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Tap into Open Acess OU


Trainers and learners will be able to tap into hours of Open University resources as the organisation launches a free open access Internet service.

Under the £5.65m OpenLearn project, the OU aims to make 5,000 hours' worth of material available by April 2008 not only for learners, but for educators to adapt and use for their own purposes.

Backed by a US charitable foundation, the website will initially have 900 hours of study in a variety of topics using the Moodle virtual learning environment.

The OU says it is the first British higher education institution to make such resources freely available online on this scale, although there are other similar open courseware projects in the US and Japan.

Professor David Vincent, The Open University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Strategy, Planning and External Affairs) said the philosophy of open access and knowledge sharing matched the founding principles of the OU.

“We want to lead the learning revolution, experimenting with new models of content and technologies. OpenLearn is a huge step towards this aim,” he added.

Professor Andy Lane, Director of OpenLearn, said: “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.”

* Access the OU site at


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