Latest from OpenLearn

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Mental Health Awareness Week article icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 14th - 20th May. Find out more about stress, anxiety, depression, mindfulness and more with our FREE resources. 

Article
Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission
The autistic spectrum: From theory to practice free course icon Level 2 icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

The autistic spectrum: From theory to practice

Most of us have a very vague and narrow concept of what autism is, based mainly on such stereotypes as Dustin Hoffman's character in the film Rain Man. In this free course, The autistic spectrum: From theory to practice, you will discover that there is a wide spectrum of disorders associated with autism, and an equally wide range of approaches to diagnosis and treatment. PLEASE NOTE: this course was written over ten years ago. The material comes from a ‘classic’ perspective which does not take sufficient account of relatively recent developments, and especially the Neurodiversity perspective. The Open University currently offers a much more up-to-date introduction to the field – a 20 week undergraduate course called ‘Understanding the Autism Spectrum'. This course obviously does present scientific findings, but balances this with more discussion of neurodiversity, and other topical issues such as autism across cultures, and differences in autism between men and women. There is a greater and more up to date range of personal testimonies, including video clips and an hour’s interview with Dr Wendy (now Wenn) Lawson, recorded specially for the OU. This OpenLearn course will itself complete its life cycle in 2018. Meanwhile, there will shortly be a brand new free OpenLearn course – Understanding autism – comprising 8 weeks of study of a range of up to date materials. Personal accounts, including recently recorded interview material play an important role in this new course. Visit our ‘coming soon’ page for more information: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/health-sports-psychology/psychology/the-au...

Free course
20 hrs
Introduction to child psychology free course icon Level 1 icon

Education & Development 

Introduction to child psychology

Childhood is a time of rapid growth and development, and studying these changes is endlessly stimulating. In this free course, Introduction to child psychology, you will be introduced to the discipline of child psychology and some of the key questions that guide the understanding of childhood. These questions include 'What influences children's development?' and 'How do psychologists study the physical and cognitive changes that occur during childhood?' As you work through this material, you will also gain a deeper understanding concerning how psychologists work with young children across a range of applied settings through activities and audio-visual materials.

Free course
8 hrs
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How teams work free course icon Level 3 icon

Money & Business 

How teams work

This free course, How teams work, provides an introduction to working in virtual project teams by explaining terms and concepts related to teams and to projects. The complexity of the interaction of people and technology is highlighted.

Free course
10 hrs
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Asset allocation in investment free course icon Level 3 icon

Money & Business 

Asset allocation in investment

This course looks at how to take investor objectives and constraints and turn them into a portfolio which aims at achieving an expected return and level of risk appropriate for the investor. In this free course, Asset allocation in investment, portfolio optimisation techniques such as portfolio theory can be used to determine how much of an investor’s portfolio to put in each asset class. Portfolio theory can also be used to determine so-called model portfolios which offer optimised benchmarks for investors with the same objectives and constraints.

Free course
9 hrs
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Developing career resilience free course icon Level 1 icon Badge icon

Money & Business 

Developing career resilience

This free course, Developing career resilience, will help you to understand the factors that influence career resilience and offer examples and tactics for you to develop your own resilience further.

Free course
24 hrs
Introduction to child psychology free course icon Level 1 icon

Education & Development 

Introduction to child psychology

Childhood is a time of rapid growth and development, and studying these changes is endlessly stimulating. In this free course, Introduction to child psychology, you will be introduced to the discipline of child psychology and some of the key questions that guide the understanding of childhood. These questions include 'What influences children's development?' and 'How do psychologists study the physical and cognitive changes that occur during childhood?' As you work through this material, you will also gain a deeper understanding concerning how psychologists work with young children across a range of applied settings through activities and audio-visual materials.

Free course
8 hrs
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Taking your first steps into higher education free course icon Level 1 icon Badge icon

Education & Development 

Taking your first steps into higher education

What is university study like? Is it for me? If you are asking yourself these questions, this free course is for you. Taking your first steps into higher education provides insights into how subjects are studied at university. This introduction to carefully selected materials helps you decide what you might want to study. You will be looking at three main areas: arts and humanities; the social sciences; and maths, technology and science.

Free course
24 hrs
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Open education free course icon Level 3 icon

Education & Development 

Open education

There are many different 'flavours' or interpretations of what openness means in education. This free course, Open education, is an example of a massive open online course (MOOC) and spans seven weeks. Like all the free materials on OpenLearn, this course is open to the wider world but, uniquely, it also forms part of the module for students who are studying the Open University course H817, 'Openness and innovation in elearning'.

Free course
60 hrs
Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Sangoiro | Dreamstime.com
Mental Health Awareness Week article icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 14th - 20th May. Find out more about stress, anxiety, depression, mindfulness and more with our FREE resources. 

Article
Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission
The autistic spectrum: From theory to practice free course icon Level 2 icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

The autistic spectrum: From theory to practice

Most of us have a very vague and narrow concept of what autism is, based mainly on such stereotypes as Dustin Hoffman's character in the film Rain Man. In this free course, The autistic spectrum: From theory to practice, you will discover that there is a wide spectrum of disorders associated with autism, and an equally wide range of approaches to diagnosis and treatment. PLEASE NOTE: this course was written over ten years ago. The material comes from a ‘classic’ perspective which does not take sufficient account of relatively recent developments, and especially the Neurodiversity perspective. The Open University currently offers a much more up-to-date introduction to the field – a 20 week undergraduate course called ‘Understanding the Autism Spectrum'. This course obviously does present scientific findings, but balances this with more discussion of neurodiversity, and other topical issues such as autism across cultures, and differences in autism between men and women. There is a greater and more up to date range of personal testimonies, including video clips and an hour’s interview with Dr Wendy (now Wenn) Lawson, recorded specially for the OU. This OpenLearn course will itself complete its life cycle in 2018. Meanwhile, there will shortly be a brand new free OpenLearn course – Understanding autism – comprising 8 weeks of study of a range of up to date materials. Personal accounts, including recently recorded interview material play an important role in this new course. Visit our ‘coming soon’ page for more information: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/health-sports-psychology/psychology/the-au...

Free course
20 hrs
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Pain, Pus and Poison tv programme icon

Health, Sports & Psychology 

Pain, Pus and Poison

The search for modern medicines.

TV Programme
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Getting started on classical Latin free course icon Level 1 icon

History & The Arts 

Getting started on classical Latin

This free course, Getting started on classical Latin, has been developed in response to requests from learners who had had no contact with Latin before and who felt they would like to spend a little time preparing for the kind of learning that studying a classical language involves. The course will give you a taster of what is involved in the very early stages of learning Latin and will offer you the opportunity to put in some early practice.

Free course
10 hrs
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Ramadan Mubarak! article icon

History & The Arts 

Ramadan Mubarak!

Mid-May to mid-June marks the Muslim observance, Ramadan. Discover how this isn't just a time for abstaining but a time for celebration while showing devotion to Islam.

Article
Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Used with permission
Start writing fiction free course icon Level 1 icon

History & The Arts 

Start writing fiction

Have you always wanted to write, but never quite had the courage to start? This free course, Start writing fiction, will give you an insight into how authors create their characters and settings. You will also be able to look at the different genres for fiction.

Free course
12 hrs
Beginners' Chinese free course icon Level 1 icon

Languages 

Beginners' Chinese

Learn about Mandarin Chinese as a tool for communication and gain insights into Chinese society and culture. This free course, Beginners’ Chinese, provides a brief introduction to the Chinese language, its scripts and sounds, and how words are formed. You will hear short conversations where people greet each other, introduce themselves, describe where they come from and what they do for a living. You’ll hear them talk about their daily activities and order food and drinks in a restaurant. This OpenLearn course will be easily accessible for those with some basic knowledge of Chinese.

Free course
6 hrs
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What is language? video icon

Languages 

What is language?

The use of complex language sets humans apart from all other species. But what is language, where has it come from, and how does it work?

Video
10 mins
Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Mike Truman
Beginners’ Spanish: food and drink free course icon Level 1 icon

Languages 

Beginners’ Spanish: food and drink

Do you want to improve your language skills and communicate more easily and effectively in Spanish? This free course, Beginners’ Spanish: food and drink, focuses on buying and ordering food and drink at a restaurant or bar. You will be able to use some basic vocabulary relating to food, drinks, meals, quantities and measures. In this OpenLearn course you will listen to Spanish speakers in a variety of situations.

Free course
6 hrs
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The Speed of Extinct Organisms article icon

Nature & Environment 

The Speed of Extinct Organisms

How do we know how fast a T. rex moved? Here's an introduction to palaeobiology and how the speed of movement of extinct animals can be calculated.

Article
Creative commons image Icon The Open University under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license
United Nations Climate Change Conference - COP21 activity icon

Nature & Environment 

United Nations Climate Change Conference - COP21

This interactive map is a world first. It gives you the chance to explore a major international meeting on climate change as if you were there. 

Activity
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Financial methods in environmental decisions free course icon Level 3 icon

Nature & Environment 

Financial methods in environmental decisions

This free course, Financial methods in environmental decisions, begins by introducing some of the tools that can be used to ------ the benefits of investment decisions, including ways of ------ing the ‘external costs’ – the wider costs and benefits to society as a whole – of environmental decisions.

Free course
10 hrs
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Protocols in multi-service networks free course icon Level 3 icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Protocols in multi-service networks

The internet, like the telephone system which preceded it, depends for its existence on communications networks. This free course, Protocols in multi-service networks, examines these networks as the means of interconnecting devices so that two-way communication is possible. Examining protocols like HTTP, TCP/IP and ATM as well as the OSI reference model, it provides an overview of the topic for learners who have significant prior knowledge of the subject.

Free course
30 hrs
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Getting started with a Password Manager article icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

Getting started with a Password Manager

Overwhelmed by having 12,345 different passwords? Time to get in a manager...

Article
Creative commons image Icon Timothy Vollmer and Henry Burrows under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license
How to read a rock article icon

Science, Maths & Technology 

How to read a rock

By understanding the ways in which minerals combine to form rocks like the way words link to form sentences, we can start to unravel the secrets of the earth. 

Article
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Society, Politics & Law 

Thinking Allowed 2018

Thinking Allowed explores how society works, with leading social science experts. 

Radio Programme
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Working in the voluntary sector free course icon Level 1 icon Badge icon

Society, Politics & Law 

Working in the voluntary sector

This free online course, Working in the voluntary sector, will introduce you to some of the main activities carried out by volunteers and staff, will give you some background on how different organisations work and will provide you with knowledge and skills you can apply to your own work or volunteering, as well as to your every day life.

Free course
24 hrs
Creative commons image Icon By Driving_Google_Self-Driving_Car.jpg: Steve Jurvetsonderivative work: Mariordo - This file was derived from Driving Google Self-Driving Car.jpg:, CC BY 2.0 under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license
The thorny issue of ‘driverless’ cars article icon

Society, Politics & Law 

The thorny issue of ‘driverless’ cars

How will the law accommodate changing technology for driverless cars? Who is responsible if the vehicle crashes?

Article