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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 New content
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...

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...

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...

Learning about sex, a shilling a time: Aristotle's Masterpiece

Learning about sex, a shilling a time: Aristotle's Masterpiece Copyright free image Copyright free: US National Library of Medicine
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 21 Aug 2015
Not written by that Aristotle, the Masterpiece nevertheless found a huge market desperate for sex education in 18th Century Britain and America.

What do tests tell us?

What do tests tell us? Creative commons image By Alberto G. via Flickr under Creative Commons license under Creative-Commons license
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 04 Aug 2015
Are test results truly a reflection of a student's ability and development? Dr Jane Cullen looks into this. 

Download our free 'Chinese Characters First Steps' app

Download our free 'Chinese Characters First Steps' app Copyrighted image Copyright: Qian Kan
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 03 Jun 2015
Why is an app an ideal way to learn a new language? Qian Kan, one of the team members behind the OU course Beginner's Chinese and the "Chinese...

Memo to Nicky Morgan: Welcome back, now leave schools alone

Memo to Nicky Morgan: Welcome back, now leave schools alone Creative commons image Gary Edwards under Creative-Commons license
Duration 5 mins Updated 12 May 2015
Nicky Morgan has returned as Secretary Of State For Education in the new cabinet. It's an opportunity, says Jacqueline Baxter, to try leaving other...

There’s more to primary school place shortages than the cost of free schools

There’s more to primary school place shortages than the cost of free schools Creative commons image Catherine Pain under Creative-Commons license
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 22 Apr 2015
Is the crisis over primary school places solely due to the Conservative's free school programme? Jacqueline Baxter discusses all the factors that...

What are the benefits of interdisciplinary study?

What are the benefits of interdisciplinary study? Copyrighted image Copyright: Wavebreakmediamicro | Dreamstime.com
Introductory level Duration 15 mins Updated 09 Apr 2015
It seems to be a buzzword in education and one that gets thrown around quite a lot these days. But what does 'interdisciplinary' study really mean?...

Education and the General Election of 1979

Education and the General Election of 1979
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 09 Apr 2015
Dr Frank Monaghan looks back at the immediate run-up to the 1979 general election which led to a massive shake-up in education, the consequences of...

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...

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'...

An introduction to Open Educational Resources (OER)

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: VideoVideo
An introduction to Open Educational Resources (OER)
Advanced level Duration 6 hours Updated 20 Nov 2015
In this free course, An introduction to Open Educational Resources (OER), you will look at some institutional OER initiatives. These will include...

Word and image

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: AudioAudio
Word and image Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Intermediate level Duration 15 hours Updated 22 Oct 2015
Why does the way a page looks influence how we interpret the information it contains? This free course, Word and image, will examine how typography...

Learning and practice: Agency and identities

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: VideoVideo AudioAudio
Learning and practice: Agency and identities Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Advanced level Duration 8 hours Updated 22 Oct 2015
This free course, Learning and practice: Agency and identities, introduces you to a sociocultural approach to understanding and analysing learning...

Parents as partners

Free CourseFree Course
Parents as partners Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 16 hours Updated 22 Oct 2015
In this free course we look at the notion of parents as partners. We identify a cluster of reasons why partnership is considered important - for...

Teaching assistants: support in action (Chinese)

Free CourseFree Course
Teaching assistants: support in action (Chinese) Copyrighted image Copyright: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 4 hours Updated 12 Aug 2015
本免费课程是“助教:提供行动支持”课程的中文翻译版本,英文原版也在本网站中提供。 ...

Learning to teach: becoming a reflective practitioner (Chinese)

Free CourseFree Course
Advanced level Duration 20 hours Updated 12 Aug 2015
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Developing good academic practice

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: AudioAudio
Developing good academic practice
Intermediate level Duration 5 hours Updated 28 May 2015
This free course, Developing good academic practice, is intended to help you develop good academic practices in your studies and when producing...

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Change your life with a qualification

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Certificate of Higher Education Open

CourseCourse
Certificate of Higher Education Open Copyrighted image Copyright: Irochka | Dreamstime.com
Duration 1200 hours Updated 09 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 09 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...

Diploma of Higher Education Open

CourseCourse
Diploma of Higher Education Open Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University / Karen Parker
Duration 2400 hours Updated 09 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...

The networked practitioner

CourseCourse
The networked practitioner Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University / Karen Parker
Advanced level Duration 300 hours Updated 09 Feb 2016 Register by 16 Sep 2016
This course enables you to experience producing resources related to online and distance education and then improving them through engagement with...

Accessible online learning: supporting disabled students

CourseCourse
Accessible online learning: supporting disabled students Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University/Karen Parker
Advanced level Duration 300 hours Updated 09 Feb 2016 Register by 19 Aug 2016
Examine the learning experiences of disabled students, the technical aspects of accessibility, and the current debates and discussions about...

Openness and innovation in elearning

CourseCourse
Openness and innovation in elearning Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University/Karen Parker
Advanced level Duration 600 hours Updated 09 Feb 2016 Register by 20 Jan 2017
With an emphasis on exploring innovation, you will look at both the latest developments in educational tools and current debates around the concept...

Technology-enhanced learning: practices and debates

CourseCourse
Technology-enhanced learning: practices and debates Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University / Karen Parker
Advanced level Duration 600 hours Updated 09 Feb 2016 Register by 20 Jan 2017
Engage with elearning or 'technology-enhanced' learning by exploring the processes of designing, implementing and evaluating, and become a creative...