The Open University has launched a YouTube (tm) Channel with over 300 videos to extend its commitment to broadening access to education.
YouTube is the leading online video community that allows people to discover, watch and share originally created videos.
OUView – at http://www.youtube.com/ou - is now live.
Video taken from Open University courses is available on the OULearn Channel and features household names such as broadcaster Sir David Attenborough and inventor James Dyson.
Videos cover subjects from arts and history to science and nature, in bite-sized chunks of two to three minutes each. OULife is a channel for The Open University’s staff and students to upload their own videos – from graduation ceremonies to video blogs.
The launch includes a series of video blogs where Open University staff and students talk about what they’ve learnt from YouTube.
Commenting on the University’s decision to upload video to YouTube, Ian Roddis, Head of Online Services said: "According to Nielsen NetRatings, YouTube is the sixth largest internet destination.
"From our past experience with BBC broadcasts we know it’s not just our own students who watch our educational programmes – we’re sharing knowledge with thousands more.
"Through YouTube even more people can benefit from our learning materials; they can share the videos with other people and we’ll be able to respond to their views. It’ll be another place for our staff and students around the world to be part of a virtual learning community – but open to all to watch and contribute. The best thing is that being online it’s available 24/7 around the world."
Jack Sheldon, Associate Product Marketing Manager at YouTube, added: "We're very excited that YouTube users worldwide will be able to view, comment on and respond to high quality content provided by The Open University and our other academic partners.
"We hope that this will create an open forum for people all around the world to share ideas and take part in academic debate. The Open University's founding principles of openness and inclusiveness in the field of education sit closely with YouTube's mission and we look forward to a fruitful relationship in the future."
The University plans to also launch a YouTube Research Channel in 2009.
The Open University has more than 200,000 students studying its courses. Since its foundation in 1969, the University has pursued a social justice mission to open education to all.
At the OU library in Milton Keynes, the archive of scripts for the tens of thousands of OU course-related programmes ever made measures 92 metres, the length of a football pitch.
The University now uses technologies such as podcasts, DVDs and virtual learning environments to deliver course materials to its students, and since 2006 has given the public free access to some materials through its OpenLearn website.