(M2 PressWIRE Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Students will be able to study for their qualifications whenever and wherever suits them best, thanks to a new tablet and smartphone app from The Open University (OU).
OU Anywhere, which will begin rolling out on 30th January, will see all OU course materials made available on tablets, smartphones and other mobile devices.
For the first time, students will have the option to download all the textbooks, videos and other materials they need, allowing them to study while at home, in the office, or on the move. Students can use native e-readers to highlight and annotate text using the app, as well as interacting with tutors and fellow students online through the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).
Martin Bean, the Vice-Chancellor of The Open University, said:
"From learning a language on the beach to analysing rock samples on the train, OU Anywhere will let our students work towards their qualifications whenever and wherever suits them best. Making education and training accessible to all is vital if we're going to get the economy growing again, and OU Anywhere will make it easier than ever for students to fit their studies around their busy lives."
The initiative was created in response to rising numbers of students using smartphones and tablets as part of their studies. Powered by the OU's VLE, OU Anywhere will make available all the materials a student needs in order to study. Students will have the option of accessing their course and module texts and media through the app in addition to the books and DVDs traditionally posted to them at the start of their studies.
Apple and Android smartphone and tablet users will be able to install OU Anywhere through the App Store and Google Play from the 30th of January. Apps for Kindle Fire and Microsoft Surface will follow shortly afterwards.
Undergraduates will be able to access content immediately, with postgraduate materials coming online early next year.
2. Our previous release regarding the app had OU Anywhere presented as "OUAnywhere". Owing to technical challenges presented by reader software for some devices, it is now "OU Anywhere".
3. All devices running iOS 6 will be supported at launch, with an update for iOS 5 compatibility appearing shortly after.
4. Some older/low spec Android devices will not be supported.
5. Some courses require additional equipment in order to complete the course (eg. Computers, welding apparatus, etc). These will not be provided through the app.
About The Open University
The Open University (OU) is the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning. Since it began in 1969, the OU has taught more than 1.8 million students and has more than 250,000 current students, including over 15,000 overseas.
The OU came top for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey this year, and has been in the top three universities every year since the survey began in 2005. In 2011/12 it had a 93 per cent satisfaction rating. Over 70% of students are in full-time or part-time employment, and four out of five FTSE 100 companies have sponsored staff to take OU courses.
In the UK's latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008) the Open University was ranked in the top third of UK higher education institutions. More than 50% of OU research was assessed in the RAE as internationally excellent, with 14% as world leading.
Regarded as Britain's major e-learning institution, the OU is a world leader in developing technology to increase access to education on a global scale. Its vast 'open content portfolio' includes free study units on OpenLearn, which has had more than 23 million visits, and materials on iTunes U, which has recorded over 56 million downloads. The OU has a 41 year partnership with the BBC which has moved from late-night lectures in the 1970s to prime-time programmes such as Frozen Planet, Bang Goes the Theory, James May's Big Ideas and The Money Programme.
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