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Why we allow comments - and what we expect from you if you share your views

Updated Monday 20th March 2017

OpenLearn is committed to being a space where everyone can share and learn. Here's why, and what that means.

At OpenLearn, we are keen to hear from you, the people who use our material. To us, this is part of what being an Open platform means. You are encouraged to contribute via comments, user-generated content and various polls and surveys.

Comments policy

All content* on OpenLearn is accompanied by a comment box.

Why do we do this?

We believe that a university is a place of ideas, and that the flow of those ideas should be in two directions. We don't pretend that the viewpoints you'll encounter on OpenLearn are definitive - we relish the idea of being challenged and tested.

Where are comments welcome?

* Please note that at the end of 2016, at the request of the team who publish free courses, the ability to comment on material they published was removed from the site and the policy on comments no longer applies to their content.

On the remainder of the site, normally the commenting opportunity is as close to the content as possible. In most cases, you'll find a comment box at the foot of a page.

In some cases - for example, where we publish a sequence of articles about a specific subject, or in support of a BBC/OU co-production, we may choose to create a 'discussion hub' to keep all the debate in one place, and to prevent duplicated or fragmentary conversations.

For some interactive pieces of content, the comment box will appear on the launching page, rather than within the body of the content itself.

Who can comment?

Everyone is welcome to comment - although you will need to create a free Open University account if you don't already have one.

What are the rules?

The creation of an Open University account comes with its own set of terms and conditions which can be accessed here

We request that all users:

  • Treat other users with politeness and respect
  • Refrain from promoting unrelated commercial products, services or websites
  • Keep to the topic under discussion
  • Avoid language that others may find upsetting
  • Ensure any material they post is legal, and that they have permission to share it (i.e. that they are not infringing anyone else's copyright)

We operate a policy of post-moderation - that is, all comments are reviewed, but after they have been published. Posts may be removed or edited at the sole discretion of the OpenLearn editorial team.

Because there can be a delay between publication and review, each post offers the ability to report a post that an individual believes violates the rules of the site. When messages are reported, we will review them as soon as practical.

If a commenter has a direct question about an aspect of a piece of content, we will - where practical - invite the original author(s) of that content to respond. Please note that, while many of our writers are happy to discuss their work and opinions, responding to commenters on OpenLearn is not a condition of contributing to the site and any response is voluntary rather than compulsory. If material has been republished from a third-party source, we will perform our best endeavours to seek a response for the original author.

The appearance of any comment on OpenLearn - whether yet reviewed by the editorial team or not - does not imply an endorsement of the views contained in such comments. The views expressed in comments are entirely those of the individual posting.

Please note some comments have been imported from our previous iteration, - these were selected as being interesting contributions but have been anonymised.





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