About iTunes U

iTunes U is a subset of the Apple iTunes store, enabling universities and other learning institutions to distribute free learning materials in text, audio, and video formats. It launched in 2007 for US universities and 2008 for UK universities. Among UK universities with iTunes U sites are Open University, Oxford, Nottingham, Cambridge, Cranfield, and many others. Universities do not pay for their iTunes U site, but they supply the server space, content, and manpower to produce and store content. In August 2010, Apple reported downloads had topped 300 million.


The iTunes software is free and runs on both Windows and Mac computers. iTunes U material can be downloaded without logging in with an iTunes account. Therefore, no purchase from Apple is necessary to access learning material.

iTunes U is not a repository of Open Educational Resources (OER), but it can be considered a channel of OER.

One notable development in the UK is that in spring of 2011, Worcestershire County Council launched its own iTunes U channel, sharing out resources such as Oral History from its museum collection.

SPIDER project is looking at how and and why universities choose to distribute their material on iTunes U and how these materials are being used. Outputs from SPIDER will be FAQ, guidelines, and real-life case studies for universities considering iTunes U.

Photo courtesy of madalyn_k on Flickr


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Please contact Terese Bird for further details.

E-mail: tmb10@le.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)116 252 5763