Sunday, January 16, 2011

OA Courses for Independent Scholars at MIT

According to MIT News, courses designed for independent learners are being introduced by MIT:
For the first time, MIT OpenCourseWare is introducing courses designed to serve the needs of independent learners, visitors to the site who have no affiliation with academic institutions. These "OCW Scholar" courses address a need the MIT faculty never envisioned in 2000 when the idea for OCW was first conceived. At that time, the expectation was that other educators would use the syllabi, lecture notes, assignments and exams from MIT courses to design their own courses. But in this first decade of MIT OpenCourseWare, independent learners have emerged as the primary users of these materials. . . .

While OCW Scholar courses represent a new approach to OCW publication, they complement the regular OCW publication but do not replace it. Because the OCW Scholar courses require faculty to create new content, they involve significantly more effort than the basic OCW approach. "We're still committed to publishing MIT's materials as we always have," says OCW Executive Director Cecilia d'Oliveira, "and our core publication continues to provide tremendous value to educators and students around the world. With OCW Scholar, we are enhancing our support for independent learners and building on what we've accomplished with the rest of the site."

The OCW team will continue to publish new and updated versions of materials drawn directly from MIT classrooms to support the broad international audience that already benefits from OCW. Last year alone, OCW received 17.5 million visits from 9.5 million individuals, and to date the site has been visited more than 75 million times by an estimated 45 million individuals. OCW content on affiliate and translation sites has been viewed by millions more. This dramatic success provides a solid foundation for innovations such as OCW Scholar. . . .
Click here for the full article.

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