Tuesday, August 30, 2011

DIY Pizza: Open Education Resources (MIT) Precursor to Stanford Free Online Courses?

The MIT OpenCourseWare project does NOT deliver courses. 
[See Part I of this series: Free Online Stanford Courses for Other Colleges]
As one of the first and best known sources of "open education resources," MIT has distinguished quite clearly between course resources and courses: "MIT OpenCourseWare is intended as a publication of MIT course materials, not as an interactive experience with MIT faculty. MIT OpenCourseWare does not offer users the opportunity for direct contact with MIT faculty. It provides the content of - but is not a substitute for - an MIT education." More... Also see: http://ocw.mit.edu

Many resources such as those being offered by MIT and Stanford (and recently, several other institutions)  could be useful to faculty and students at other institutions.  Even for those many  (most?) courses which are important components of an effective undergraduate education and usually NOT susceptible to pizza-like delivery.  Faculty can compare their own curriculum plans and assignments and see how colleagues at MIT and Stanford address various topics.  Students can use these resources for course enrichment and research.  Faculty can recommend these other materials to provide their own students with distinct, respectable, alternative points of view, perhaps stimulating deeper more critical analysis.

Photo of "Socket F for AMD Opteron processor, opened" 20 February 2007 by de:Benutzer:Smial
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