This post has been written by Leanne Loosemore, sharing her experiences of learning online with Future Learn.
I have completed several online MOOCs with www.futurelearn.com. The range of courses available means that they can be used to meet several aims; from taking up a hobby or interest (such as forensic science), learning a new skill (such as a new language) and continuous professional development. I undertook Numeracy Skills for Employability and the Workplace (starting again on 3 Oct 2016) to refresh my Maths skills because I work in Finance. In addition, I studied Smart Advice: Broadening Your Students’ Horizons and Prepare for Career Success at University to assist with future career goals.
I would always recommend online MOOCs because they free, short (ranging from 2 – 8 weeks) and utilise various learning forms. I like that I have to watch a video, read an article, take a quiz and take part in discussions. It keeps things interesting. Furthermore, universities from around the world teach these courses so you become more familiar with other cultures and nationalities.
The courses promote peer learning and there are times when you have to submit a short essay for others on the course to review, which can seem daunting to those who aren’t very confident in their learning. That said, I find the people taking the course very supportive and they only encourage other learners.
Certificates are available upon completion but you do have to pay for these. However your Future Learn account provides evidence of courses completed.
As previously mentioned, I have undertaken a course to refresh my Maths skills and assist with my finance role. The other courses revolve around the guidance and advice provided to students in a College setting. Whilst this helps to develop future career goals, I can also share the information learnt with colleagues in other teams as a way of promoting good practice.
If you’re a staff member at The Sheffield College then you can access a range of recommended MOOCs in our development catalogue. If not, then you can explore all that Future Learn has to offer here: www.futurelearn.com
Leanne Loosemore works for The Sheffield College as a Senior Administrator in Centre Operations and Events.