MIT OpenCourseWare (shortened as OCW) was considered in 1999 by MIT faculty when trying to use Internet to advance knowledge and educate students, which is MIT’s mission. Then it was proposed in 2000 and announced in 2001. Upon its establishment, MIT OCW’s number of courses has raised from 50 to now, 2150 courses. And there has been 125 million visitors to the website. The purpose of the website is to make it possible for anyone to have access to MIT courses’ materials and benefit more people other than only students in MIT. Similar free online courses include coursera, check my post about coursera.
MIT OCW publishes all MIT courses materials online to make them accessible to everyone around the world. The website includes courses and accepts donations. Here are some statistics on MIT OCW:
- OCW has visitors from all over the world. 44% of them area from North America. 20% are from east Asia.
- Approximately one million people visit the website every month.
- The largest group of people using the website is actually self-learner with a percentage of 43%, while the second largest group is students with a percentage of 42%.
- About 96 out of 100 visitors would recommend the website.
The website offers a course finder, you can look for a course by topics, MIT course numbers, or departments. The course finder is really personalized and specific. For example, searching by topics is divided into three different levels, which are topics, subtopics, and specialty. You can also limit the results by features such as video lecture, lecture notes, online textbook, students assessments and so on. You just need to simply find a course and do not have to sign up. You can subscribe the MIT OCW newsletter on Facebook or twitter to keep updated.
Other than the awesome courses, MIT OCW has another great feature! It translates its materials into different language, so all the courses can be used internationally. So far, it provides translated course in the following languages:
- Chinese ( traditional and simplified Chinese)
The way that works is that MIT OCW would work with an organization in the country that speaks a certain language to translate the courses into that language. In order to be the translation organization for MIT OCW, contact them. For example, courses in simplified Chinese are translated by a non-profit organization in China called CORE (China Open Resources for Education).
MIT OCW is also a member of a community of more than 250 universities called the OpenCourseWare Consortium. The key concepts about the community are openness, free, high quality, and around the world. This would really make a difference and make the world better by educating more and more people. MIT can only accept certain amount of students, but by MIT OCW, MIT is “educating” much more people than its school can educate. This avoids elements like lack of money from stopping people from great education. It encourages learning and that is what makes a person improve, then makes out world improve.
So check the MIT OCW to see if there is any course that interests you. And donate to support this great non-profit organization if you can.