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2006-2016. Ten years of OpenLearn

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Text of 2006-2016. Ten years of OpenLearn

  • Ten years of open practice:

    a reflection on the impact

    of OpenLearn

    Patrina LawHead of Free Learning, The Open [email protected]

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    Providing free learning


    by the Grace of God of the

    United Kingdom of Great Britain

    and Northern Ireland and of

    Our other Realms and

    Territories Queen, Head of the

    Commonwealth, Defender of the


  • Engaging new learners


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    Whats on the OpenLearn platform?

  • The journey into OpenLearn

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    A commitment to openness

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    Benefits to institutions of OER

    Increases access to education

    Provides an opportunity to assess and plan education choices

    Showcases intellectual outputs, promoting profile and attracting students

    Converts learners into fee paying enrolments

    Accelerates learning

    Adds value to knowledge production

    Reduces faculty preparation time

    Generates cost savings

    Enhances quality

    Generates innovation through collaboration.

    (Stacey, 2012)

    For OU students in particular: A taster for online/distance Delivers improved progression for those that use OpenLearn A vehicle for module choice / qualification pathway

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    Who are OpenLearn learners?

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    How do they feel about their learning?


    A test to give confidence my next

    module choice is appropriate for me



    Declare improved

    confidence in ability to study.

    Are students (of this --

    100,000 OU students / year).

    Want OU-branded recognition

    for informal learning.

    More likely to take

    another free course.

    More likely to

    recommend OU

    content to others.



    The free extracts of courses gave me

    confidence to enroll in my first moduleI

    have also been using them to practice

    time management.

    A good talking point and something

    to include on my CV

    Fees are now too high for me to

    consider continuing my degree

    Thank you for providing a resource

    for people that cannot get to a facility

    due to physical or financial difficulty.

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    OpenLearn launch in 2006

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    OpenLearn in 2006: LearningSpace and


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    OpenLearn merging of sites 2010

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    Social learning support, then and now

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    Top ten courses on OpenLearn

    1. Start writing fiction2. Introduction to bookkeeping and

    accounting3. Essay and report writing skills4. Getting started on classical Latin5. Introduction to child psychology6. Introduction to music theory7. Spanish Espacios publicos8. The importance of interpersonal skills9. Nutrition, vitamins and minerals10. Starting psychology

    2008 2016

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    Comparing trends in search

    2009: 45% of visitors came to the platform via Internet search;

    45% from referral sites and 10% from typing a direct URL.

    2016: >90% of learners come to the platform via Internet


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    OpenLearn today

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    What this has achieved in 10 years

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    What OU students think of OpenLearn

    Survey 2015: 1,127 respondents:

    48% had used OpenLearn.

    Majority (72%) had viewed free courses, over videos, activities or othershort pieces of learning.

    Of those who had used OpenLearn, majority declared increase in

    confidence in their studies as a result.

    Those who had used OpenLearn were 5-10% more likely to progress tothe next module.

    Qualitative data

    Identifies four main themes as to the opportunity that using OpenLearn affords:

    1. To re-assure that they have the ability to study at HE level;

    2. To see what study at the OU is like before making a commitment;3. To help students choose the right module as they move through a qualification;

    4. To use OpenLearn materials as an additional resource to augment their learning.

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    Integrating OEP producing

    OpenLearn courses

    Module choice

    RetentionKey skills + preparation

    Postgraduate qualifications

    Engaging learner groups

    Mass appeal + profile raising

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    OEP for OL courses: process

    OU module conceived

    OpenLearn course proposal agreed

    OpenLearn course specified.

    OU module specified.


    OpenLearn course produced.

    OU module produced

    Critical read, review and signoff

    OpenLearn course live before OU


    Syndication to YouTube, Google

    Play, Amazon, iTunes U

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    Guiding principles for OpenLearn courses

    Learners most value quizzes with feedback Use of activities and video also highly rated Select the most engaging content within a module Make a key topic accessible to new learners Ensure the course works as a stand-alone piece of learning Learners value recognition for their achievement (statement of


    New assets, such as videos and animations are used in module Others OER used in OpenLearn course

    Closed environments with a start and finish date i.e. MOOCs, have lower completion rates than open courses Forced social activity encourages high drop-out Straight adaptation of module content performs poorly

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    When done well

    Data over 6 months: 1st December 2014 to 31st May 2015 (site averages in brackets)

    Unique browsers 10,703 Average pages viewed 11.07 (3.27) % UK 79.4% (50%) CTR to OU courses 21% (~11%)

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    OpenLearn learners want OU-branded recognition for their learning.


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    What are digital badges?

    Image credits: Thornhill School; and Patrina Law.

    As a coming together of games culture and the traditional badge issuing by clubs and societies, a digital badge has developed to become an online visual representation of an accomplishment or skill (Ostashewski & Reid, 2015) issued in a variety of formal and non formal settings.

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    Badged Open Courses: assessment

    All BOCs are 24 hours of learning

    Automatically-assigned via Moodle quizzes

    Learners need to achieve 50% to pass an assessment

    Learners are given three attempts

    If they fail on the third attempt, they can retake after 24 hours

    Practice assessment is available throughout the course

    All pages of the course must have been read

    Formal assessment halfway and at end of course

    Two successful assessments = 1 badge

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    Badged Open Courses: impact

    2500+ badges issued

    The BOCs are generating around 12,000 new visitors a month to OpenLearn

    They drive a very high proportion of learners to click-through to make an enquiry to the OU (26.2% Feb-Nov 2015)

    Completion rates of BOCs are higher than our MOOCs

    350 formal module registrations have been made (mostly entry level)

    2,500 prospectus requests

    >300 qualification sign-ups (mostly new students)

    Satisfaction rates very high (~98%)

    57% say that they will be sharing their achievements with an employer

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    Badge displayMozilla Backpack (or other aggregator)

    My OpenLearn ProfileSocial networks

    Printable certificate

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    Integrating open principles

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    OpenLearn and OpenLearn Create

    10th anniversary redesign

    Thank you for [email protected]

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