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Digital skills: succeeding in a digital world
Digital skills: succeeding in a digital world

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3.1 Investigating study

Michael’s confidence in the digital world has improved very quickly throughout the course. He now wants to move forward to progress with his studies in the most efficient way.

The Open Educational Resource (OER) movement began in the early part of the twenty-first century and has seen substantial growth over the ensuing year. Open Educational Resources are resources (content, documents, tools and media) that can be used freely for teaching, learning and research.

Today, those who want to develop skills can find courses and materials which cost nothing and can often be studied flexibly.

A number of websites have been developed to offer these courses in meaningful ways, and many offer some kind of reward or recognition for completion.

OERs are an ideal opportunity for universities and educational organisations to provide tasters of the learning they have available. OpenLearn [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] and FutureLearn are examples of OER websites from the Open University. Studying in this way can introduce you to the material on offer, help you to prepare for study and give you an opportunity to experience study for yourself. If you are new to study, or have not studied for a long time, these free courses are ideal preparation.

More informal learning material can be found on more informal websites like YouTube. Universities also use YouTube and iTunes U to showcase their learning materials. Have a look at:

In the activity below you are asked to provide Michael with some advice on how to find courses and resources that can help him to progress in his career.

Activity 4 Finding online courses

Timing: 30 minutes

In Week 5 you explored your information landscape. Use this knowledge to advise Michael on how to find free courses and resources that could help him to progress in his career as a trainer.

  • a.Look at what is available on OpenLearn. Search the site to find resources and courses that might help Michael to pursue his goal to become a trainer in the engineering sector.
  • b.Search online for free courses and recommend three sites which Michael can visit to find courses he might be interested in.
  • c.Search YouTube for videos that might help him find out how engineers are trained in the UK and across the world.

Use the box below to make some notes.

As you search, use your Digital plan to make a note of any sites you find that you think would be useful to you, either now or in the future.

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