Ten years of open practice: a reflection on the impact of OpenLearn

Patrina Law, Anne Jelfs


The Open University (OU) makes a proportion of all its taught modules available to the public via OpenLearn each year. This process involves the modification, of module excerpts, showcasing subject matter and teaching approach. This activity serves both the University's social and business missions through the delivery of free courses to the public, but increasingly its students are using it to inform module choice, to augment their studies and to boost confidence. In a year that celebrates 10 years of OpenLearn, this paper reports on the growth and impact of the platform as a vast open, learning resource and how a new study underlines how this is also serving the OU’s own students in terms of supporting motivation for learning and impact on achievements. The paper also discusses how the OU is mainstreaming open practice via module production in releasing content on OpenLearn from its paid-for modules in order to improve student module choice and preparedness and in doing so, is providing a richer learning experience for informal learners.


open educational practices; MOOCs; open educational resources; OER; informal learning; OpenLearn

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5944/openpraxis.8.2.283


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