Self Study Resources
Coordinator: Ben Whitney
Do you, like me, miss the kinds of courses that used to be run in Wolverhampton by the Workers’ Educational Association? It’s quite hard to find cheap courses and groups that provide a new area of learning, not only a social or recreational activity. But if you have access to the internet, there are a range of entirely free options available for self-study. Maybe a group of U3A members could study a course together? Some of us in the ‘Brush Up your Shakespeare’ group have also been reading ‘ Approaching Plays’, a reading course from the Open University, alongside the meetings.
If there’s anything I could do to help you find a course, send me a message with your email address or phone number and I’ll have a look for you. Here’s a few ideas:
The national U3A website has loads of ideas to support local groups and individuals. Under the ‘Resources’ tab is the Resource Centre. You will need to create a log-in ID but this is easy to do and then you can access the OPAC catalogue which contains a wide variety of non-book resources (DVDs, CDs etc). You can loan items free of charge for up to 3 weeks, with only the cost of return postage.
This website from the Open University contains over 1000 free self-study courses which take from just a couple of hours to about 15 to work through. The topic areas include history, languages, science, the environment, politics and law etc. You can create a Personal Learning profile if you wish to keep a record of what you have studied. You can also access and download a wide range of TV and radio programmes made by or in association with the OU.
Future Learn is similar to the OU site but features courses provided by a range of UK and international Universities and other organisations. This way also offers the opportunity to join an online group to study a course together ‘live’ for 2 or 3 hours a week, so it can also provide support and an exchange of ideas as you go along, with an accreditation at the end. A good place to start would be their introductory 2 week course on how to make the most out of online learning.
The world of knowledge is out there waiting! Why not give it a try?