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Saturday, 19 September 2015

My Review so Far: Free Introduction to Journalism Course

Hi readers

As you have probably already concluded, I love to learn and education is really important to me.  I recently decided to take on a 6 week Introduction to Journalism with Future Learn.  The great thing about Futurelearn is that the courses are free, however, if you want a formal certificate then you do need to pay at the end of the course but there is no pressure to do so.

Basically, you can complete a course of interest, wherever you are in the world which is great as I am only on to my second week and I have already met some great people from different walks of life, with different careers and experience.

Materials are released on a Monday, and you watch videos and take part in activities.  There is a comments box at the bottom of each page and sometimes you are asked to share your thoughts.  Another positive thing here is that it is actually ran through real educational establishments so for example, the University of Strathclyde run the Journalism course and you get to watch real lectures (run for under 10 minutes).  You do have to spend a few hours per week - I spend about 3-4 hours on the Journalism course, but I also started a course called Developing your Research Project, as I thought this would be handy as I have to complete a dissertation for my MA English next year.  This course is with the University of Southampton and only requires an hour per week - so each course is different.

I am really enjoying these courses and as they are short courses, they finish within the first few weeks of returning to Uni, so it's great interim learning and keeping my mind active in the meantime.  I also thought the journalism in particular will be useful for me, as this week we got to write and article, and then rewrite and edit an article which is great to help me develop my writing.  In the first week, we looked at interview techniques which was also useful.

You get feedback from other learners on your work, which was also really useful - everyone was constructive, yet really nice.  You also have to comment on at least one other learner's work, which was also a good experience and it was good to see how someone else would write in comparison to your own.  For instance, someone included something in their piece that I didn't even think about so I complimented them on their proactive thinking.

If you can spare some time and want to improve your skills and knowledge, I would certainly recommend giving Futurelearn a try as my current experience has been great, and I'm looking forward to Monday when the new week's course material will be released.

Free learning is rare, so if you're ambitious, and you feel ready, I see check out their website and see if they have anything for you!

Laters, Janet

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