With a noble nod to the Internet’s ability to spread knowledge, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has made most of its course material available on the Web- for free that is! The Website for the project, MIT OpenCourseWare, includes material such as lecture notes, course outlines, reading lists, and assignments for each course. Over the next few years, the project expects to provide materials for more than 2,000 courses spanning MIT’s entire curriculum–in architecture and planning, engineering, humanities, arts, social sciences, management, and science.
“With the content posted for all to use, it provides an extraordinary resource, free of charge, which others can adapt to their own needs,” said MIT President Charles M. Vest, in a statement. “We see it as source material that will support education worldwide, including innovations in the process of teaching and learning itself.”
The project began as a pilot program for just two years, starting with the design of the necessary software and services, and the design of protocols to monitor and assess performance. By the end of the two-year period, MIT materials for more than 500 courses were available on the OpenCourseWare (OCW) Website.