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Open Learning Champions

People at a computer in a community library

Bringing free online educational resources to communities across Scotland.

400 people have completed our Open Learning Champions training.The Open Learning Champions project equips a wide network of people – from third sector organisations to colleges and libraries – with the knowledge and skills to use the OU’s free learning resources to help learners in their communities.

Champions use resources such as OpenLearn and Open Pathways to Higher Education with learners and for their own professional development.

They can also help learners plan the transition from informal to formal learning. The model is based on trusted relationships, such as that between a support worker and carer. 

400 people have completed our Open Learning Champions training.

Open Learning Champion and learner feedback

We carried out an evaluation in 2021 of the previous five years of the Open Learning Champions project, collecting feedback from workshops and annual surveys, and data from OpenLearn, to build a picture of the impact the project. We also asked champions about the impact the pandemic has had on their practice.

The evaluation report reveals we have champions in nearly every local authority in Scotland, that our champions engage dozens of learners in online learning, and that some of these learners continue their journey into formal study.


Doing a wee thing in a subject that interests you makes you more comfortable in the digital space."

Community Engagement Officer, Midlothian

Now that we have been running our programme for a number of years, we are able to proudly report that one of our first participants will soon qualify as a nurse, having applied to college and then university."

Volunteer Coordinator, Edinburgh

Resources for Open Learning Champions

Cover shot of Open Pathways - Guide for learnersThe Open Pathways to Higher Education online resource is supported by a learner guide (.pdf) with information on subject pathways, navigating OpenLearn and support for planning individual learning journeys. 

The Open Learning Champions guide (.pdf) offers information and suggestions to facilitators on using Open Pathways to support individuals and groups of learners in exploring opportunities on OpenLearn.

The OpenLearning Champions Scotland hub on the OpenLearn site showcases the content on OpenLearn as an introduction to learners, and highlights the wide range of materials that have a Scottish context.

There is also a three-hour, beginner-level free online course Become an Open Learning Champion, designed as an easy introduction to using OpenLearn materials with learners.  

Champions can also access learning packages to create bespoke programmes for specific contexts. These are source documents with links to informal and formal resources at different levels.

Packages are available on: transitions (college to Higher Education; school leavers; return to work / learning); employability; languages / ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages); health and social care; community learning; business and entrepreneurship; and third sector / volunteering.

There are also OpenLearning Champions project presentations available. 

Contact us

For more information about the Open Learning Champions project, including how to become an Open Learning Champion contact us.