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Bringing the Social into Learning

, The Open University, United Kingdom


What does being active and engaged/ing in an open world of learning really mean? The Open University has 40 years experience of bringing learning to life. Starting with TV and radio we drew previously excluded learners into the world of formal learning. In the last few years we have extended our reach through the widespread release of high quality open content through multiple channels and formats. However, access and availability do not necessarily lead to engagement or activity. Combining social media with open educational resources (OER) in our OpenLearn system, we have created opportunities for people to get together online in collaborative engagement around educational resources that support formal and informal learning.

Our experiences using social spaces and open media and content provide us with a growing understanding of: the dynamics of learners' interactions; how to get learning value from social networks; ways to support learners as they make their 'learning journey'; new forms of interaction that support learners; and ways of going beyond content search to effective mentoring and scaffolding for learning.


Law, A. (2011). Bringing the Social into Learning. Presented at EdMedia: World Conference on Educational Media and Technology 2011. Retrieved March 22, 2019 from .