Open Education course – offline mobile version

Screenshot_2013-03-12-10-31-27This week one of my ex-colleagues from the OU, Martin Weller, started a MOOC about openness in education. I think it officially starts at the end of this week and runs for 7 weeks, but all the content is already available. The course (H817) forms part of an OU masters course.

I thought it may be a good test to create an offline mobile version of the course (it’s been released under a creative commons license) using the mobile learning application I’ve been working on – so for anyone who is interested in having a mobile version of the course running on their Android phone which can be accessed even when you have no mobile internet connection – you can get the app here. Once you’ve installed the app and logged in, go to “manage modules” and “Open education” is one of the courses available to download.

A few notes/comments:

  • you will need to register/login to the app – this is for me to help track usage of the app and the different modules/activities used – I won’t share your details or email addresses with anyone else
  • you’ll need an active internet connection to install the app, login and download the module, but once it’s on your phone you no longer need a connection.
  • so far, I’ve just uploaded the first couple of weeks of the course, if people start to use it I’ll upload the rest of the course, the app should automatically notify you when a new version of the course is available (e.g. when I add extra weeks content). I’ve also not yet added the video content  again I’ll see how much interest there is before I embed the videos into the mobile version
  • almost all the activities in the course require you to have an internet connection (e.g. for reading articles, posing to blogs etc), also for the forums – for all these activities, you’ll still need to go to the relevant site – this offline version is just so you can reference the content easily from your mobile.

I hope that me creating this offline version is an example of the “openness” that the course is all about. I’d really welcome any feedback etc, especially on the app itself and how it works for you.

Update (7pm 12/03/2013): Have just added weeks 3 and 4 , plus rearranged the first 2 weeks slightly to split the activities into separate pages. Hope to add the videos and some images too.

Update (5pm 15/03/2013): Have just added the remaining weeks and added the videos




  1. Martin says:

    Great stuff Alex! I haven’t got an Android, so will need to find a way of viewing it. But exactly the type of benefit you get form being open. Thanks very much.

  2. Alex says:

    No worries – hope it’s useful for someone. I used the same system we’re looking to use to deliver the OU HEAT content via mobiles to rural health workers in Ethiopia, so good to get a nice example using different type of content other than healthcare.

  3. Hayley says:

    I love that this sort of activity is happening. I’ve volunteered to help out with another MOOC and this is exactly the sort of activity I’ll be hoping to encourage.

  4. Alex says:

    Thanks Hayley! Let me know when you’re running your other courses and can see if I can put that on the mobile too.

  5. Hayley says:

    That’s amazingly kind Alex. I’ve volunteered to assist with ‘general tutor support and facilitation’ for the ALT ocTEL course. Not sure at this stage what that involvement will be, and materials are currently at review stage, but I will certainly be keeping your name in mind when the time comes around. Thanks again.

  6. […] that blog was shared, yet another student posted a different solution – a customized app ( ) – which conveniently allows students to download the entire MOOC content onto a mobile […]

  7. Darn–saw this on another blog and was so excited about it, then realized it’s not available for IOS. Oh well…obviously you can only do so much for free/volunteer! Thanks for doing this, anyway, as I’m sure it will be useful for many!

  8. Alex says:

    Hi Christina, sorry yes, at the moment it’s only for Android – we’ve been working on the app for health workers in Ethiopia, so have focused on Android for now (not that there are many android smartphones there, but way more than iPhones!). Originally we used PhoneGap, so it could be exported for Android/iPhone/BB etc, but we found it didn’t result in a good user experience for what we wanted to do. Hopefully we’ll get an iPhone version ready in the future. Cheers, Alex

Leave a Reply