October saw the return of the #OUStudyChallenge – a month of exciting study challenges designed to connect Open University students with each other, and to prepare them for their forthcoming studies.
Throughout the month, students on Instagram were prompted to share photos and videos with the hashtag #OUStudyChallenge, based on the daily challenges (as shown below).
This year, there were over 3,000 posts as OU students engaged with the daily challenges, with students describing the challenge as “great fun”, “really good” and an “awesome way to meet new people”.
You can look at the photos and videos submitted by OU students by visiting the #OUStudyChallenge tag on Instagram – instagram.com/explore/tags/oustudychallenge/?img_index=1.
Students who took part were also eligible for a prize draw to win three prize boxes containing lots of stationery, OU branded pens/notebooks etc and an OU hoodie.
Student engagement has increased year-on-year since the challenge began in 2021.
Emily Hall, Social Media Coordinator at the Open University, is delighted with the response: “I am happy to see so many students take part because it is an amazing way for new and existing students to find community and learn more about the OU.”
The #OUStudyChallenge (initially called the October Study Challenge) was conceived in 2021 by three students – Sam Evans, Annette Hunsley and Alana Smith. Alana explained the motivation behind the challenge.
“We wanted to find an easy way for other OU students to make friends with each other, as often that can be the part people find the hardest. We started chatting on Instagram, made a WhatsApp group, and then moved on to Zoom calls.
“Alongside Sam and Annette, I’ve made some other great friends both in my degree and others who aren’t. These friends have opened opportunities for possible career changes and other opportunities, and ideas which I might never have considered.
“Even though the OU is a distance-learning university, it doesn’t mean it has to be solitary. Distance doesn’t need to be a barrier.”
NB: The challenge on 5 October asked “What OU groups have you joined? (or which groups do you plan on joining)?” To find out more information about these groups, you can visit the clubs and societies page on the Association website – oustudents.com/clubs-and-societies/.