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Blackboard Open Education is an online platform for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). A MOOC is an online course that provides open access to an unlimited number of participants. 

Information Services have created three MOOCs: Head Start, Head Start Plus and Preparing for Postgraduate Study.

  • Head Start

    Head Start is an online course that helps you to transition to life at university. It is intended for students about to embark on studies at either Level 3 or Level 4 at the University of Cumbria, but is open to anyone who is new to studying at university.

    The course is split into 7 units:

    1. Your Journey - Welcome to higher education
    2. Your Hopes & Fears - Reassurances for how you feel about starting Uni
    3. Your Learning - Understand how you learn
    4. Your Research Skills - Finding and evaluating information
    5. Your Writing - Writing for higher education
    6. Your Referencing - Crediting original authors for the evidence you cite
    7. Your Digital Skills - Introduction to the basics of working with computers at university

    These are supplemented by two short self-evaluation surveys and supporting resources.

    At the end of Head Start you will have 7 Digital Badges and be presented with a Certificate of Completion that you can download/print as evidence that you have completed the course.

    See below for instructions on how to access the course.

  • Head Start Plus

    Students who are about to start a Level 5 or 6 programme of study, as either a standalone Continuing Professional Development (CPD) module or as years 2 and 3 undergraduate studies, often have apprehensions about what tutors will expect of them and their ability to cope with this level of work generally.

    By the end of the "Head Start Plus" programme, you should be able to:

    • Understand the importance of a critical approach to thinking, reading and writing in all aspects of academic study
    • Access and critically evaluate high-quality information
    • Plan and structure your writing effectively
    • Adopt an effective and critical approach to your writing
    • Reference sources accurately and systematically both in-text and in the reference list
  • Preparing for Postgraduate Study

    Usually students will have studied at undergraduate level before that; although for some it will be a while since any formal academic study has taken place or it may have been in a subject area where there is less emphasis on academic writing and research.

    By the end of the "Preparing for Postgraduate Study" programme, you should be able to:

    • Appreciate the difference between undergraduate and postgraduate study
    • Understand the importance of a critical approach to thinking, reading and writing in all aspects of postgraduate study
    • Access and critically evaluate high-quality information
    • Plan and structure your writing effectively
    • Adopt an effective and critical approach to your writing
    • Reference sources accurately and systematically both in-text and in the reference list
  • Accessing the MOOCs

    Blackboard Open Education is separate from your University IT login and you will need to create a free account before you can enrol on the courses.

    1. Visit https://openeducation.blackboard.com/cumbria and select the Login button which is at the top-right of the screen.
    2. Click on the Don’t have an account? Create one now. link.
    3. Complete the simple registration form.
      1. Your username and password can be anything that you want, but we would prefer that you use your University of Cumbria Student Number as your username (if you have one).
      2. If you have a University Email Address – please use this as it will help us to identify you within this system.
    4. You should now be prompted to Login.

     

  • Finding your course

    There are hundreds of courses available from a wide range on institutions, but we need to find your recommended course at this stage.

    1. In the Search Box – enter Cumbria. This will bring up a list of available courses from the University of Cumbria:
      • Preparing for Postgraduate Study (Level 7)
      • Head Start Plus (Levels 5 and 6)
    2. Or go directly to https://openeducation.blackboard.com/cumbria
    3. Choose to Enrol on the correct course for your level of study.
  • Returning to your course

    Whenever you return to https://openeducation.blackboard.com/cumbria - simply Login and you will be shown all of the courses for which you have enrolled.

    The University of Cumbria courses will remain available, to you, throughout your studies.