Issue number one hundred and fifty-five (November 2013) from the WorldU3A Service, sent on the first of every month to U3A members anywhere in the world.

Feel free to copy any or all of this information in your newsletters.
Please send items of possible interest to the editor, Tom Holloway.
    Welcome to the WorldU3A Virtual Forum
The Forum meets online on the first Sunday of every month, starting at 9am UK time (7pm Brisbane time), using the flashmeeting/tele-conference facilities of the UK Open University hosted by the University of East Anglia. To take part you will need mic/speakers and a webcam. To begin with meetings will be limited to only 10 participants, but we hope to extend this soon. Go to or click here to learn more >>>

Our banner is from FUTURELEARN - a consortium of leading UK and International Universities offering free high-quality online courses.

Visible Learning: The To Do list gives you an overview of the course, showing the activities for each week, and keeping a record of the steps you have completed.

The profile page provides a summary of your own activity, including your courses and any comments you have made.

Community supported learning: An intensive tutoring model can’t work for massive-scale free courses, so we need to offer online support without a large network of tutors. The solution is to harness the power of the community, where everyone has an opportunity to be a teacher as well as a learner.

Following other learners is part of a powerful system we are building that will allow you to acknowledge good contributions and promote people who offer helpful advice, and to develop your own reputation.

Massive-scale social learning: We decided to create a new massive-scale social learning platform, drawing on expertise from The Open University, BBC, social media designers, as well as our FutureLearn partners. It’s a new way of learning.

U3A Alliance Australia newsletter: After the recent international conference in Melbourne, Chairman Lindsay Glen reported as follows:-

"The Victorian and Asia Pacific Alliance Conference held during October included a number of delegates from international U3A. Their participation highlighted the diversity of the global U3A movement. Some countries’ U3A organisations concentrate upon health and welfare, others are an extension of Government Aged Care agencies, the French model evolving from Universities while the UK has a community based model similar to our own. Management structures also reflect these differences. Bringing together our international U3A partners, whilst a challenge, enabled many to establish personal relationships and connections which may assist future cooperation and consultation". For the complete newsletter, click here >>>

Computer Groups: Treehouse is offering not one, but two week's free access to their web design and coding courses. Go to or click on to learn more.

History of 1930s/WW2 - English commentary, Portuguese subtitles: A new colour film; a compilation of amateur films with lots of completely new background footage of those times.

It's in three parts and part one can be seen at

Learning with Wikimedia: Contributing to Wikimedia projects, such as Wikipedia, Wikiversity and Wikibooks, is an educational opportunity in the fullest sense, developing sophisticated collaboration, scholarly writing and critical thinking skills at the same time as subject knowledge. Improving an article can be a demanding project in either formal and informal education, for a talented student or a whole class.

Wikimedia UK is working with some of the country's most respected and innovative institutions to explore how Wikimedia projects can benefit UK education. In partnership with universities and support bodies, we are gradually establishing Wikimedia as part of the landscape of higher education, secondary education, and lifelong learning.

Confirmation of the U3A Asia Pacific Alliance fifth International Conference - it will be held in Kathmandu, Nepal, in October 2014.

More detailed information will be given in later issues of SIGNPOST as it becomes available.

U3A Online: A complete GEMs Archive - Rick Swindell's newsletter - pdf printouts of all prior editions can be found at

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