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Welcome to the DSASHE course!

Welcome video and accompanying course completion information.

Whether you’re just leaving school or returning to education later in life, starting Higher Education is a big step and involves a steep learning curve. One thing you can do to ease the pressure of transition is to prepare before you begin.

This awareness course provides an important area of preparation: it introduces you to the key digital skills you will need for your studies.

The course will not teach you all of these digital skills – it is for avoiding surprises that make you say “no one told me I need to know that!”. Within the course we link to useful further information and encourage you to make good use of your new institution’s support services, such as the Library, IT and E-Learning services, which will help you acquire or improve your skills.


To complete the course, you simply need to work through all of the activities and steps, complete the exercises and score 100% on each quiz. The is not as hard as it sounds, as there are no limits to how many times you take a quiz.

Learning Tasks

Along the way, there will be learning tasks, which offer you a chance to explore and practice some of the concepts and topics covered.


Different words are frequently used for similar things in Higher Education. Here are some terms you might encounter, both in this course and in your institution:

Institutions of Higher Education (HE or HEIs): colleges, universities, institutions. In the UK, colleges are not exactly the same as universities, but people in other countries (like the US) may use these two terms interchangably. In the UK, colleges and universities are never called “schools”.

People who teach in HE: academics, professors, lecturers, tutors, educators, instructors. Usually, the word “teacher” is only used in schools.

Online learning environments: as you’ll see later in the course, the official software or “apps” used to access learning in your institution (college or university) might be referred to as the “platform”, “learning environment”, brand of software (such as “Moodle”) or the name that institution gives it (such as “Learn”).


For most of the activities and readings, you will be asked to share your experiences and thoughts about what you learn. You will also be expected to respond to others by replying to their comments and joining conversations. This will allow you both to deepen your learning and interact with other students – although you may be taking this course alone in a room, you are not alone on the course!

“Keep up-to-date with new technology and practice, practice, practice before starting University so you can concentrate on doing your course.” Alexi, 1st-year student

Discussion point:

Let’s start by asking you to share something about yourself in the comments (below). Please tell us:

  • Where in the world you live (what country)
  • What stage of education you are in
  • If you are returning to education later in life, please tell us what you have been doing and why you are planning to start HE

Also please remember to read and respond to what your fellow students tell us about themselves.

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Digital Skills Awareness for Starting Higher Education

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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