1 Overview of the course


Online learning is a fact of modern life. A simple internet search finds thousands of freely available or paid for online courses, while online learning is also found within workplaces, as professional development activities, or augmenting traditional face-to-face learning.

This free course, How to make an open online course, has been designed by the Free Learning team at The Open University to give you the skills to design, structure and produce an open online course. It explores planning and design for a course planned to be freely open to the public. It includes: developing content, use of assessments and social learning, consideration of production aspects such as hosting platforms, editorial, testing and evaluating your course. Opportunities are available throughout to explore examples of online learning from a range of providers, and to experience elements of course design first hand.

Included within the course are a number of resources which will help you to design your own online course. The focus is primarily on learning design, course structure and production processes. Examples are given of free or commonly available software and hosting platforms, with some key features of OpenLearn Create and Moodle explored in more depth in order to help you to understand and apply the theory of course design and production. Detailed technical aspects of online production, such as the use of specialist software to edit video or code interactive assets, are not covered in this course.

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Figure 1 The Free Learning team at The Open University. From left to right: Anna Page, Sas Amoah, Jane Roberts, Rosie Storrar, Matthew Culnane, Hannah Parish, Matt Driver, Patrina Law and Simon Hull.

Listen to the following audio recording in which Patrina Law introduces the course.

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Course overview
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Learning outcomes