CAMBRIDGE, Mass., July 7, 2010 - Already one of the richest collections of openly shared educational materials in the world, the MIT OpenCourseWare site has reached a significant milestone: With the publication of 10 new courses in the past two weeks, the site now shares core academic materials–including syllabi, lecture notes, assignments and exams–from more than 2,000 MIT courses.
First announced in 2001, MIT OpenCourseWare is an ambitious effort to share MIT's education resources freely and openly on the web to improve formal and informal learning worldwide. All materials are available free of charge and without registration. The site's first courses were published in 2002, and by November 2007, the site contained materials from more than 1,800 MIT courses, representing substantially all of the MIT undergraduate and graduate curriculum.
Since completing the initial publication of the MIT curriculum, the OCW team has shifted focus to primarily publishing updates to previously published courses, but has continued to capture 50 to 70 new courses each year as they are developed by MIT faculty. The addition of these new courses has brought the total number of unique courses on the site to 2,000.
"OCW is truly an MIT community achievement," says OCW Executive Director Cecilia d'Oliveira. "These 2,000 courses represent the voluntary contributions of hundreds of MIT faculty and thousands of MIT students. It's a remarkable feat of intellectual philanthropy."
Since the site was launched in 2002, OCW materials have been visited on the MIT site or partner translation sites 98 million times by an estimated 70 million visitors from around the world. OCW materials are used by faculty, students and independent learners worldwide for a wide variety of purposes. Educators use the materials to improve courses and curricula at their schools; students supplement materials provided for their courses with the content from MIT; and independent learners study for pleasure or in the context of their professional activities.
In the past ten years, OCW has collected hundreds of user stories illustrating the impact of the resource. One example is consultant Biasco Nunez, who describes the importance of OCW to the businesses he serves in Trujillo, Peru. "I provide consulting services to small business owners within the community, including Basics of Business Administration and Technology. OCW represents for all of us, Peruvian small enterpreneurs, workers and teachers all together the most valuable source of knowledge available all the world over."
An OpenCourseWare is a free and open digital publication of high-quality university-level educational materials–often including syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, and exams–organized as courses. While OpenCourseWare (OCW) initiatives typically do not provide a degree, credit, or certification, or access to instructors, the materials are made available under open licenses for use and adaptation by educators and learners around the world.
MIT OpenCourseWare makes the materials used in the teaching of substantially all of MIT's undergraduate and graduate courses–more than 2,000 in all–available on the Web, free of charge, to any user in the world. OCW receives an average of 1.5 million web site visits per month from more than 215 countries and territories worldwide. To date, more than 70 million visitors have accessed the free MIT educational materials on the site or in translation.