Open Classrooms are student centered classrooms that began to become popular in the nineteen seventies. The idea behind the design in the nineteen seventies was to have a large group of students with numerous teachers to administer them at once. The idea often proved to be a disruptive feat and did not work well – as the school had no barriers or walls, and basically took place in an outdoor setting. Now, Open Classroom is seen as a technological academic format in which classroom are available for all for free.
Like prestigious schools such as Yale and Harvard who have their own programs that I have discussed in the past, Stanford University, who also offers Stanford Engineering Everywhere – a method of free learning that all can access some of the information that students in the engineering department at Stanford receive – also offers a service to the public called Stanford Open Classroom. Stanford Open Classroom is directed towards the Computer Science aspect of Stanford U. Open Classroom started in 2010 and has since been labeled as an awesome addition to the education atmosphere. It was expected to reach hundreds of thousands of viewers – and it has done exactly that.
Stanford University’s Open Classroom offers full courses in short videos, such as Introduction to Human-Computer Interaction Design, as well as Unsupervised Feature Learning and Deep Learning – which is accordingly a “Machine learning algorithms that learn feature representations from unlabeled data…”
The page is simple and does not offer much information upon first look. However, when you enter a course listed, such as Human-Computer Interaction Design, the page offers a description of the course, a syllabus, as well as several parts of the class – divided by video lectures. The classes are detailed, and because they are not a compilation of the entire course – you are able to pick and choose when you want to learn and easily pick back up where you left off.
If you want to be able to view the videos off-line and on the go, you can even download them on your mobile viewer and laptop or tablet by utilizing the Web Applications section available on the right sidebar of the home page.
However, according to Chronicle, for students at Stanford who are actually paying for the full courses, they may feel “cheaped out” of a real college experience when the technological lectures begin to take place of actual lectures – which some students may deem a shame. For everyone else though – those who are not at Stanford but still wish to acquire the information, the experience is good. The article goes even as far to state that the original intention of the innovation was to create a better learning experience for Stanford students, not the general public.
Nonetheless if you feel you are able to benefit from the efforts of Stanford Open Classroom, you should utilize the information that is freely given.