Students will be able to study for their qualifications whenever and wherever suits them best, thanks to a new tablet and smartphone app from The Open University (OU).
OU Anywhere, which will begin rolling out on 30th January, will see OU course materials made available on tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices.
For the first time, students will have the option to download all the textbooks, videos and other materials they need, allowing them to study while at home, in the office, or on the move. Students can use native e-readers to highlight and annotate text using the app, as well as interacting with tutors and fellow students online through the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).
Martin Bean, the Vice-Chancellor of The Open University, said:
“From learning a language on the beach to analysing rock samples on the train, OU Anywhere will let our students work towards their qualifications whenever and wherever suits them best. Making education and training accessible to all is vital if we’re going to get the economy growing again, and OU Anywhere will make it easier than ever for students to fit their studies around their busy lives.”
The initiative was created in response to rising numbers of students using smartphones and tablets as part of their studies. Powered by the OU’s VLE, OU Anywhere will make available all the materials a student needs in order to study. Students will have the option of accessing their course and module texts and media through the app in addition to the books and DVDs traditionally posted to them at the start of their studies.
Apple and Android smartphone and tablet users will be able to install OU Anywhere through the App Store and Google Play from 30th January. Apps for Kindle Fire and Microsoft Surface will follow shortly afterwards.
Initially, OU Anywhere will provide access to OU undergraduate module materials at levels 1 and 2 for modules starting from February 2013 and onwards, with level 3 coming later this year and postgraduate early next year. Students studying level 1 and 2 modules that started before February will be able to access video and audio materials through the app.
See our video:
Download on App Store:
Download on Google Play:
The OU came top for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey this year, and has been in the top three universities every year since the survey began in 2005. In 2011/12 it had a 93 per cent satisfaction rating. Over 70% of students are in full-time or part-time employment, and four out of five FTSE 100 companies have sponsored staff to take OU courses.
In the UK’s latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008) the Open University was ranked in the top third of UK higher education institutions. More than 50% of OU research was assessed in the RAE as internationally excellent, with 14% as world leading.
Regarded as Britain’s major e-learning institution, the OU is a world leader in developing technology to increase access to education on a global scale. Its vast ‘open content portfolio’ includes free study units on OpenLearn, which has had more than 23 million visits, and materials on iTunes U, which has recorded over 56 million downloads. The OU has a 41 year partnership with the BBC which has moved from late-night lectures in the 1970s to prime-time programmes such as Frozen Planet, Bang Goes the Theory, James May’s Big Ideas and The Money Programme.
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