Open University brings Linux to local schools

A World-Class Distance Learning Program

A distance-learning institution based in the United Kingdom, Open University is one of the largest universities in the world. The university has been an NDG customer since 2005, using our NETLAB+ platform to deliver hands-on IT training to students all over the world. More recently, Open University turned to NDG when it wanted to expand its Linux offerings.

Hands-on IT Training at a Distance

As a distance-learning institution, Open University needed a way to deliver the hands-on skills and training demanded by today’s employers. “NETLAB+ was one of the keys that solved our distance learning problem,” explains Andrew Smith, Senior Lecturer in the STEM School of Computing and Communications at Open University. “When we distance teach, we have about 400 to 600 students learning networking, and a number of them cannot attend our day school classes because they’re serving in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, or are disabled, or caring for family members. So to ensure that they have the right hands-on skills, we use NETLAB+.”

With NETLAB+, learners are able to complete IT labs in a wide variety of technologies from anywhere with an internet connection. This capability has enabled Open University to expand both its curriculum and its enrollment significantly over the years.

Preparing Students for LPI’s Linux Essentials Certification

A few years ago, Open University was looking for a way to expand its Linux offering and reach a wider community of students. Smith found NDG’s Linux Essentials course in the Cisco Networking Academy and realized that it would be well-suited for a course focused on LPI’s Linux Essentials certification.

“That course runs like a dream,” notes Smith. “Because we’re a Cisco Academy Support Center as well, I’ve got a couple of academies that are very big on Linux. I’ve got a university in Hertfordshire and a school in Bedfordshire, which are counties near us, who are just big fans of Linux, and they are using the content to underpin their qualifications, whether it’s tech qualifications for schoolchildren or part of an undergraduate program. NDG’s Linux courses have made it really easy for us to support these other academic institutions and reach a wider community of students.”