In addition to the formal use of OU materials by other institutions there has long been informal use. The joint OU and DES ‘Review of the Open University’, 1991, p52 noted the sale of packs to groups, the purchase by all but one of the UKs universities and polytechnics of off-air recording licences which permitted them to record OU broadcasts, the sales of 1,500 course units to 70 higher education institutions and a further 2,000 units to bookshops near campuses. Surveys indicated that academic staff at many institutions used OU materials. It was concluded that

It is generally recognised that the University’s materials have been widely disseminated within the educational world and that they have had a widespread effect on teaching in conventional universities.

As Rex Watson, a Tutor since 1973, recorded on the website in a piece entitled ‘Tutoring mathematics, some reflections’:

The standard of OU written and other material is rightly in my view regarded highly, as a general rule. I have myself learnt quite a bit of new mathematics, and have often pinched ideas to use in my other work!

If you have been inspired to make use of OU materials for activities beyond teaching and learning at the OU, do let us know.  Perhaps you can tell us of examples of modules (courses) which drew on OU ideas? You can comment on this blog or post on the website.

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