One thing that has been invaluable in examining the OU’s courses has been the new(ish) OpenLearn site - essentially, this contains a selection of the OU’s course materials for free. Given that this includes some post-graduate material, the courses for which can cost thousands of pounds, this is not to be underestimated. Even if you just want to brush up on a subject by reading some course material, this could be a very good place to start. The site also appears to have some rudimentary social networking features which, whilst they don’t quite seem to have widely adopted yet, could form the basis of a ‘learning community’.
It’s hard for me to look at something like this and not see this as being a big part of the future of education. Knowledge workers such as IT professionals are already used to the idea of being largely self-taught, and the availability of high-quality materials in a variety of subjects can only promote this idea.Share