Developing new skills on OpenLearn

Posted on: 6 May 2020 by Ben, MA Classics & Ancient History student at the University of Liverpool in Hints, tips and advice

Student profile

OpenLearn is a free and easy way to develop new skills, test current knowledge, and broaden your experiences.

I was introduced to OpenLearn by a friend and decided to give it a go. It's a free tool that gives you access to lots of courses. You can search for courses by topic or by skill and there's a good mix of academic content and current digital, IT, numeracy, and literacy skills to explore.

I decide to take the initiative to complete a few courses to make myself more attractive to employers and hopefully more capable of keeping up in the workplace! I chose 2 courses - Entrepreneurship, and Understanding Autism. Diverse I know, but that’s the point!

Entrepreneurship is a subject that can be beneficial to everyone. The skills and knowledge necessary to be a successful entrepreneur, such as generating and presenting ideas and financial planning, are things that are easily transferred to the workplace.

This was a badged course and that covered lots of different areas, from idea generation to project management.

Review of 'Entrepreneurship: From ideas to reality'

This course is an excellent starting point if you want to develop a business idea and take it to the next level. I found some of the advice around decision making and financial planning to be really valuable for work and life in general. Organising and developing ideas was another concept I liked and will definitely use in the workplace. One key concept I picked up from the course is that business ideas can pop up anywhere and it's important to be able to identify them when they do.

The course is formatted to make it as easy and manageable as possible without eating into too much of your time. It's broken down into 8 sessions that are estimated that take about 3 hours each to complete. You work through at your own pace and receive a badge and participation certificate to evidence your new qualification.


The Understanding Autism course is really good for anyone to do! But particularly good if you plan to pursue a career in Health and Social Care. There is always a benefit to having some background knowledge on the more complex developmental conditions that are prevalent in the world today.

Review of ‘Understanding Autism’.

The main focus of this course is on understanding what autism is and what difficulties it presents to individuals and their families.

Like the Entrepreneurship course, it is set up in 8 topics which take roughly 3 hours each to complete. Again, you don't have to stick to the schedule and you can move on as quickly or as slowly as you see fit.

One of the most useful aspects of this course for me was how it explained terminology and provided contrasting arguments for the use of certain terms, such as, how to refer to a person with ASD. It also offered some contrasting views from particular research projects and case studies that have been undertaken which allowed me to form my own opinion and approach based on the evidence.


Overall, I've really enjoyed using my time lin lockdown to learn new skills and deepen my knowledge of Entrepreneurship and my understanding of Autism. OpenLearn is a great resource!

Keywords: Hints and Tips, Explore.