Open Uni breaks download record

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THE Open University has reached yet another milestone as it hit 40 million downloads on iTunes U last month.

The achievement marks a huge increase, nearly doubling the number of downloads in the last 12 months, with a large number of students now downloading directly to their iPads and iPhones.

The OU is one of the biggest and most popular contributors to iTunes U, averaging 275,000 downloads a week.

It regularly appears on the iTunes U Top Charts and has one of the widest ranging libraries, including both audio visual collections, and over 400 eBooks derived from the award winning OpenLearn site.

Martin Bean, Vice-Chancellor of The Open University, said: “Right from the start, the OU has always kept pace with the new technologies of the time and it is fascinating to see the development of the post personal computing stage of the OU on iTunes U.

“It is crucial for part-time students to be able to study when, where and how it suits them and we excel at finding new and better ways to enable students to study on the move.”

Matt Peers, studying for an OU degree in Criminology and Psychological Studies, said: “iTunes U is an integral part of my flexible learning approach.

“I’ve recently purchased an iPad so that study materials, assignment booklets, mind maps, notes and audio/video material can be reviewed whenever I have the freedom to access them.

“I spent many lunch times at work watching and re-watching an interview for a tutor marked assignment on thematic analysis on my iPod and I attribute the high mark that I received due to the flexibility that iTunes U offered me.”

The Open University first posted material on iTunes U in June 2008 and recorded 20 million downloads last June.