The Open University 

Online distance-learning at scale 

Delivering authentic online laboratory experiences at scale to distance learning students in the fields of science, health, computing and engineering; changing the way scientists and engineers of the future are educated via an accessible and inclusive online teaching model.   

The Open University’s OpenSTEM Labs are online laboratories that allow students from anywhere in the world to participate in experimental work, virtually, 24/7 and interactively as if they were in the laboratory. Founded in 2013, the world-leading and multi-award-winning labs make practical science experiments accessible changing the way scientists and engineers of the future are educated by making authentic laboratory experiences possible online and at scale.  They comprise science, health, computing and engineering laboratories, and observatories, principally for accessible and inclusive online teaching.

Each year the OpenSTEM Labs supports over 100,000 hours of student learning supporting more STEM students via distance-learning than traditional universities and helping to address the nation’s critical shortage in STEM skills. Since its inception, the OpenSTEM Labs have supported over 120,000 users of which several thousand are external free users from school children to PhD researchers. More than 10,000 new users register each year to access 146 different practical activities.

OpenSTEM labs have successfully made practical distance-learning of STEM subjects a reality for many, embodying The Open University’s mission to be open to people, places, methods and ideas.