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Introduction Studying on a screen

All Open University (OU) modules will require you to study on a screen. While some modules include books, for many you’ll need to go to the module website for your materials. You may also need to do research online, for example, accessing articles online via the OU library.

There are a variety of alternative formats and tools to help you study on a screen successfully. Part of succeeding in study is working out what ways of studying suit you best, so try different options. Where possible, studying digitally is preferable as it also helps to improve your digital skills, which will benefit you both in work and life generally.

There are lots of ways you can change the settings on your computer or device to make reading text on a screen more comfortable. The following pages will give you options if you: 

  • can't look at a screen for a long period of time - for example you get headaches or migraines 
  • find it difficult to read and absorb information from a screen – for example the text blurs or distorts 
  • find some text difficult to read because of the colour contrast
  • can’t read text on some webpages because it is too small
  • have any other problems with reading from a screen. 

You should also consider how to stay healthy when using a computer – there are tips here to avoid eyestrain, reduce aches and pains and look after your mental wellbeing.

Getting further support

At the OU, we create accessible online study materials for all learners (although how you study and the types of learning materials will vary from module to module). You don't need to tell us about a disability or provide supporting evidence to access these. See Adjustments and support available through the OU.

If you have told us about, or now want to tell us and provide evidence of, a disability or health condition, you may be eligible to request adjustments such as assistive technology. You can contact the Disability Support team to discuss your needs.

Last updated 1 month ago