Monday, 19 February 2018

Open Online Learning

I count myself fortunate to live in the Internet age with so much information readily available. My father left school at 14. (He was more fortunate than his older sisters who went into service at 12 years of age.) Denied the educational opportunities that we take for granted, he never lost his thirst for knowledge. He was a voracious reader, interested in a wide range of topics. We had two sets of encyclopaedias at home and were encouraged to look up the answer to any queries we raised. Nowadays, Wikipedia provides that service online, with updated information instantly available at our fingertips.

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are another facility which I’m sure my father would have embraced. Check out Future Learn and Open Learn for a wide variety of free courses. I have two courses on the go.

The first is aimed at international students and is about writing in English for academic essays. I do some part-time work proofreading for foreign students, helping them with their spelling and grammar, and so thought this course would be of help to me.

The second course is about the soldiers who built and patrolled Hadrian’s Wall - research for a short story I am working on about a ghostly legionary who is still at his post today. (If it sells, you can be sure I’ll share the news here!)


  1. Finding answers is really easy now. Working out if they're accurate is the new challenge!

  2. So very true, Patsy. Factually correct fiction may sound like an oxymoron but is what the reader expects.

  3. Online learning can be so useful for writers. Basic forensics seems to have been popular.

    1. Yes, forensics is very useful for crime writers needing to have some specialist knowledge. All a bit gruesome for me!