MIT Project Offers Free Course Materials Online

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) plans to make the materials for nearly all of its courses freely available on the Internet over the next 10 years in a project known as OpenCourseWare (OCW). Materials to be offered include lecture notes, course outlines, reading lists and assignments for each course. The project is expected to provide materials for more than 2,000 courses across MIT's entire curriculum in architecture, planning, engineering, humanities, arts, social sciences, management and science.

MIT expects the project to provide a variety of benefits. Institutions around the world could make direct use of MIT's OCW materials as reference and sources for curriculum development. These materials might be of particular value in developing countries that are trying to expand their higher education systems rapidly. Individual learners could draw upon the materials for self-study or supplementary use. MIT's OCW infrastructure could serve as a model for other institutions that choose to make similar content open and available. Over time, if other universities adopt this model, a vast collection of educational resources will develop and facilitate widespread exchange of ideas about innovative ways to use those resources in teaching and learning. MIT's OCW will serve as a common repository of information and channel of intellectual activity that can stimulate educational innovation and cross-disciplinary educational ventures. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, (617) 253-1000, www.mit.edu.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) plans to make the materials for nearly all of its courses freely available on the Internet over the next 10 years in a project known as OpenCourseWare (OCW). Materials to be offered include lecture notes, course outlines, reading lists and assignments for each course. The project is expected to provide materials for more than 2,000 courses across MIT's entire curriculum in architecture, planning, engineering, humanities, arts, social sciences, management and science.

MIT expects the project to provide a variety of benefits. Institutions around the world could make direct use of MIT's OCW materials as reference and sources for curriculum development. These materials might be of particular value in developing countries that are trying to expand their higher education systems rapidly. Individual learners could draw upon the materials for self-study or supplementary use. MIT's OCW infrastructure could serve as a model for other institutions that choose to make similar content open and available. Over time, if other universities adopt this model, a vast collection of educational resources will develop and facilitate widespread exchange of ideas about innovative ways to use those resources in teaching and learning. MIT's OCW will serve as a common repository of information and channel of intellectual activity that can stimulate educational innovation and cross-disciplinary educational ventures. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, (617) 253-1000, www.mit.edu.

This article originally appeared in the 10/01/2001 issue of THE Journal.

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