Frequently asked questions
Below are the frequently asked questions about OpenLearn Create.
About OpenLearn Create
OpenLearn Create is an innovative leading open educational platform where individuals and organisations can publish their open content, open courses and resources. It is a Moodle platform and has tools for collaboration, reuse and remixing. OpenLearn Create is part of OpenLearn which is where the OU hosts specially designed open content, giving all the opportunity to browse, reuse and learn across a world of open learning.
While OpenLearn hosts only OU content, the projects, content, courses and resources within OpenLearn Create come from a range of providers, not only The Open University, giving you access to rich and varied content that you can study, reuse and remix.
OpenLearn Create provides a space for those working with or interested in OERs, where you can learn how to create OERs and connect and collaborate with others in the community - you can get started now.
We launched OpenLearn and LabSpace (now OpenLearn Create) in October 2006 thanks to a grant from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Our shared vision was free online education, open to anyone, anywhere in the world. OpenLearn and OpenLearn Create is the result and we have since reached over 23 million people.
You will get the most from OpenLearn Create if you register for an OU account (registration is free). Registering will give you full access to a range of features that are not available to guests, such as the ability to create your own projects and enrolling on projects and courses within OpenLearn Create. In your My Units you will be able to access your projects you are working or enrolled on. You can read about how we handle your personal data in our Privacy statement.
My units contains your projects and your profile. It contains the information about yourself that
you have provided, the free projects you have enrolled on, and those projects that you are working on. To edit your profile, click on your
name which is displayed at the top right of each page once you have
logged in. If you need to change your name or email address in your OU
registered account please contact Student Computing and Distribution Helpdesk.
It's not possible to gain any formal qualifications through OpenLearn Create. You will need to register for an Open University course if you want to become a student and have the support of a tutor, sit examinations and gain qualifications. For more information visit the Study at the OU section of The Open University's website to view the online prospectus.
Tags are words or terms that we have assigned to OpenLearn Create content. Tags act as links enabling users to classify, search and find content based on keywords that are meaningful to them.
Sets of tags are combined in to tag clouds, allowing you to see the most popular keywords associated with content from a particular subject. Each subject, for example 'Languages', will have its own dedicated tag cloud.
If you are creating a course on OpenLearn Create you can add tags to your course by: turn editing on - add block - tags.
If the course you are studying has been uploaded using OU structured content, you can download each section of the course to study offline. The alternative formats offered which will best support offline study include Word, PDF and eBook / Kindle versions of the materials. The other alternative formats (SCORM, RSS, IMS, HTML and XML) are useful to those who want to export the course to host on another learning management system.
Although you can use the alternative formats offline for your own convenience, you do need to work through the online version of the course for full functionality (such as accessing links, using the audio and video materials and completing the quizzes). Please use the downloads as convenient tools for studying the materials when away from the internet and return to the online version to ensure you can complete all activities which may lead to earning a badge or a Statement of Participation.
OpenLearn Create is optimised to be enjoyed by users on the current full versions of Firefox, Safari and Chrome on Windows XP, Windows 7 and Mac Snow Leopard, Lion and Mountain Lion, and Internet Explorer 9 and 10 on Windows 7 and 8.
Older browsers will display most of the content normally, but some features won't work. In particular, Windows users who use Internet Explorer 8 are strongly advised to upgrade their browser, or use an alternative, to get the full value of OpenLearn Create content.
In addition, we aim to provide the best possible experience for users of iPads, Android Tablets and Surface, but cannot guarantee that all features will work as intended on these devices.
Furthermore, some content on the site - in particular older interactive features and audio-visual content - was optimised for browsers at the time these were originally published and users may experience some compatibility issues. Most notably, many interactives use Flash, which is not supported widely on portable devices.
There could be many reasons but the most probable is that you have simply forgotten your password, are trying the wrong one or are entering it incorrectly. Does your username or password contain a mixture of upper or lower case letters? It should be entered exactly.
The OpenLearn Create website has been developed using Moodle technologies. Moodle is an open source learning platform.
The OpenLearn website has been developed using both Drupal and Moodle technologies to enable online learning.
OpenLearn Create is committed to open systems and will share its approach with those who may wish to launch similar efforts. OpenLearn Create is best described as an open educational resources (OER) project. This means that we are using many of the principles of the open source software movement and applying it to materials and tools that help people learn. Most of the educational content hosted on this site can be reused according to the Creative Commons licensing that we have adopted and where this logo is seen:
The software tools that we have developed are also being released as open source to make them available for reuse and for others to contribute to the development. Finally, we are trying to use as many open source components in our work as possible, in particular building the main learning environments on the open source Moodle system. We do need to use some proprietary software behind the scenes to fit with how The Open University works.
The OpenLearn Create website has been designed so that text can be resized using the standard tools in your browser. For example in Internet Explorer and Firefox this is achieved using the View menu and increasing the text size. If you use Google Chrome, you can adjust the font size in 'Settings' > 'Advanced Settings' > 'Web content'.
The Open University aims to make its content on OpenLearn and OpenLearn Create as accessible as possible. We continue to work towards full compliance with W3C standards for all aspects of the site, including providing accessible versions of our most interactive content.
OpenLearn Create has been reviewed by accessibility experts and tested using a range of different assistive technologies and computer settings. While we recognise there are areas that can and will be improved based on recommendations from this review and otherwise identified, core aspects of the site are already provided in a way which meets the needs of a wide variety of users. Users with screenreaders should have no difficulty accessing the text-based content. Users who require specific Windows or browser settings should not have any difficulties with the site, nor should users with screen magnifiers. Video and audio materials are provided in such a way that they can be played through a range of different media players or downloaded and have textual descriptions or transcripts to accompany them. As far as possible, where material is provided as figures/images, we have included textual descriptions of them, but this does not yet cover every diagram or formula.
For more information on this please see our website accessibility statement.
Please note: all content released by The Open University will conform to the standards above, however The Open University does not take responsibility for content published on OpenLearn Create by Third Party Providers who may not work to the same accessibility standards.
OpenLearn Create offers alternative versions of course material which has been rendered to the site using OU Structured content. On course pages, if the course has been rendered in this way, you will find links to access these materials for each section of the course (they are usually displayed at the bottom of the first page of each section).
To view these you will need appropriate software on your device, or experience of working with the format.
- ePub - this will work on tablets and devices which have eReaders built-in; if you are using a desktop machine you may need to find an ePub reader. A list of these can be found at the tucows website
- Kindle - Requires an Amazon Kindle, or software. For tablets, you should be able to download free versions from your app store; desktop users can use a web-based version
- Word - this will open in most word processing software, including Microsoft Office and Google Docs. Microsoft offers a number of free Word readers via its website.
- PDF - Most devices and desktop machines will come with a PDF reader bundled in the operating system. Adobe offer a range of up-to-date free downloads.
We also provide a range of formats which allow the course to be easily shared through other Learning Management Systems. We cannot provide support for these formats, and they are made available on an as-is basis. If you would like to discuss a supported service to use these formats, please contact The Open University. These formats are listed below:
At OpenLearn and OpenLearn Create we want to understand about your use of our websites and how we can help you.
We do this in three ways:
- by logging general activity on the sites such as the time each visitor spends on the site and whether they have also used some other sites;
- by tracking the use of content for learning;
- and by asking visitors whether they are willing to be involved in research.
You can read about how we handle your personal data in our Privacy statement
We do not release this information to third parties. Understanding how our users interact with OpenLearn Create helps us to improve the service we offer. If you prefer not to share anonymous information on your use of the site, you can disable cookies from your browser and delete all cookies currently stored on your computer. You do not need to have cookies turned on to use or navigate through many parts of our website.
If you already have an OUCU you only need to enter it when registering on OpenLearn Create, followed by your password. No other information is needed.
If you register on OpenLearn Create, other users will be able to see your name,
location and study interests. You can choose whether or not other users can see
your email address by editing your profile. To edit your profile, click on your
name which is displayed at the top right of each page once you have logged in. If you need to change your name or email address in your OU registered account please contact Student Computing and Distribution Helpdesk.
Copyright and intellectual property
OpenLearn Create contains material published by The Open University and third party providers.
For materials published by The Open University, The Open University owns and retains copyright in its course materials. However, our material also includes substantial extracts from other sources: quotations from books and journals, still and moving images, interviews with academic and subject experts and performers, and so on. We make use of these extracts under licence. We make every reasonable effort to clear and license our use of other rights holders' work. We will remove promptly any material that infringes the rights of others. If you believe that any of our content is infringing the rights of others please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For materials published by a Third Party Provider please check their rights and licencing on the site and contact the project owner directly.
We believe the primary barrier to access high-quality educational experiences is cost, which is why The Open University aims to publish as much free content as possible under an open licence on OpenLearn and OpenLearn Create. If it proves difficult to release content under our preferred CC licence (e.g. because we can't afford or gain the clearances or find suitable alternatives), we will still release the materials for free but under a more restrictive end-user licence.
For content in which The Open University owns copyright, these are licensed for you to use under the Creative Commons licence 'Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share-Alike'.
This means that you must meet the following three requirements to use the materials:
- Your use is 'non-commercial'.
- You always cite The Open University and retain the name of any original authors.
- You 'share-alike'; that is, make any original or derivative works available under the same terms as our licence to you. Derivative works must be redeposited in OpenLearn Create.
We recognise that our materials may be more effective if they are adapted or built on (e.g. translated, disaggregated, mixed with other materials, localised with new case study examples etc.). Therefore, we strive to avoid the use of the 'No Derivative' restriction on our content.
Therefore we grant you the right to make use of the materials as they are or in modified form. You may translate, modify, print, network, reformat or change the materials in any way providing that you meet the terms of the licence.
Free course content in which The Open University does not own copyright, but which we have licensed for use from other rights holders, are identified in the acknowledgements of every free Open University course and in the article information of other OpenLearn and OpenLearn Create content. These extracts may be used freely as part of your use of the website but we are unable to grant the right to modify them or to use them as stand-alone items. The surrounding OpenLearn Create content may be modified, however, and the extract retained for use within the modified version.
When you directly republish content from OpenLearn or OpenLearn Create on your own website, you must indicate the canonical source of the content in the metadata. You should add this tag in the <head> area of your webpage:
<link rel="canonical" href="[URL of content on OpenLearncreate" />
<link rel="canonical" href="[URL of content on OpenLearn" />
Free content which is published on OpenLearn Create by other parties must be shared using an open licence - there is a licence chooser when a course is created. Course creators retain ownership of their course and are responsible for the content and copyright clearances - this means checking the copyright restrictions of any content they include in their course and publishing acknowledgements and clear information on how to cite the course.
The Open University considers 'non-commercial' to include educational institutions, commercial companies or individuals making use of OpenLearn and OpenLearn Create content on a cost-recovery basis.
We aim to make as much free learning content available as possible. We encourage others to adapt and develop our materials in the development of new free learning experiences.
You may charge for learning experiences you provide using our materials on a cost recovery basis under the following conditions:
- You may represent these materials in any format or medium, including photocopied or hard copy printouts/DVD/SD Card. You may make a charge for the recovery of your costs for printing/duplication.
- Where the OU open media content forms part of a course you are presenting you may charge for the recovery of your costs for value added services such as the provision of the additional or adapted content or tutoring/teaching and support.
- You may not charge for services in order to return a financial profit (through sales of the content or through placing advertising around them).
- You may not charge for these services if you have not made significant adaptations of the materials or if our unadapted content forms the main basis of the course. Aggregation of our content does not comprise adaptation.
Please check the licensing conditions for ALL content that is to be adapted. Exceptions to the CC BY-NC-SA can be found in the acknowledgement pages of our free course content.
If you are unclear we are always happy to discuss the meaning of 'adaptation' and 'significant' on a case-by-case basis. So if you are unclear about these conditions - or feel your case needs special consideration - please contact us at email@example.com. We are keen to explore how we can support your educational service - however big or small.
If you use or amend or incorporate materials from OpenLearn Create provided under a Creative Commons licence, use the following attribution:
- '(Name of project). An OpenLearn Create chunk used/reworked by permission of The Open University copyright (c) (Year).'
If a chunk of material has a named author then the following citation must be added
'Written by (name)'
If your use is online, you must also include a link to the Creative Commons 'Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)' licence if it includes OU material, or the appropriate open licnece if it is non-OU material.
If your use is offline include the web address http://www.open.edu/openlearncreate
Educators are encouraged to use OpenLearn and OpenLearn Create content in the classroom. Should you wish to adapt then you can copy the materials in your own project, where you can adapt and use them for your teaching purposes.
We are seeking partners who wish to help us bring learning experiences to people, or funders/donors seeking to support the educationally
under served. Help us develop our free OpenLearn Create platform
further to support course creators and learners alike.
In developing OpenLearn and OpenLearn Create, The Open University is very grateful for the generous support of The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The philosophy of open content mirrors exactly The Open University's founding principles of widening access to high quality educational opportunities. Through OpenLearn, the University expects to contribute significantly to the development of both the quality and reach of open educational resources delivery at an international level.
The generosity of our users, supporters and partners will help our dedicated staff to continue the academic, pedagogic, technological and research activities that support OpenLearn and OpenLearn Create.
Making a donation
You can make your donation to The Open University using our safe and secure online form. Please quote OpenLearn or OpenLearn Create in the 'What prompted you to donate?' box. Your gift - whatever the amount - will enable us to continue to fulfil our mission.
You may also send your donation to:
The Open University Development Office
Tel: 01908 653786
If you can't find the answer that you are looking for, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to respond as soon as possible.
If you can't find the answer that you are looking for in our Help and Support area or are interested in setting up a project on OpenLearn Create, please contact us at
email@example.com and we will try to respond as soon as possible.
If you see any content on OpenLearn Create which you believe contravenes the Terms & Conditions of the site, infringes intellectual property rights or UK law, or have another concern about the site, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond as soon as possible. Please include the following information in your email: a statement telling us details about the content or issue of concern, the title of content and the full URL to access that content, your full name, address, email address and telephone number.