The Open University offers 800 free online courses via their OpenLearn platform. And these include free certificates of completion, and sometimes, badges.
Having completed a bachelor’s degree with the Open University, I can attest to the quality of their courses, which cover a wide variety of subjects, ranging from arts and language to science and technology.
In this Class Central article, we discuss OpenLearn, their free online course offering, and how you can earn free certificates and badges.
Launched in 2006, OpenLearn is the OpenCourseWare (OCW) platform of the Open University, the world’s first distance-learning university and one of Europe’s largest academic institutions, founded in 1969 following a push by the UK government to make higher education more accessible.
OpenLearn takes the form of a catalog of open educational resources (OER), including articles, podcasts, videos — and more than 800 free online courses.
Since the platform focuses on openness, you don’t actually need to create an account to access the learning materials. That said, if you do create an account, you’ll be able to save your progress, and upon finishing a course, you’ll unlock a free certificate of completion.
OpenLearn offers a wide variety of courses, as you can see above.
All the courses are on-demand, meaning they don’t have specific start and end dates. And they’re released under the Creative Commons license, meaning you can freely use the course materials in non-commercial contexts.
These can be broken down into three levels (introductory, intermediate, and advanced) and eight categories: