The Open University’s commitment to broadening access to education is being taken to another level with the launch of OpenLearn, its major new open content initiative. The OpenLearn website will make educational resources freely available on the internet, with state-of-the-art learning support and collaboration tools to connect learners and educators.
The site – at link, right - is live from Wednesday, October 25. This £5.65 million project, generously supported by a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, will cover a full range of subjects from arts and history to science and nature, at all study levels from access to postgraduate.
Available to learners and educators throughout the UK and worldwide, the project will be of particular significance in The Open University’s efforts to widen access to hard-to-reach groups and tackle educational disadvantage both within the developed and developing worlds.
Professor David Vincent, The Open University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Strategy, Planning and External Affairs) said OpenLearn could be seen as the next generation of open access learning at the Open University.
Professor Andy Lane, Director of OpenLearn, said: “For the first time we are making some of our educational resources freely available online to anyone in the world. As leaders in distance education, we are contributing a very distinct offering in the field of open educational resources.
"We are encouraging learners to become self-reliant but also to use online communities to support their learning. We are making it possible for educators to download and adapt our materials for their own purposes. All this will teach us a huge amount about how people can learn and teach online.”
OpenLearn was formally launched on Wednesday, October 25 at One Great George Street, Westminster. Keynote speakers include Bill Rammell MP, Minister of State for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education, and Professor Lawrence Lessig, Professor of Law at Stanford University.