The OpenCourseWare Initiative: A New Model for Sharing

author: Anne H. Margulies, MIT OpenCourseWare, Center for Future Civic Media, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT
published: July 23, 2013,   recorded: March 2004,   views: 19

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Since making its “proof of concept” debut in the Fall of 2003, MIT’s OpenCourseWare (OCW) Initiative has racked up some impressive numbers. This project makes course materials used in MIT undergraduate and graduate subjects available on the Web, free of charge, to any user anywhere in the world. So far, OCW has translated for the web 700 of MIT’s 2000 courses, spanning MIT’s five schools and all 33 of its academic disciplines, and received “traffic from every country on the planet,” says Anne Margulies. More than 12,000 unique users visit OCW each day, and in a popup survey, 92% of these users pronounced themselves highly satisfied with the site. More than half of these visitors are self-learners, who just want to explore new subjects or stay current on a particular subject. Margulies notes that educators, her primary target group, are enthralled with OCW. They use it to prepare courses or learn new teaching methods. This fits perfectly with MIT’s goal -- the open dissemination of knowledge so that, as Margulies says, “the vision will become a movement” in colleges and universities around the world.

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