How can carers centres use this course?

We suggest that the facilitator completes the course first, to get an idea of how it might work best for the carers you work with. The course is flexible and adaptable, so can be used by carers working online individually, as a course run over a number of group sessions, or as a blended approach with self-directed learning, online discussion and group activity sessions.

Figure 1 Meg Hopkins

Open University associate lecturer Meg Hopkins supported a group of carers in Dumfries through their reflection journey. They met as a group, as well as working individually through the activities.

The ideas below have come from a range of organisations that have made use of courses like this to support learners to reflect and make plans.

  • Use it on a one-to-one basis to support a carer, arranging a series of individual sessions to discuss the activities the carer has completed at home.
  • Incorporate it into other courses you run, such as encouraging learners to learn information technology skills or financial planning. The course works well as a practical way to test and motivate learners to use newly acquired IT skills.
  • Deliver it online (if they have internet access) to a group for those in remote or rural areas or for carers who simply can’t get along to meetings. There are many options to support online discussion and interactive activity, such as a forum, a wiki (editable web page), social media, conference calls or online conferencing.
  • Encourage individuals to come along to a taster session as a first step towards thinking about getting back into study or finding out about other options. Sometimes people know they want to do something, but they’re not sure what. This course is a gentle and flexible first step into working out what that something is.
  • Encourage those who come along to your support groups to have a go. You don’t have to deliver it at set times, but you can discuss key parts of the course while individuals work at their own pace at home or within the group.
  • Introduce the course alongside a range of other learning choices, such as free OpenLearn courses or Open University access courses. You could use the Open Pathways to Higher Education [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] as a guide.
  • Perhaps you have limited time and carers who have a clear idea of what they want to do already – if so, pick out the parts of the course that will meet their needs. Look at the career and action planning sections to help them work out their next steps.

Caring Counts is an open educational resource made available with a Creative Commons licence. This means you are free to adapt it to suit the needs of your learners.

How long does it take?

What do carers get if they finish the course?