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OU Wins Grant to Expand Online


The Open University has won a $4.45million grant to support its work to make course materials freely available to anyone in the world through its OpenLearn website.

The grant, from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, will enable the OpenLearn website to double the amount of free learning content by April 2008. The Open University says the website will also have more learning support and collaboration tools to connect learners and educators online.

Dr Catherine Casserly, director of the Open Education Resources Initiative at The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, said: "We expect The Open University's OpenLearn project will continue to develop its unique balance of quality-vetted content, space for continued innovation, and research on open learning environments.

"With this new grant we look forward to the OpenLearn team expanding its outstanding content and increasing the site's reach to help build communities of learners throughout the world."

Professor Andy Lane , director of OpenLearn, said: "This funding will have a huge impact on the development of the website. Not only will we be able to increase the amount of content we make freely available and make it relevant to the needs of most learners using the site – such as providing more skills-based courses - but we'll introduce new technologies such as video blogging and wikis and expand the number of interactive and multimedia resources.

"We'll also be working with partners in the UK and abroad to extend the use of the free content in more targeted ways."


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