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Free Resources: Open University

I swiped this link from Lynn Viehl over at PBW (as she always has wonderful and fabulous resources).  It was part of one of her Ten For Free posts that she actually referenced on her Genreality post the other day.   Writers spent thousands each year on conferences and classes and retreats.  As I’m one of those writers who doesn’t have ten bucks to put toward conferences, classes, or retreats, I always very much appreciate Lynn’s collections of free resources.  I’m not sure how I missed this one back in January, but I checked it out today and holy moly what a wonderful freebie.

The Open University is the UK’s largest academic institution and they’ve really embraced the online learning revolution.  In addition to their paid courses, there are oodles of courses and materials available for free via their Open Learn program.  The site navigation is a little difficult, so this is a link for the detailed search.  Inputting “writing” into the search field brings up 29k entries!  Not all of them are courses, but there are quite a few.

I did a little exploring of the Writing What You Know course from the first page and actually found it to actually have some useful activities.  As someone who historically has turned up her nose at any kind of creative writing courses (I took one in college and was given a B because I refused to write about sex, perversion and violence… yeah, Dr. G, I’m still bitter), this was a pleasant surprise.  There are even some free courses on grammar and how to write a proper paper that I may be linking my students to (they apparently didn’t learn this in their traditional English classes).

I also really appreciate the opportunity to take short courses.  My schedule right now doesn’t allow for any traditional classes (though one of the perks of my job at the university is that I could take 2 for free every semester), but I like keeping my brain active and engaged.  This is a fantastic way of doing so.  Plus I’m totally one of those people who would be a professional student if I could, constantly learning new things about different stuff I’m interested in.

Tomorrow I’ll be reviewing the resources available at MIT’s  Open Courseware.

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