Open Pathways: Opportunities For All

STOP PRESS: Enrolments in CSU’s Open Learning tasters have just passed 4000 (enrolments total 4279 across 9 tasters as of 3rd June, 2019).

Many of us have heard of edXCoursera and Udemy.  There’s a world of opportunity for us to learn about almost anything, anytime, and often for free.  We have just-in-time learning, often with knowledge shared and presented by world experts, right at our fingertips, and at our convenience whether at home, the office or while commuting.

Charles Sturt University’s Open Pathways Program is also proud to be offering learners increased access through our partnership with OpenLearning, an Australian company with a mission to deliver authentic active and connected learning experiences.  With over 1.7 million users, Open Learning provides access to new markets and learners.  It offers us increased visibility in an ever more crowded and competitive online market.

Working with schools, faculties and subject matter experts across CSU, the Open Pathways Team (in the Division of Learning and Teaching) has created a number of “tasters” in a range of subjects from EcotourismTime Management and Problem Solving, to Becoming a Digital Online Learner.  Whether you or someone you might know wants to  explore the exciting field and career opportunities in Criminal and Community JusticeSocial Work or Community Health, there’s a wealth of opportunities to explore.  These free short courses provide an opportunity for interested learners to “try before they buy” in a low risk, non-threatening and highly interactive environment, where they can share ideas with others in the subjects, learn at their own speed, and obtain a certificate for successfully completing the activities.  Check out our programs at

Developing a taster has a number of advantages.  They:

  • are a valuable marketing tool  providing leads to potential students, and links to related CSU degrees and programs
  • increase CSU’s visibility to a global audience with students participating from North and South America, Europe and Oceania
  • offer a low cost method of market research, to test the audiences’ interest in a particular subject area
  • can be designed in a multitude of different ways in order to support stackable micro-credentials
  • can be public or private
  • can be completely free or fee-paying

The options are open – they are designed to fit the specific purpose of a School or Faculty in CSU.

If you or a colleague have an idea, need more information, or want to explore how a taster might support low enrolments in a particular degree, feel free to contact Val Peachey or Leanne White in the Division of Learning and Teaching.  They are open to meeting with you to explore that ways that a CSU taster can increase “opportunities for all”.

This article was originally published on March 7, 2019 on the u!magine blog at

Contributed by Professor Val Peachey, Professor Open Learning & Co-Director uImagine, Division of Learning & Teaching, Charles Sturt University

Photo by Smart on Unsplash