Major upgrade of OpenLearn, the free online learning platform

Major upgrade of OpenLearn, the free online learning platform


We successfully transformed the OpenLearn platform to be optimised for mobile, improved the user experience, and secure for all users.

About The Open University

Since its launch in 2006, the OpenLearn platform has become an integral part of The Open University, with the site attracting over 8.5 million visitors a year. It hosts nearly 1,000 free courses and more than 11,000 hours of learning content.

The challenge

Operating at scale presented a number of IT challenges which included mobile compatibility across all operating systems, OpenLearn platform and page loading times, maintaining business continuity for both staff and students, and ensuring GDPR compliance of all personal data. Having had multiple suppliers in the past also caused inconsistencies in workflow processes and produced conflicting coding practices. The Open University needed to address these challenges while keeping site downtime to a minimum

The Open University appointed NashTech to deliver:

  1. A user friendly easily navigable site structure
  2. The platform for use on mobile devices
  3. Security and code quality

Our approach

A NashTech onsite project manager was seconded to The Open University, who worked closely with a team leader fluent in the English language to ensure strong and open communication channels between teams.

NashTech’s software development experts also worked closely with The Open University’s internal stakeholders, working through the design and functional requirements to agree on the platform architecture, design, feature backlog and key priorities

The solution

We delivered to a phased implementation plan over a six month period to minimise any disruption to the service. With high traffic priority pages and new navigation in place, the next step was to optimise all other pages on the site.

Result & benefits

OpenLearn was successfully transformed to be optimised for mobile, with an improved user experience, and greater security for all users in 2017.

NashTech continues to work with The Open University, continually improving these capabilities, while adding new features and implementations to enhance the learning experience on the OpenLearn platform

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