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Whatever course and level of study you are studying with us, our suite of online self study courses are designed to give you a Head Start to your learning journey.  If you are studying at levels 3 or 4 (years 0 or 1), we recommend Head Start.  If you're moving on to or starting a course at levels 5 and 6 (years 2 or 3), check out Head Start Plus.  If you're looking at post graduate study, then get started with Preparing for Postgraduate Study

Head Start, Head Start Plus and Preparing for Postgraduate Study are all open online courses, known as MOOCs.  These are hosted on the online platform, Blackboard Open Education.  To access any of the Head Start courses you'll need to create an account with Blackboard Open Education.  Click into the relevant section to you below for more details and guidance.   

  • Head Start

    Head Start is an online course that helps you to transition to life at university. It is intended for students preparing for study at either Level 3 or Level 4 (year 0 or year 1) at the University of Cumbria, and is also 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 might feel about starting Uni
    3. Your Learning - Understand ways of learning that might help you
    4. Your Research Skills - Finding and evaluating quality information for assignments
    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

    Are you about to start a Level 5 or 6 course as either a standalone Continuing Professional Development (CPD) module or as a year 2 or 3 undegraduate student?  Head Start Plus is for you.  

    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.