Force Mujer Instagram game…), Exercise Prescription for the Prevention and Treatment of Disease (so this is aimed at doctors, really, but I’m finding it fascinating) and an Introduction to Forensic Science (always fascinated watching Silent Witness, but let’s face it, I don’t have to stomach for it). So if you’re like me, get on Future Learn and let me know what courses you’re doing. Maybe we can do the same one and compare notes?
If only I’d been this enthusiastic about learning at school…
If you do want to learn some stuff with me then you can find the Future Learn website at; https://www.futurelearn.com