There are many reasons why individuals choose to engage in OERu courses, for example:
- Self-interest – participants who are learning for learning’s sake. Informal learners choose topics they find interesting and “sip and dip” into learning pathways they choose. We encourage informal learners to join the learning conversation in the course forums and WENotes comments.
- Try-before-you buy – learners, who are not sure if university-level education is for them, can trial what learning at the higher education level is like.
- Professional development – updating and expanding skills. Many OERu courses offer micro-credentials and learners interested in digital certification for assessed learning complete and submit the designated assessments.
- Pursuing academic credit – learners who register for courses to gain formal academic credit. We recommend that these learners participate in the activities and learning challenges which are designed to prepare learners for the course assessments for academic credit. Note that learners, who first start studying out of self-interest, can decide at a later stage to submit assessments for formal credit or micro-credentials.
- Academic volunteers – individuals with an interest in the topic or subject area who volunteer time to support OERu learners in the forums; for example, retired academics or senior learners who want to support the OERu learning community.