General
12 Jun 2014

New channels open up learning at the OU and make study more sociable

Learning materials from The Open University are now available to a far greater audience across the globe, thanks to new innovations launched this week.

The series of launches means that content - including popular OU books and OU course material on a wide-range of subjects - can be viewed and shared on a variety of digital channels. A further development will see Facebook as an avenue for social learning, meaning new learners can try their hand at taster subjects such as 60 Second Adventures in Thought or Celebrity through the Ages, in a familiar digital setting.

The new channels include Audioboo, an audio social media platform with over 12 million users, which will host some 900+ pieces of Open University audio content. Being an open platform, this means that content previously only available on iTunes is now available to all in a searchable, embeddable format. The content can be listened to on Android, Apple and Windows mobile devices. Allowing us to broaden accessibility and reach a wider international audience.

Googleplay now gives access to 80 of the OU’s most popular books which were previously only available to download on iTunes U. There are plans to increase this “library” with more books accessible by those with IOS and Android devices.

Social media users will be able to find and share more OU material via the new Facebook for Learning – found via a link from the OU’s main Facebook page. In this new social environment, visitors can access 100 hours of free content, three hours of iTunesU material and 10 minutes of YouTube videos. The added bonus of an OU tutor attached to the learning space means it offers structured study in a familiar and sociable setting. The courses on offer via this platform are: Learning to Learn; Celebrity through the Ages and 60 Second Adventures in Thought.

In addition, the OU will shortly be improving the YouTube experience for its learners, with the addition of a Gadget to harness the wealth of informative OU videos by academics and on numerous topics, including its award-winning research.

Andrew Law, Director of the OU’s Open Media Unit, said: “It’s really a rebirth of OU content and means our material is now more universally accessible, searchable and embeddable. The added bonus of having learning on social media channels like Facebook means that we are putting our content and learning where people are meeting and swapping information – so an ideal place for learning too. It is in keeping with the OU’s mission to be open and accessible to all.”

To promote the learning and “keep in the loop” learners and also encouraged to carry on the conversation on Twitter, using the @OUFreeLearning and discuss their learning experiences.

Ends

Notes to Editors:

Content on Audioboo will include 900+ pieces of audio content which can even be embedded as references in course assignments. Some of the material from here will also be used in Open University MOOC courses.

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