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Open Pathways

Updated Thursday, 8 August 2019
Open Pathways is a resource for people who are thinking about getting back into learning.

Image of Open Pathways guide showing someone on their phone drinking coffee in a café. Click on the image above to view PDF  

Open Pathways can get you started on your learning journey, helping you navigate your way through OpenLearn to find something that interests you, while building your confidence learning online. Where your journey takes you is up to you.

OpenLearn has so many resources it can be difficult to know where to start. Open Pathways is a route into OpenLearn that starts with ideas for short resources you can explore (PDF document439.6 KB)  on OpenLearn. If you want to challenge yourself (PDF document413.8 KB) the next step is to take a short course before moving on to gain a badge (PDF document531.9 KB)  on one of our badged open courses. You decide the pace and level you want to learn at.

Open Pathways is also available as guide for learners (pdf) (PDF document3.7 MB) . The guide contains a learning log for you to keep track of what you’re learning, ideas for reflecting and planning your next steps, study tips, and pathways from informal into formal learning.

Learners in Scotland can also request a paper version, contact: 

Getting Started:

1) Explore (PDF document439.6 KB)

To help you get started on OpenLearn, we’ve suggested a few short resources (less than 1 hour), such as videos, quizzes and animations. They are all at introductory level so should be suitable for most learners. 

2) Challenge yourself (PDF document413.8 KB)

If you’ve enjoyed exploring and feel ready for something more challenging, try one of our short courses (less than 6 hours).

3) Gain a badge (PDF document531.9 KB)

When you feel more confident and would like some recognition for your learning, try one of our badged open courses (24 hours long). Start at Level 1 (introductory level).

If you have explored OpenLearn and are interested in particular developing particular skills, you may be interested in the following pathways:

Open Learning Champions

There is also an Open Learning Champions guide (PDF document3.4 MB) which offers information and suggestions for facilitators using Open Pathways and other OpenLearn resources with learners. Open Learning Champions can come from community and voluntary organisations, colleges, libraries and others. What they have in common is an interest in using open learning to widen opportunities for their learners. Find out more.

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Contact us...
Contact  The Open University in Scotland by telephone on 0131 226 3851, or by email via


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