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OpenLearn is the University's Open Content initiative, making educational resources freely available on the Internet, with state of the art learning support and collaboration tools to connect learners and educators.

How OpenLearn started

The OpenLearn story started in 2005 with a grant from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation ( Sharing our aim to open access to education for all, they agreed to help us set up the OpenLearn website.

Since 1969, The Open University has been a pioneer in making learning materials freely available through its successful partnership with the BBC. Many of our television and radio programmes are already supported by free internet activities and print materials. We wanted to use our knowledge of the latest technologies in education to extend our mission to be open to people, places, methods and ideas. The vision was free online education.

Website development began in May 2006 and the site was launched in October 2006, with an aim to regularly add new content and features. OpenLearn now offers a full range of Open University subject areas from access to postgraduate level and has seen over 3 million visitors since launch. In April 2008 OpenLearn reached its target to have 5,400 learning hours of content in the LearningSpace ( and 8100 hours in the LabSpace ( It continues to grow representing The Open University's commitment to opening access to education.


Okada, Alexandra, Scott, Peter, Mendonca, Murilo, Effective web videoconferencing for proctoring online oral exams: a case study at scale in Brazil

Okada, Alexandra, Ferreira, Giselle, Co-authorship and colearning through Open Educational Resources at UKOU