Free Courses from OpenLearn – The Open University

Have you ever thought about doing an online course?

I think the majority of people at some time in their lives have either thought about starting a course, or at least been asked to by their school or employer to attend one.

Studying comes in all shapes and forms, however we’ve recently discovered that OpenLearn – The Open University (who are world leaders in open and distance learning), have nearly 1,000 free courses across 8 different subject areas for you to try. The best bit about these courses is that they are all free! Of course you can go on to study more advanced courses at The Open University at a later date, but why not try some of the free courses first to see if you like it?

Yesterday I decided to have a look around their website and see what type of courses OpenLearn had to offer me. I was extremely surprised at the quantity of the free courses to try, I really was.

What types of free online courses do they have to offer?

Once you are on their website you will see the different types of courses available. There are literally hundreds to choose from.

If you are not sure what you fancy, take your time and have a good browse through them all, you are sure to find something of interest.

To simplify things OpenLearn has put the courses under 8 main subject areas. These areas are as follows:

  • Health, Sports & Psychology
  • Education & Development
  • History & The Arts
  • Languages
  • Money & Business
  • Nature & Environment
  • Science, Maths & Technology
  • Society, Politics & Law

After a good ten minutes of looking through all the courses available, I decided I was going to do something completely different from what I’d usually try.

I was going to try learning a language, some basic Italian words to get me started off. I chose the introductory level as my Italian vocabulary is virtually zero, so this was a good starting point for me. The course gave me a brief description on what I would be learning and how long each section would be.

Before I started the free course I made the decision to register my details with OpenLearn. You do not have to register with them, however by doing so it will give you access to your personal learning profile and record of achievements that you earn while you study.

Registering for your chosen course

Registering with OpenLearn was a simple procedure, I just supplied my email address and a few other details, created a username and password and that was it, I could start browsing and simply choose which course I wanted to study straight away!

You will notice that when choosing your subject course, it also gives you the options to choose from the following:

  • Level 1 – Introductory
  • Level 2 – Intermediate
  • Level 3 – Advance

You can also decide on the length of the course, 1-3 hours, 4-9 hours, 10-24 hours and 24+ hours.

Once you have chosen the one suited for you, it will bring up the free courses available. Click on it, then go ahead and start learning!

What can you gain from completing one of the free online courses?

Apart for gaining plenty of knowledge and new information on the subject of your choice it can give you more confidence to help you better yourself.

You can download Statements of Participation or Badges as they are awarded after completing the course(s).

Personally, I think it’s good to have these, you can always pop them on your CV or bring them up in an interview to let any potential future employer know you are a keen learner, tell or show them what sort of achievements you’ve gained whilst doing the course.

Is there a limit to how many free courses you can do?

There is no limit whatsoever to the amount of courses you can do. It all depends on how much you want to learn and how much time you want to dedicate to doing them.

You can start your courses immediately, work for say half an hour and then you can go back to it at another suitable time and start back where you left off. This is perfect for anyone who wants to do these online courses either before or after work, or maybe you’re a full-time parent or carer and can only do it as and when you can. The choice is yours, there is no pressure whatsoever to complete it within a certain time.

In our eyes this is a big winner for us. Gaining knowledge on specific courses for free – brilliant! You don’t get many opportunities like this so this is something you will definitely want to think about giving a go.

I want to sign up for the free course – where is the link to OpenLearn?

Below is the link which takes you directly to the OpenLearn website.

Free OpenLearn Courses – The Open University

Just try is out, what have you got to loose? Nothing! Start your free online learning adventure right now. It costs nothing!

You never know if you enjoy it that much you might want to carry on and do further study such as gaining a higher qualification in your chosen subject.