Colonial and Revolutionary America: A Free Course

Although the flow of open educational resources has been slowing down lately (another casualty of the recession), the stream has not yet run dry.

Stanford has recently added another free course to its iTunes collection. Taught by Jack Rakove, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, Colonial and Revolutionary America (iTunesU –  Feed) covers the early phase of the traditional American history survey course. The major themes addressed here include “the character of colonial society; the origins and consequences of the American Revolution, from the Stamp Act controversy to the adoption of the Federal Constitution; the impact of the Revolution on the general population and culture; and (implicitly) the long-term significance of the social and political history of this era for our conceptions of American nationhood, society and citizenship.” This course is being rolled out in weekly installments. You’ll currently find seven lectures, but there will eventually be 30.

I’ve added the course to our big collection of Free University Courses, and it will be permanently housed there. This page is loaded with links to thousands of hours of free lectures and courses from major universities. A great resource in general, and particularly for these lean times. Check it out, and please forward it to a friend (or mention it on your web site) if you have a chance. Thanks.

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Comments (4)
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  • norelpref says:

    Don’t get me wrong, this site is “the bomb,” but I find it slightly ironic for an entity with the name “Open Culture” to link to proprietary services like iTunes. Yeah, it’s technically free, but, like “RealPlayer,” still corporate. Why don’t sites use repositories like and use basic RSS for distribution?

  • Dan Colman says:

    Hi there,

    I did some checking with Stanford’s iTunes team and actually found an rss feed for the course and added it to the post. That should help “open” things up a bit. As you probably know, I always try to include links to multiple media formats whenever possible. In some cases, the formats are limited, and it’s too bad. But I definitely think that one format (while not ideal) is better than nothing.


  • Dave says:

    Dan: Thanks for finding the feed. It seems like you need to trim a couple of letters off the end of the link as there’s an extra ‘>.’ that doesn’t belong.

  • Dan Colman says:

    Dave. Thanks for the heads up on that. Got it fixed.


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