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  • Alis Hâf

Online Courses

In my months of unemployment, I’ve managed to find a routine through volunteering, making plans with friends and also by working towards completing online courses. Before I graduated I’d had enough of learning. Having gone straight to uni from school I felt that my brain was too full of information to take in any more education, but since last autumn I’ve not wanted to stop learning.

Being a lover of reading I tried finding books on subjects I was interested in, but living in a small town my library didn’t hold much and I didn’t see the point of buying some online without testing out that method of learning first. I tried some apps especially Duolingo which lasted a while and I can vaguely remember a few Japanese phrases but the one method that stuck was online learning.

I’d been scrolling through Facebook when I saw an advert for Shaw Academy, which is an online learning website. It was more specifically advertising their free 6 week Social Media Marketing course. At the time I wasn’t up to much and the course seemed interesting to me with it dealing with social media and the more logistical side to using SM within marketing rather than the creative side. Over the course of the six weeks, there were two lessons a week that were broadcast live and then they could be watched back at a later stage from the main hub page. Having to stick to a schedule really helped but also being able to work towards a certificate that was I could use on my LinkedIn and use to boost my career prospects also made it worthwhile. Along the way, there were also quizzes that tested whether or not you were taking in what you were learning and to build towards the final ‘exam’ test at the end of the course. I found that specifically leaving the house and studying the course in a coffee put me in a different mindset and I managed to complete the course before Christmas.

With online courses stuck on my mind, I stumbled back upon a website I’d used a few years previously. This was FutureLearn, which is a website that lets you sign on to many of their online courses for free and only if you want to take the course for longer or update for premium access to the courses do you have to pay. The course that had led me to FutureLearn was a course run in collaboration with another educational company (which is quite common on the site), this being D & Ad. They had helped create an advertising course that focused specifically on Storytelling which I start but didn’t end up finishing.  This time around though I found a course Called ‘Beyond the Ballot’ which celebrated the history of the suffragettes. I found that I couldn’t pull myself away from it and I learnt a lot of new things that I had never known about the suffragettes and the women’s equality movement.

So far I’ve learnt about Social Media Analytics, Digital Marketing Skills, Literature in the Digital Age and the reasons behind why we post on social media, and not only on Future Learn but with the Open University too. I’ve really enjoyed being able to expand my horizons and can see the positives of someday completing a Masters course. But in the meantime there’s a range of courses out there on varying subjects, from Virginia Woolf to Sports Science, to keep me busy!

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