New online courses to help students and parents prepare for university

New courses help support parents and prepare students for life at university and the next step in their career after graduation

A suite of new online courses to help students and their families prepare for university and beyond have been announced by the University of Reading.

University Smart, a free, Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) will be launched this autumn to guide parents and supporters of students through the UK’s university application process. It will explore key milestones, address common concerns and recommend further sources of information to help them support their child in making informed choices about where and what to study next.

This new course adds to the ‘Smart’ series of online courses developed by the University to support its campus-based students which includes two closed, invitation only, courses; the award winning Study Smart, and brand new Career Smart.

The University of Reading has offered Study Smart to its incoming first year students, before they arrive on campus, for the past two academic years. It explores how university study will differ from their experience at school and college. It also provides advice and guidance from staff and current students about everything from how to manage their time and think critically in their studies, to referencing, how to use the library and where to access the many sources of support the University offers throughout their time at Reading.

Launched this summer, Career Smart offers practical advice and guidance for final year Reading undergraduates on how to plan, prepare for and apply for the next step in their career after graduation.

Another new MOOC Live Smart, is set to follow next SpringWhilst Study Smart is designed to help students make the most of their academic studies at Reading, this new course will be suitable for anyone preparing to take up a place at University. Offering practical advice from current students and staff, this course will address key topics surrounding living at university, such as building strong support networks, budgeting, eating well and volunteering.

Nicky McGirr, Head of the Online Courses team at the University of Reading said:

“We are delighted our online offering for students will now include tailored courses developed for university applicants, as well as their parents, carers and guardians. We see these as important additions to a growing suite which currently includes two closed courses to support our campus based students at important milestones in their life.”

“Our aim is to provide engaging, informative courses that support access to HE, and to help our campus based students make a successful transition into university, make the most of their time with us, and go on to make the equally important transition into the world of work.”

The University of Reading has recently seen its one millionth enrolment on its online courses programme after launching its first MOOC, Begin Programming, in October 2013; one of the first to run on the social learning FutureLearn platform. In those early days the maximum number of enrolments was capped at 10,000 participants – a target that was reached within 24 hours of the launch.

Since then, the University’s Online Courses team have collaborated with experts from our academic schools and departments and external organisations to design and produce a programme of more than 30 courses.

All courses on FutureLearn are designed so that anyone in the world can access them as long as they have an internet connection. They offer learners an opportunity to explore their  interests, develop professional skills, and/ or discover a brand-new topic.

Find out more about all of the open online courses that the University of Reading offers at:

http://www.reading.ac.uk/ready-to-study/study/further-learning/online-courses.aspx