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Building confidence in using online forums
Building confidence in using online forums

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Building confidence in using online learning forums

Introduction and guidance


This free course, Building confidence in using online learning forums, lasts 8 hours and is divided into four study ‘sessions’. Each session involves approximately 2 hours of study. You can work through the course at a pace that suits you and at times that fit around your daily life and routine. You can do one session per week, or you can do more or less than one session per week – whatever suits your own pace best. So, if you have more time one week, you can happily complete a further study session and, if you have less time one week, you can go more slowly.

The four sessions are linked to ensure a coherent flow through the course as follows.

  • Session 1: Forums as you see them

    This session introduces some of the main themes that will be developed further in Sessions 2–4. You will reflect on your own experience of using forums and on what some Open University students have said about using forums. This session introduces the benefits of getting involved!

  • Session 2: Forums as a playful space

    This session will help you to see online learning forums as places where you can bounce ideas off other learners and develop your learning as you work with others, using a form of interactive writing that can be described as playful. The session will also help you to see how the playful writing process is important for learning on forums. Finally, you will begin to develop strategies for getting involved.

  • Session 3: Forums as a space for talking

    This session will cover how to start the conversation on forums. It will also give you ideas for keeping the conversation going and help you to develop more strategies for getting involved.

  • Session 4: Forums as a shared social space

    In this session, you will build on the earlier sessions and continue to explore ways of getting involved successfully on online learning forums. You will end this session with a chance to reflect on your learning over this 8-hour course.

After completing this course you should be able to:

  • recognise the learning benefits of participating on online learning forums with other learners
  • recognise factors that might be a barrier to effective participation on online learning forums
  • implement strategies to help overcome any barriers to effective participation on online learning forums
  • use strategies to participate more fully in interactions on online learning forums, including ways of listening and responding to different points of view, and taking part in, and encouraging, discussion.