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The Open University at 45: What can we learn from Britain's distance education pioneer?

The Open University at 45: What can we learn from Britain's distance education pioneer? Copyrighted image Copyright: Artwork: Catherine Pain Copyright: The Open University New content
Introductory level Duration 15 mins Updated 09 Feb 2016
This month sees the 50th anniversary of the government ‘White Paper’ which launched the OU in 1966.  This author draws attention to...

Skills for study

Skills for study New content
Introductory level Updated 29 Jan 2016
Thinking about studying for the first time or after a long time away? Refresh your skills and prepare for success with these free courses.

What's the problem with the government's plans for our schools?

What's the problem with the government's plans for our schools? Creative commons image Number10.gov.uk under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 26 Jan 2016
A new report suggests that schools planning has become hard to make sense of. The OU's Jacqueline Baxter shares a personal view of the state...

Additional efforts: Why we need to be better at maths

Additional efforts: Why we need to be better at maths Creative commons image Sami under Creative Commons BY 4.0 license
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 19 Jan 2016
We need to be better at maths - and the suggestion that only smart people can be good with numbers is holding a lot of us back.

The Educators: Series 2

The Educators: Series 2
Updated 18 Nov 2015
Sarah Montague interviews the people whose ideas are challenging the future of education and the way we teach and learn.

What is openwashing - and how can you avoid it?

What is openwashing - and how can you avoid it? Creative commons image ShashiBellamkonda under CC-BY licence under Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 license
Intermediate level Duration 5 mins Updated 27 Oct 2015
Claiming to be open - whether in software, education resources, data, or government - but only for the kudos without making good on the open...

How is a University obsession with teenagers hurting part-time students?

How is a University obsession with teenagers hurting part-time students? Creative commons image David Hawgood under CC-BY-SA licence under Creative-Commons license
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 23 Oct 2015
As Universities chase lucrative school-leaving students, those seeking to study part-time are increasingly squeezed, reports John Butcher.

Why there's still faith in the Spanish education system

Why there's still faith in the Spanish education system Creative commons image Randy OHC under CC-BY licence under Creative-Commons license
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 23 Sep 2015
God judges you solely on the content of your heart, it's said. In Spain, some students are tested on the ability to pray. It's just one reason why...

A future for languages in schools?

A future for languages in schools? Copyrighted image Copyright: Pembroke College Oxford
Intermediate level Duration 5 mins Updated 22 Sep 2015
Find out how the London Centre for Languages and Cultures is encouraging and promoting the study of languages in the UK.

Free OpenLearn courses.
OU course extracts and exclusive free courses

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Teaching assistants: support in action

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: VideoVideo
Teaching assistants: support in action Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 4 hours Updated 11 Jan 2016
Teaching assistants are an important resource in education. This free course, Teaching assistants: support in action, looks at how the role has...

English grammar in context

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: VideoVideo
English grammar in context Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Advanced level Duration 15 hours Updated 07 Jan 2016
What are the differences between spoken and written English? Is use of grammar more or less complex than it appears? This free course, English...

Essay and report writing skills

Free CourseFree Course
Essay and report writing skills Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 15 hours Updated 07 Jan 2016
Writing reports and assignments can be a daunting prospect. Learn how to interpret questions and how to plan, structure and write your assignment...

Sharing power and transforming educational practice

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: AudioAudio
Sharing power and transforming educational practice Copyrighted image Copyright: © IOE Press
Advanced level Duration 8 hours Updated 17 Dec 2015
This free course, Sharing power and transforming educational practice, explores the notion of a life of learning and interrogates 'common-sense'...

Succeed in the workplace

Free CourseFree Course
Succeed in the workplace Copyrighted image Copyright: 4maksym/iStockphoto
Introductory level Duration 24 hours Updated 08 Dec 2015
Do you want to change jobs, are you just starting in the job market or may be returning after a break? If so, then this free course, Succeed in the...

Succeed with learning

Free CourseFree Course
Succeed with learning Copyrighted image Copyright: EBLokhina/iStockphoto.com
Introductory level Duration 24 hours Updated 08 Dec 2015
Succeed with learning is a free, introductory course for people who want to feel more confident about their learning skills. Informal in approach,...

English: skills for learning

Free CourseFree Course
English: skills for learning Copyrighted image Copyright: © PepitolPhotos/Istockphoto.com
Introductory level Duration 24 hours Updated 08 Dec 2015
English: skills for learning, is a free course for anybody who is thinking of studying for a university degree and would like to develop the...

Taking your first steps into higher education

Free CourseFree Course
Taking your first steps into higher education Copyrighted image Copyright: Image courtesy of chanpipat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Introductory level Duration 24 hours Updated 08 Dec 2015
What is university study like? Is it for me? If you are asking yourself these questions, this free course is for you....

New Free OpenLearn Courses

Free CourseFree Course
New Free OpenLearn Courses Copyrighted image Copyright: © mattjeacock/istock
Introductory level Duration 1 hour Updated 08 Dec 2015
This collection highlights the new free OpenLearn courses that have recently been published.

Learning to Learn

Free CourseFree Course
Learning to Learn Copyright free image Copyright free: ©iStock.com/payee
Introductory level Duration 80 hours Updated 08 Dec 2015
Learning and change can mean big decisions and asking important questions. This free course, Learning to learn, is a friendly starting point...

Become an OU student.
Change your life with a qualification

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Top-up BA (Honours) Early Years

CourseCourse
Top-up BA (Honours) Early Years Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University/Karen Parker
Duration 1200 hours Updated 11 Feb 2016
This pathway enables experienced practitioners with a Foundation Degree in Early Years (normally sector endorsed) to enhance their professional...

Certificate of Higher Education Open

CourseCourse
Certificate of Higher Education Open Copyrighted image Copyright: Irochka | Dreamstime.com
Duration 1200 hours Updated 11 Feb 2016
If you’re keen to try university study and want to keep your options open, this certificate course is ideal. It’s part of our unique Open...

BA/BSc Open degree

CourseCourse
BA/BSc Open degree Copyrighted image Copyright: Dreamstime
Duration 3600 hours Updated 11 Feb 2016
Over 40 per cent of OU students who graduate do so with an Open degree. It’s a statistic we’re proud of – the BA/BSc Open is one of the most...

CertHE in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Primary Schools

CourseCourse
CertHE in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Primary Schools Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University / Karen Parker
Duration 1200 hours Updated 11 Feb 2016
Do you work in a primary school supporting children’s learning? This is one of the fastest growing occupational groups in the UK. If you’re a...

Diploma of Higher Education in Primary Teaching and Learning

CourseCourse
Diploma of Higher Education in Primary Teaching and Learning Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University/Karen Parker
Duration 2400 hours Updated 11 Feb 2016
Classroom and teaching assistants and classroom support staff represent one of the fastest growing occupational groups in the country. If you’re a...

Diploma of Higher Education Open

CourseCourse
Diploma of Higher Education Open Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University / Karen Parker
Duration 2400 hours Updated 11 Feb 2016
Studying at university level is not just about gaining a degree. We also offer a range of other qualifications, including Certificates and Diplomas...

Foundation Degree in Primary Teaching and Learning

CourseCourse
Foundation Degree in Primary Teaching and Learning Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University / Karen Parker
Duration 2400 hours Updated 11 Feb 2016
Teaching assistants and classroom support staff represent one of the fastest growing occupational groups in the country. If you’re a teaching...

BA (Honours) Early Years

CourseCourse
BA (Honours) Early Years Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University/Karen Parker
Duration 3600 hours Updated 11 Feb 2016
Do you work with young children? Do you want to boost your career and develop your practice? This degree course provides a solid, practical...

Learning through enquiry in primary schools

CourseCourse
Learning through enquiry in primary schools Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University / Karen Parker
Introductory level Duration 600 hours Updated 11 Feb 2016 Register by 15 Sep 2016
Update your knowledge and understanding of how primary-age children learn and develop your skills in observing, evaluating and supporting children...

Difficulties in literacy development

CourseCourse
Difficulties in literacy development Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University / Karen Parker
Advanced level Duration 600 hours Updated 11 Feb 2016 Register by 15 Sep 2016
Explore appropriate curriculum responses to the needs of children as well as the wider issues relevant to adults who experience difficulty in...