The OU has responded to the desire for enhanced online collaboration with an online learning space called SocialLearn for students, staff, alumni and the general public to sample.
With the increase in the use of third party social media/networking platforms, the ability to learn and collaborate with others is now a reality and the OU’s SocialLearn offers a new kind of collaborative learning space.
The OU has always been at the forefront of multi-channel learning using television, radio, iTunes U, and YouTube, and culminating in the OpenLearn online learning hub. These channels enable the OU to reach a wide, global audience and are designed to open up informal learning to anyone, whatever their educational needs and experience.
SocialLearn now takes this opportunity one step further. The Open University’s online learning space is available as an early beta release for students, staff, alumni and the general public to sample.
SocialLearn is open to anyone and is free. It’s aimed at those who want to advance their personal learning no matter what the subject and will continue to develop as the community grows.
Users can benefit from a wealth of learning tools to give structure to their studies with features including:
- Learning paths – user-generated ‘playlists’ of learning resources that can be shared and which provide step-by-step guides to explain ideas and help people progress in their informal studies;
- A virtual “backpack” that enables users to bookmark, comment and rate any website they visit, and import materials back into their own SocialLearn space, creating a personalised ‘scrapbook’ of learning materials from across the web;
- Social networking tools such as status updates, friends and follows, ratings, and the ability to create groups of like-minded learners;
- Experimental learning recommendations that personalise the experience and guide users towards relevant content and people across the web.
OU Vice-Chancellor Martin Bean said: “The rise and rise of informal, personal learning continues with SocialLearn, a very exciting development from the OU.
“This free website combines the very best open educational resources and social networking tools, and offers the great potential that comes from people connecting and sharing learning materials.
“It is a point of pride for me that the Open University is spearheading this new kind of collaborative space”.
To find out more about SocialLearn log on at www.open.edu/sociallearn.
To give feedback on SocialLearn email socialLearn@open.ac.uk