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Skills Check 0

The Skills Check is a short survey which should take you no more than 3 minutes to complete. Once you have completed the Skills Check we provide you with a personal learning plan targeted to your personal study needs and goals.

Sign in to work on the Skills Check.
  1. Home
  2. Core skills
  3. Forums


As an OU student you have access to OU online forums. These can make a big difference to your study as they connect you to other students and keep you motivated. You can share problems and ideas at any time.

Covered in this section

  • How forums are used and their benefits to students
  • Effective forums and how you can contribute to their success
  • Typical problems and concerns
  • Techniques for building your confidence with forums
  • 20 mins to complete this section

To find the forums for your module

  1. Login to the Open University website
  2. Click on 'Student Home'
  3. Click on 'Modules'
  4. Choose a module from the list
  5. Look for the 'Forums' heading, which will have a link to that particular module's forum

The OU uses online forums to provide a way for students to work together, rather than individually. Group working is an important element of many modules - partly because it is the way the workplace is often organised, and employers look for evidence of group working skills. In learning, group working tends to promote deeper understanding of a subject and better critical thinking.

"Forums take the distance out of distance learning."

Online forums are a different way of learning from face-to-face methods, and it is necessary to learn how to use them successfully. For example, there are much longer time delays in an online discussion, and you might miss non-verbal cues such as tone of voice or facial expression. Some differences are positive: you have more time to think about what you want to say. Some are a nuisance: it's possible to misinterpret people's written words.