MIT Brings Science & Technology Courses to Your Home

Five years ago, MIT launched an ambi­tious ini­tia­tive with its Open­Course­Ware project. The con­cept was fair­ly sim­ple. It involved putting online the mate­ri­als from MIT cours­es — the syl­labi, read­ing lists, course notes, assign­ments, etc. — and mak­ing them avail­able online to the world at large. Ben­e­fit­ing from this ini­tia­tive were stu­dents and fac­ul­ty across the globe, all look­ing to find guid­ance on how to teach them­selves, or their stu­dents, the lat­est in their par­tic­u­lar aca­d­e­m­ic field. By ear­ly this year, MIT had online mate­ri­als for 1,285 cours­es and was receiv­ing 36,000 dai­ly vis­its to the Open­Course­Ware site. A suc­cess by all counts.

If there was a down­side to the MIT ini­tia­tive, it was that the Open­Course­Ware mate­ri­als lacked media ele­ments that real­ly let teach­ers and stu­dents see how a course was taught. It’s one thing to get the course mate­ri­als, but quite anoth­er to see the mate­ri­als in action. These days, MIT has filled that gap by adding audio and video com­po­nents to a num­ber of cours­es. (You can review the full list here.) With this addi­tion, you can now see a vari­ety of MIT cours­es in action, rang­ing from biol­o­gy to physics to genom­ic med­i­cine to ani­mal behav­ior. They’re worth a look.

For more online mate­ri­als from top-notch uni­ver­si­ties, see our full list. Uni­ver­si­ty Online Cours­es & Online Media.

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