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Why would you want your own web domain?

Why would you want your own web domain? Creative commons image Credit: Warrenski under CC-BY-SA New content
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 26 Aug 2015
New services are making it easier to have your own home, under its own address, on the internet. But why would you want to do that? Tony Hirst...

Can design by committee work? Making a case for open source design

Can design by committee work? Making a case for open source design Copyright free image Credit: tommumf New content
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 18 Aug 2015
We know what's wrong with design committees: too many cooks; too much spoiled broth; bitter recriminations over who spoiled the broth; broth being...

Can animals predict earthquakes - and how could they alert us?

Can animals predict earthquakes - and how could they alert us? Copyright free image Credit: Public domain image
Updated 06 May 2015
It might sound like something out of a Lassie film - animals warning of imminent disasters. But connecting animals to the cloud could give early...

The Election Debate Visualisation Project

The Election Debate Visualisation Project Copyrighted image Credit: EDV Project / Party leader images CC Plaid Cymru / Edinburgh Greens / Scottish Government / Gage Skidmore / Ed Miliband
Introductory level Duration 10 mins Updated 14 Apr 2015
Even though social media is thoroughly embedded in voters’ culture we have yet to come up with an engaging, interactive way to share our feedback...

Past-Time Lover: Amelia Earhart

Past-Time Lover: Amelia Earhart Copyrighted image Credit: Neil Arnold
Introductory level Duration 5 mins Updated 12 Feb 2015
This article is part of a collection produced for Valentine’s Day. Who would you select for your Valentine from these iconic figures from history?...

The Golden Ratio: Possibly the best rectangle in the world

Featuring: VideoVideo
The Golden Ratio: Possibly the best rectangle in the world Copyrighted image Credit: BBC
Intermediate level Duration 5 mins Updated 13 Nov 2014
Our animation introduces the Golden Ratio and how mathematics itself conveys what is beautiful.

Materials: Sustainability and structure

Featuring: AudioAudio
Materials: Sustainability and structure Creative commons image Credit: epSos under CC-BY-2.0 licence
Introductory level Duration 20 mins Updated 18 Aug 2014
Whether it's outlining the world's attitude to plastic bags or admiring the Pont de Normandie, Ian Johnston and Bernie Clark discuss sustainability...

How sustainable is mass production?

How sustainable is mass production? Copyright free image Credit: [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Introductory level Duration 15 mins Updated 15 Aug 2014
Miraculous inventions and engineering has enabled us to get our hands on cheap and effective products used in everyday life, but are the materials...

Powering cars with coffee

Powering cars with coffee Copyrighted image Credit: Paseven | Dreamstime.com
Updated 03 Apr 2014
After you've perked yourself up, could your coffee grounds power your car as well?

Free OpenLearn courses.
OU course extracts and exclusive free courses

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Seeing the light

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: VideoVideo
Seeing the light Copyrighted image Credit: © audioundwerbung/iStockphoto.com
Introductory level Duration 10 hours Updated 27 Jul 2015
This free course, Seeing the light, will teach you about how the Sun affects your home, both in terms of light and warmth and the energy it...

Introducing engineering

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: VideoVideo
Introducing engineering Copyright free image Credit: VIADGRIN shutterstock
Introductory level Duration 15 hours Updated 29 Jan 2015
Engineering encompasses a broad range of disciplines from design to manufacturing. This unit introduces a number of key themes that explore how...

People-centred designing

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: VideoVideo ActivityActivity
People-centred designing Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 12 hours Updated 05 Mar 2014
Designed products surround us all and range from bus tickets to buildings. This unit focuses firmly on usability and the increasingly important...

Design

Free CourseFree Course
Design Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 28 hours Updated 10 Dec 2013
This unit looks at the process of design – from assessing the complexity of design as an activity, to exposing the difficulty in making general...

Design thinking

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: VideoVideo ActivityActivity
Design thinking Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 10 hours Updated 22 Dec 2011
Are you ever frustrated with something that you thought you could design better? Design thinking can structure your natural creativity to come up...

Invention and innovation: An introduction

Free CourseFree Course Featuring: VideoVideo
Invention and innovation: An introduction Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Advanced level Duration 55 hours Updated 28 Jul 2011
This unit is for designers, engineers, technologists and anyone interested in designing and inventing. It is also for managers and consumers...

Manufacturing

Free CourseFree Course
Manufacturing Copyrighted image Credit: Used with permission
Introductory level Duration 20 hours Updated 19 Jul 2011
How are designs turned into products? What resources, materials and methods used and what set of activities that goes under the heading of ...

Design for beginners

Featuring: VideoVideo
Design for beginners Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University 2011
Introductory level Duration 20 mins Updated 27 May 2011
How do you create depth and tone on paper? How do you create a cd case from scratch? Steve Garner, Professor of Design at The Open University...

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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 Credit: Irochka | Dreamstime.com
Duration 1200 hours Updated 28 Aug 2015
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 Credit: Dreamstime
Duration 3600 hours Updated 28 Aug 2015
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 in Computing&IT&Second Subject

CourseCourse
Diploma of Higher Education in Computing&IT&Second Subject Creative commons image Credit: Sam I Are under CC-BY-NC-SA
Duration 2400 hours Updated 28 Aug 2015
Computing and IT skills are hugely valued in the modern workplace; studied together with a second complementary subject they can give you an...

Diploma of Higher Education Open

CourseCourse
Diploma of Higher Education Open Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University / Karen Parker
Duration 2400 hours Updated 28 Aug 2015
Studying at university level is not just about gaining a degree. We also offer a range of other qualifications, including Certificates and Diplomas...

BSc (Honours) Computing&IT and a second subject

CourseCourse
BSc (Honours) Computing&IT and a second subject Creative commons image Credit: Sam I Are under CC-BY-NC-SA
Duration 3600 hours Updated 28 Aug 2015
Computing and IT skills are hugely valued in the modern workplace; studied together with a second complementary subject they can open up careers in...

BA/BSc (Honours) Design and Innovation

CourseCourse
BA/BSc (Honours) Design and Innovation Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University / Karen Parker
Duration 3600 hours Updated 28 Aug 2015
Design and innovation play a central role in society, finding solutions to problems of all sizes in many aspects of our lives, not just the...

Web technologies

CourseCourse
Web technologies Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime
Intermediate level Duration 300 hours Updated 29 Aug 2015 Register by 10 Sep 2015
This module explores architectures, protocols, standards, languages, tools and techniques, dynamic and mobile content, and shows you how to analyse...

Design thinking: creativity for the 21st century

CourseCourse
Design thinking: creativity for the 21st century Copyrighted image Credit: Dreamstime
Introductory level Duration 600 hours Updated 28 Aug 2015 Register by 10 Sep 2015
Explore the common principles of design, acquire new designing skills and develop an understanding of ways of thinking that lead to innovation and...

Design for engineers

CourseCourse
Design for engineers Copyrighted image Credit: The Open University/Karen Parker
Intermediate level Duration 300 hours Updated 28 Aug 2015 Register by 10 Sep 2015
Explore the three phases of product design – research, planning and development – through online practical activities to gain the skills and...