Gavin Hardie is a Union Learning Rep (ULR) with the Communication Workers Union (CWU) in Plymouth and has recently introduced the Open University’s free online FutureLearn courses to all of his members across the Plymouth and East Cornwall Amal Branch.
FutureLearn offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life. The courses vary from Shakespeare in Words, to The Introduction of Forensic Science.
Gavin has been really pleased with the interest and take up of the courses, and said:
They have been an instant success. In fact, 76 students have enrolled onto various courses to date and with the prospect of many more interesting courses coming up, they can only get better.
They instil that learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so the courses they provide offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.”
Gavin has been getting feedback from learners who have studied through FutureLearn and found they really enjoyed the learning this way. This is what some learners said about various courses:
Katherine Brooks from Plymouth Mdec, Keyer studied: Introduction to Journalism, and said:
I really enjoyed the course. It was well designed and the information is very well planned.”
Whilst Alan Evans from the same workplace decided to explore The British Empire and had this to say:
It was a very enjoyable course. I have a real interest in History and managed to learn a few new topics of information.”
Dani Hawkins from Plymouth and Martin Rawles from St Austell both decided to take up the offer of an Introduction to Forensic Science. Dani said:
I have not a bad word to say about the course, it was absolutely fascinating right up to the very end. The way the course opened up bit-by-bit each week and was great because it allowed plenty of time to study and prevented me from rushing too far ahead.”
Whilst Martin added:
The online course was very good, in fact, far better than I expected. The teaching was clear, and once I got to grips with the online note taking, I found that it was easy to find my way around the resources that were given.”
Anne Holder works at Drake House in Plymouth and after studying the Shakespeare in Words courses, she said:
The course was so interesting. I have learnt so much about Shakespeare’s plays that I didn’t know before. Because it’s the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death there has been lots of coverage on the television, which has really helped in my studies.”
Gavin summed up by saying:
These are just a small number of feedback quotes I received from students that completed FutureLearn courses. It is my intention to keep promoting more courses over the coming months.”
For the CWU it seems that FutureLearn is definitely the way forward.
To find out more about FutureLearn visit: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/categories?utm_source=TUC&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=AllCourses