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OpenLearn Live: August Bank Holiday Special 2015

Updated Friday 28th August 2015

Not so much live, but with a great collection of free courses, things to watch and listen to, and read over the long weekend.

OpenLearn Live is, normally, a free-flowing experiment of free online learning that grows over the course of the day. Normally. Today, though, we're not actually live, but we're bringing you a bumper collection of free things to do across the long weekend. (And apologies if you're in Scotland, and not enjoying a long weekend...)

If you like this sort of thing, you might want to follow our Twitter account @OpenLearnLive, or browse the full list of OpenLearn Live collections to date.

On Friday, we completed a week exploring coastal communities in California, sampled some Cajun culture, talked politics with the former Greek Finance Minister and discovered what is in house dust.

Today's Posts

A woman in a hammock with a tablet computer Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Pavel Losevsky |

Badged courses

Have you tried one of our badged courses yet? They're like our usual free courses - high quality, easy to follow, and engaging. But if you enrol and complete the quizzes, at the end of the course you'll be presented with a virtual badge recording and recognising your learning.

"But what's the point" you might ask "of a virtual badge?" Well, besides giving you a sense of completing what you've been learning, the badges (and accompanying printable achievement sheet) are a great way of showing others what you've done - potential employers, for example.

If you'd like to know more about our badges, here's a really quick guide to how they work.

Or, jump in and see how they work...

Want to sharpen your skills with numbers? Try Succeed with maths

Uncertain about your English skills? Try English: Skills for learning

Keen to learn, but want to be prepared? Try Succeed with learning

See the full range of badged courses

A really happy baker, grinning above some bread he has just baked Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Wavebreakmedia Ltd |

Sharpen your skills

Everyone loves a Bank Holiday Monday, but if you're unhappy in your job, you might find it a mixed blessing - you've still got to go back to work tomorrow. But perhaps your job is stressing you because you don't enjoy it. Maybe you feel like you've not quite hit your stride. And perhaps we can help.

We can't stop Tuesday coming around, and we can't guarantee you'll be half as cheerful in your job as our baker friend there, but dip into our skills content and take the first step to a better work experience.

Try our course Succeed in the workplace

Try our course in Problem solving

Try our course in facilitating discussions in the workplace

A sign for rooms in four languages Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Maya Bunschoten |

Learn some new language

You've got a three-day weekend, and - fair enough - you're not going to become fluent in Serbo-Croat by Tuesday morning. But is that a good reason to not dip your toe in a new language? We know you've got a thousand reasons to put off (or even not bother) trying to speak a bit of another language - and believe us, we've heard all those reasons.

We really have - we've built a feature which will take your excuse, and meet each with a better counter proposal of why you should give it a go.

With that in mind, why not...

Try a first steps in Chinese app

Sample some French for summer holidays

Have a go at some beginner's German

Explore Welsh language and culture

A woman watches television Copyrighted image Icon Copyright: Philcold |

Catch up with some of our TV and Radio

For half a century, The Open University and the BBC have worked together to produce enthralling, enlivening educational television and radio. Nowadays, through the magic of iPlayer, you can even catch up with the programmes you've missed. Here's a few things you can enjoy right now...

Are Our Kids Tough Enough: Chinese School

The one everyone's talking about - teachers from China attempt to bring their educational values to a school in Hampshire. Will their methods lift standards - and will it be too much for children or teachers?

Watch Chinese School
Find out more about Chinese School

Wanted: A Very Personal Assistant

Young volunteers try life as carers. Can they take on the challenge?

Watch Wanted now
Find out more about Wanted

The Hairy Bikers Bakeation: Cutdown edition

Short slices of European adventures in bread and cakes with the nation's favourite bikers.

Watch Hairy Bikers now
Find out more about Hairy Bikers

BBC Inside Science

A weekly guide to the latest from the world of science - with over 100 episodes to choose from.

Listen to Inside Science
Find out more about Inside Science

More Or Less

Statistics sliced, diced, and examined with the steely gaze of the More or Less team.

Listen to More Or Less
Find out more or less about More Or Less


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