Since the beginning of lockdown, OpenLearn – the Open University’s free learning platform – has been packed with visitors who are keen to get learning. We’ve recently welcomed our 75 millionth visitor to site! If you’re new to online learning, OpenLearn has an amazing range of resources. With so many courses to choose from, our Open Pathways guide can help you know where to start, beginning with short videos and quizzes and working your way up gradually to full courses.
If you’re supporting someone who’s new to online learning, our Open Learning Champions guide is full of information, guidance and examples from champions who work in community and third sector organisations.
All the resources on OpenLearn can be studied at your own pace, but if you would like to study in real time and interact with other learners, our FutureLearn platform runs courses from universities and institutions all over the world. Have a look at OU courses on FutureLearn starting soon. These are free to sign up for, but courses may charge for a certificate at the end.
If you’d like to find out more about becoming an open learning champion, or you have any questions about any of our online learning opportunities, please get in touch with us at Scotlandemail@example.com. You can follow us on Twitter for the latest news and resources at @OUfreelearning and @OUScotland.
Online learning access: barriers and support
We are all aware that not everyone will have access to laptops/PCs and, with COVID-19 still affecting services, people will not be able to access spaces with computer suites like libraries to access online learning. However, some of the OU learning is available on TV – for example the Blue Planet series is an OU production.
In Scotland there are organisations like Govan Housing Association who offer a loan service for hardware to tenants and Glasgow Clyde College who run a project called Giftech providing recycled hardware to people without access to PCS /laptops. Although this may be curtailed due to social distancing, these are examples of supports in place to help more people access learning resources if they are interested.
It would be useful to share other examples of the type of supports available in different areas to support the uptake of online learning, so if you know of any please let us know in the comments section below.
This news article has been condensed from an article written by Gill Ryan Learning Partnerships Officer (Access, Participation and Success), The Open University in Scotland.