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2019 Brings the Closure of a Free Course Provider

Pat Bowden

Open2Study opened its doors from Australia five years ago and has had nearly two million students. It was one of the few providers still offering free certificates.

The First Clue

A clue appeared about three weeks ago, when a student advised Class Central that she was unable to enroll in a self-paced Open2Study course. When I investigated, the course catalogue was listed on the Open2Study site but I was unable to enroll in any courses, either self-paced or those scheduled to start on January 7th, 2019.

I sent an email via the Contact page, but received no response. This was no great surprise, as late December is the middle of Australian summer holidays.

In the last day or two, several learners have contacted Class Central asking about access to Open2Study courses, including one student who started a course on January 7th, then could not access the course the following day. Because Class Central is not involved in running the courses, I referred that student to the Open2Study Help/Contact pages.

Formal Notification

A few hours later, I received an email from Open2Study advising that the site is closing. I have one week to complete a self-paced course I had enrolled in a few months ago. Logging in and accessing that course was easy. I could not access any other courses.

Only four self-paced courses still appear on the Open2Study site. All the rest have now disappeared. My guess is that the remaining four will disappear after January 15th. Exploration of the Open2Study site reveals links to many of the free courses, but the information pages state that “Classes are no longer available”.

All the Open2Study courses followed a similar format: 4 weeks of study, with around 10 short lecture videos each week. A simple “pop quiz” question followed each video, with around 10 questions rounding off each week. If you passed all the weekly quizzes with a 60% pass mark in three attempts, you received a free unverified certificate.

Many Open2Study courses blatantly advertized (paid) online undergraduate or postgraduate courses available through Open Universities Australia.

If Open2Study had sent the email in December, and updated their site properly before the midsummer holiday break, there would be fewer disappointed students.

ADDITION Receiving Your Certificate

After writing this article, I received an email from a reader asking if there was any way for students who had not downloaded their certificates could access them. I searched the Open Universities Australia website and found an email address for concerns and complaints. I sent an email and received a response saying, “If you are wanting to access any of your previously completed certificates for O2S, please feel free to email back to feedback@open.edu.au

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Pat Bowden

Online learning specialist, still learning after 100+ MOOCs completed since 2012. Class Central customer support and help since 2018. I am keen to help others make the most of online learning, so take a look at my website: www.onlinelearningsuccess.org

    Comments 8

    1. Avatar

      Eric Hrahsel

      Its been a very sad moment for me to see open2study go, because, it was what made me a mooc lover.

      I hope open2study will come back with a better comeback and with better free content.

      Reply
    2. Avatar

      Mehmet

      Apparently the platform has shut down completely, not allowing anyone to access their previous accomplishments thus with potentially more disappointed students.

      Reply
    3. Avatar

      Javier

      Yep, that was quite fast ! Sometimes it is an advantage to be a hoarder: I have copies of my courses 🙂

      Reply
    4. Avatar

      Fay

      I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to study through Open2 study. I completed at least 12 of their courses and the standard and method were brilliant. Thank you Open2study!

      Reply
    5. Avatar

      Richard A Chenevert

      I too was a MOOC learner with Open2Study; beginning 2 @4 week courses in early December 2018: Art of Photography, delivered by Shane Hulbert of RMIT University, and Basic Physics presented by Wayne Rowlands of Swinburne University. The classes were introductory samplers of 4 weeks length.
      I rate the content and presentation as excellent and likely a good lead-in for students who would like to pursue these subjects in full depth as resident students or as paid tuition online students.
      I rate the organization of the site and the mechanics of functionality as excellent: All one needed to do was dive into the content, since use was highly intuitive and obvious.
      The free content site seems to have been created as a teaser, since a 4 week class with small hourly demands could not pretend to go deep into content.
      Was very nice for what it was & while it lasted.
      Richard

      Reply
      • Avatar

        Dee

        So agree! It was a wonderful format. So grateful to have taken advantage of them when I did last year. Wish more courses had that kind of format and quality.

        Reply
    6. Avatar

      sandeep

      it is very sad to hear that open2study site has been closed . I have already completed 2 coures from this site . . but i don’t have hard copies of my those certificates .
      can anyone help me that how can i get those certificates ?
      my email id – ranasandeep5099@gmail.com

      Reply
    7. Avatar

      Vivian

      I am yet another victim of having completed a course and, not immediately getting my certificate, will now never be able to do so it seems. I sent an email to the address given above (thanks for that) but after some time still have not received a reply. Am very disappointed that I, and anyone having accessed the facility, we’re not given any notice of the indented closure of the site – not a difficult thing to do these days with the available technology.

      Reply

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