Friday, 28 June 2013

A review of Open2Study

Open2Study is a MOOC platform launched in April 2013 by Open Universities Australia, a twenty-year-old online education collaborative of several Australian universities.

The specificities of Open2Study:

The courses are sourced from the Australian universities involved with the Open Universities consortium but also from corporate partners such as Enterprise Architects (architecture professional services firm) and Stamford Interactive (a user experience consultancy).
The 19 courses being offered are all in a similar format:

- 4 weeks long
- 8 to 10 videos (5-10 minutes)
- a single question after each video to test comprehension
- weekly quizzes

Compared to edX and Coursera, Open2Study seems more focused toward concrete career skills rather than core academic subjects.

Open2Study’s strong points:

Open2Study offers synchronous courses with a start date, a finish date and weekly assignments but all assignment can be submitted up to the last day of the course.
This simple approach has most of the advantages of synchronous courses without the drawbacks.

Open2Study offers free certificates of completion (and grade report) for all of its courses.

  • Gamification

When it comes to gamification, Open2Study has clearly taken a page from Codecademy’s book. Numerous badges are to be won all along the course.

Open2Study’s not so strong points:

Compared to other MOOC platforms, Open2Study’s courses are not interactive.
Open2Study’s forums are not quite as active as forums on other MOOC platforms.

  • Less advanced platform

Open2Study’s platform lacks some features commonly used by MOOCs on Coursera or edX (peer assessment, hangouts, etc.).

  • No curriculum

Open2Study is offering diverse and interesting courses but is yet to organise coherent curriculums.

  • No corporate backers

Even though some of its courses are almost vocational in nature, Open2Study hasn’t made seeking corporate backing for its courses a priority.

A newcomer in the MOOC ecosystem, Open2Study is obviously not as mature as rivals Udacity, edX or Coursera.
It is not a “me too” platform hower. It has an interesting approach to online learning and some of its initial courses are very much worth taking.

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