Sussex U3A Network

Online Resources & Learning (MOOCs)

Online resources are ideal for creating and extending group interests. There are many websites that provide specific information relevant to u3a Interest groups eg. Kahn Academy,( short tutorial videos) , How Stuff Works website, online collections at the British Library, National Gallery of Art (, TED talks (20 mins), etc.

Free online learning courses are called MOOCs, (Massive Open Online Courses). They are short learning courses developed by universities and other organisations. There are hundreds available online, with a very wide variety of topics. You can study just parts of a course without obligation. All you will need is access to the internet, plus an email address. These are designed for individual learning, but some u3as **see the potential for group learning and have asked national office (TAT) to approach providers such as, (the Open University site) to consider this development in respect of any copyright issues, etc.
There is a u3a website: Advice on Using MOOCS, explaining how to use them and giving links to the many MOOC providers. They also list U3As with experience of the courses. Just click on the blue link.


** Following the SE u3a Forum 'Online Learning' workshop in November, 2016, a lot of interest was shown in developing the use of online resources and short MOOCs to assist learning with groups. Further developments from national office and local u3as will be forthcoming as good practice is found and recommendations listed.


NB. Hilvary Robinson (u3a SE Rep) has received this email from Sam Mauger, CEO, Third Age Trust. (11/16)
She has given permission to send it on to all the people who took part in the MOOCs Study Day .

Extract from Future Learn email:

Q. The group do not want certification, they just want the opportunity to soak up the learning experience together, to discuss, debate and learn. How do we achieve this?

A. One of the group will need to register a FutureLearn account and sign up to the courses you wish to study. From there, you can use the materials as you wish, in a group situation. We do not have any specific group study advice unfortunately, as the courses are not designed for that.

Q. The second thing I want to ask is that if a group leader wants to use some snippets from a course, eg a lecture to enhance a debate in a local interest group on the same topic is this ok provided that the snippet is properly accredited to the provider? In other words it is acknowledged as being the work of x person/ university in the same way as one would for example when accrediting a reference in a written piece of work.

A. Yes, this is fine providing it is acknowledged as stated above.


(Should the advice link fail go to