Last updated: 02.02.13

Open University launches e-learning app

The Open University (OU) has launched a new application for smartphones and tablets that allows students to use online learning wherever they are and whenever they wish.

OU Anywhere was rolled out on Wednesday (January 30th) and has made course materials from the institution available on various portable devices.

This includes textbooks, videos and other learning resources individuals may need for assignments, which means they are now free to study on the go. Students can also benefit from e-readers, which is a function built into OU Anywhere that allows them to highlight and annotate text, while they can also communicate with tutors and peers through the Virtual Learning Environment.

Martin Bean, vice-chancellor of the OU, said the application lets undergraduates work towards their degree anywhere in the world, whether they want to learn a new language on the beach or analyse rock samples on a train.

He added: "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 app is available to download for Apple and Android smartphone and tablets users, through both the App Store and Google Play. A platform for Kindle Fire and Microsoft Surface owners has not yet been released, but the university said this is to be announced soon.

To begin with, OU Anywhere will offer e-learning for undergraduates studying at levels one and two for modules starting this month, while level three students are to receive the service later this year and postgraduates must wait until 2014.

According to the OU, the online education technology was created in response to the increasing numbers of students using portable devices to aid their studies and people will have the option of accessing course and module texts through the app as an accompaniment to the books and DVDs they typically receive.

This follows the recent news the institution launched a massive open online course platforms to all UK universities and some of the faculties to register for the service included Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, Southampton and St Andrews.