OpenFiction [Blog]

MIT OpenCourseWare teams up with Flat World Knowledge to combine free texts and free course materials

Posted in MIT OpenCourseWare, open education, Open Educational Resources, OpenCourseWare by scarsonmsm on February 29, 2012

Collaboration among open education innovators creates rich learning opportunities for independent learners

CAMBRIDGE, MA, February 29, 2012 – MIT OpenCourseWare and textbook publisher Flat World Knowledge have teamed up to provide free, high-quality textbooks to learners accessing OCW’s innovative OCW Scholar courses.  This is among the first collaborations between an OpenCourseWare publisher and an open textbook publisher and highlights the growing opportunity for open education efforts to reinforce one another in creating rich learning experiences.

“Open education is moving from a collection of projects to a robust ecosystem,” said Creative Commons CEO Cathy Casserly. “Pairing Creative Commons licensed open textbooks from Flat World Knowledge with Creative Commons licensed MIT OpenCourseWare offers students access to a rich set of open educational resources (OER) that can be combined and customized for a more effective educational experience. This shows how commercial publishers can supplement and improve OER with quality assurance and platform support. Here, building on ‘free’ and ‘open’ means lower textbook costs for students.”

Initially, three OCW Scholar courses will be paired with Flat World texts: 14.01SC Principles of Microeconomics (2012), 9.00SC Introduction to Psychology (2012) and 3.091SC Solid State Chemistry (2011).  OCW Scholar courses follow OCW’s original model of openly published course content—such as syllabi, lecture notes, assignments and exams—but are created specifically for independent learners, who typically have few additional resources available to them.  The expert-authored, peer-reviewed texts from Flat World are also openly available, and provide an ideal resource for this audience.

“The combination of free access to world-class textbooks and the flexibility to modify the material exactly to our needs makes Flat World Knowledge ideal for pairing with the OCW Scholar courses,” remarked MIT OpenCourseWare Executive Director Cecilia d’Oliveira,

Flat World Knowledge, a commercial open textbook publisher and pioneer in the open education resources movement, makes their catalog freely available online, and charges modest fees for a variety of digital and print formats. Faculty are supported with supplements, including desk copies, test banks, instructor manuals, lecture slides and video clips.

“Our collaboration represents a new phase in the evolution of open education,” said Eric Frank, President, Flat World Knowledge. “Through this innovative, financially-sustainable model, learners will benefit from a complete package of premium quality material, without the barriers of cost and access.”

Flat World Knowledge also supports the sustainability of MIT OpenCourseWare. A portion of sales of digital or print versions of these texts or ancillary resources goes to support OCW, and Flat World is also providing underwriting support for MIT OpenCourseWare.

About MIT OpenCourseWare

MIT OpenCourseWare makes the materials used in the teaching of substantially all of MIT’s undergraduate and graduate courses—more than 2,100 in all—available on the Web, free of charge, to any user in the world. OCW receives an average of 1.75 million web site visits per month from more than 215 countries and territories worldwide. To date, more than 100 million individuals have accessed OCW materials.  MIT OpenCourseWare is supported by donations from site visitors, grants and corporate sponsorship.

About Flat World Knowledge, Inc.

Founded in 2007, Flat World Knowledge is the largest publisher of open college textbooks for students worldwide. Our mission is to use technology and innovative business models to lower costs, increase access and personalize learning worldwide. Our expert-authored and peer-reviewed textbooks are available in a wide range of low-cost print and digital formats, including a free online version. Flat World Knowledge is a privately-held company funded by Bessemer Venture Partners, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, and Random House, Inc., among others. To date, Flat World textbooks are used at more than 2,000 colleges in 44 countries.  To learn more, visit http://www.flatworldknowledge.com; follow us on Twitter @flat_world; and on Facebook at facebook.com/flatworldknowledge

Contact:

Stephen Carson
External Relations Director
MIT OpenCourseWare
617-253-1250
scarson@mit.edu
http://ocw.mit.edu

Carole Walters
Director of Communications
Flat World Knowledge
914-740-8072 ext. 7505
cwalters@flatworldknowledge.com

Introduction to Electrical Engineering and Computer Science now available in MIT OpenCourseWare’s innovative OCW Scholar format

Posted in MIT OpenCourseWare, mitx, open education, Open Educational Resources, OpenCourseWare by scarsonmsm on February 24, 2012

6.01SC is the fourth of seven courses OCW will publish this spring specifically to meet the needs of independent learners.

CAMBRIDGE, MA, February 25, 2012 — MIT OpenCourseWare has released a new version of Introduction to Electrical Engineering and Computer Science I in the innovative OCW Scholar format designed for independent learners. Coordinated by Professor Dennis Freeman, 6.01SC includes contributions from a half dozen MIT Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) faculty members, and features lecture and recitation videos.

6.01 is one of two introductory courses required of all MIT EECS majors. It was developed as part of a new EECS curriculum introduced in 2005, and is designed to introduce students to electrical engineering and computer science through both theory and practice. 6.01 also provides prerequisite information supporting study in the new 6.002x course being offered this spring through MITx, the online learning initiative MIT announced in December 2011.

OCW Scholar courses represent a new approach to OCW publication. MIT faculty, staff and students work closely with the OCW team to structure the course materials for independent learners. These courses offer more materials than typical OCW courses and include new custom-created content. 6.01SC provides a complete learning experience for independent learners, including lecture videos, recitation videos, course notes, software and design labs, homework assignments and additional exercises, and quizzes and exams.

The first five of a planned 20 OCW Scholar courses were launched by MIT OpenCourseWare in January 2011, and have collectively received more than 800,000 visits in less than a year. The initial OCW Scholar courses included Classical Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism, Solid State Chemistry, Single Variable Calculus, and Multivariable Calculus.

Linear Algebra, Differential Equations, and Principles of Microeconomics were published earlier this year, and Introduction to Electrical Engineering and Computer Science is the fourth of seven OCW Scholar courses that will be published in 2012. Upcoming OCW Scholar courses are Introduction to Psychology, Fundamentals of Biology and Introduction to Computer Science and Programming. OCW Scholar courses are published on the OCW site with the support of the Stanton Foundation.

About MIT OpenCourseWare

MIT OpenCourseWare makes the materials used in teaching most of MIT’s undergraduate and graduate courses—more than 2,100 in all—available on the Web, free of charge, to any user in the world. OCW receives an average of 1.75 million web site visits per month from more than 215 countries and territories worldwide. To date, more than 125 million individuals have accessed OCW materials. MIT OpenCourseWare is supported by donations from site visitors, grants and corporate sponsorship, including underwriting from our Next Decade Alliance sponsors Dow Chemical, Lockheed Martin and MathWorks.

About the Instructors

Leslie Kaelbling is Professor of Computer Science and Engineering and Research Director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT. She has previously held positions at Brown University, the Artificial Intelligence Center of SRI International, and at Teleos Research. She received an A. B. in Philosophy in 1983 and a Ph. D. in Computer Science in 1990, both from Stanford University.

Jacob White is an Associate Director of the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) at MIT. Professor White is a pioneer in numerical methods, particularly in computational prototyping tools and techniques for integrated circuit interconnect, circuit packaging, and micromachined devices.

Harold (Hal) Abelson is Class of 1922 Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT and a Fellow of the IEEE. He holds an A.B. degree from Princeton University and a Ph.D. degree in mathematics from MIT. In 1992, Abelson was designated as one of MIT’s six inaugural MacVicar Faculty Fellows, in recognition of his significant and sustained contributions to teaching and undergraduate education.

Dennis M. Freeman is a principal investigator in the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) at MIT. He received his B.S. from the Pennsylvania State University in 1973, and his S.M. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from MIT in 1976 and 1986 respectively.

Tomas Lozano-Perez is the School of Engineering Professor of Teaching Excellence at MIT, where he is a member of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Professor Lozano-Perez has all his degrees (SB ’73, SM ’76, PhD ’80) from MIT in Computer Science. He has been Associate Director of the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and Associate Head for Computer Science of MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Isaac Chuang came to MIT in 2000 from IBM, where he was a research staff member. He received his doctorate in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, where he was a Hertz Foundation Fellow. Prof. Chuang also holds two bachelors and one masters degrees in Physics and Electrical Engineering from MIT, and was a post-doctoral fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley.

About the Stanton Foundation

The Stanton Foundation was created by Frank Stanton, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest executives in the history of electronic communications. During his 25 years as president of CBS, he turned a lesser-known radio network into a broadcasting powerhouse. Stanton made many historic contributions to the industry and to the society it served. In 1960, he initiated the first televised presidential debates—the famous Nixon-Kennedy “Great Debates”—which required a special Act of Congress before they could proceed. He also spearheaded the creation of the first coast-to-coast broadcasting system, allowing CBS to become the first network to present a news event live across the continental United States, a speech by President Truman at the opening of the Japanese Peace Conference in San Francisco. Frank Stanton was the commencement speaker at MIT in 1961.

Contact:

Stephen Carson
External Relations Director
MIT OpenCourseWare
617-253-1250
scarson@mit.edu

http://ocw.mit.edu

Principles of Microeconomics now available in MIT OpenCourseWare’s innovative OCW Scholar format

Posted in media, MIT OpenCourseWare, open education, Open Educational Resources, OpenCourseWare by scarsonmsm on February 22, 2012

14.01SC is the third of seven courses OCW will publish this spring specifically to meet the needs of independent learners.

CAMBRIDGE, MA, February 22, 2012 – MIT OpenCourseWare has released a new version of Principles of Microeconomics in the innovative OCW Scholar format designed for independent learners. Created under the direction of Professor Jonathan Gruber, 14.01SC Principles of Microeconomics uses conceptual, mathematical, and graphical approaches to microeconomic principles presented through lecture videos, recitation materials and interactive concept quizzes. Microeconomics addresses topics including supply and demand, utility, and pricing.

Professor Gruber has taught at MIT since 1992. In 1997 and 1998, Dr. Gruber served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the Treasury Department. He was a key architect of Massachusetts’ ambitious health reform effort, and in 2006 became an inaugural member of the Health Connector Board, the main implementing body for that effort. During the 2008 election cycle, he was a consultant to the Clinton, Edwards and Obama Presidential campaigns and was called by the Washington Post, “possibly the [Democratic] party’s most influential health-care expert.”

“The fundamentals of microeconomics are critical to understanding many of today’s most pressing issues,” said Professor Gruber.  “I hope this resource will allow many thousands of independent learners to understand economic forces more clearly.”

OCW Scholar courses represent a new approach to OCW publication. MIT faculty, staff and students work closely with the OCW team to structure the course materials for independent learners. These courses offer more materials than typical OCW courses and include new custom-created content. To supplement the traditional text that is used in the MIT class, 14.01SC is also the first OCW Scholar course to be published is association with an openly available textbook, Principles of Microeconomics by Libby Rittenberg, and Timothy Tregarthen, published by Flat World Knowledge.

The first five of a planned twenty OCW Scholar courses were launched by MIT OpenCourseWare in January 2011, and have collectively received more than 800,000 visits in less than a year.  The initial OCW Scholar courses included Classical Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism, Solid State Chemistry, Single Variable Calculus, and Multivariable Calculus.

Linear Algebra and Differential Equations were published earlier this year, and Principles of Microeconomics is the third of seven OCW Scholar courses that will be published in 2012. Other upcoming OCW Scholar courses include Introduction to Psychology, Fundamentals of Biology, Introduction to Electrical Engineering and Computer Science I, and Introduction to Computer Science and Programming. OCW Scholar courses are published on the OCW site with the support of the Stanton Foundation.

About MIT OpenCourseWare

MIT OpenCourseWare makes the materials used in teaching most of MIT’s undergraduate and graduate courses—more than 2,100 in all—available on the Web, free of charge, to any user in the world. OCW receives an average of 1.75 million web site visits per month from more than 215 countries and territories worldwide. To date, more than 125 million individuals have accessed OCW materials.  MIT OpenCourseWare is supported by donations from site visitors, grants and corporate sponsorship, including underwriting from our Next Decade Alliance sponsors Dow Chemical, Lockheed Martin and MathWorks.

About the Jonathan Gurber

Dr. Jonathan Gruber is a Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Director of the Health Care Program at the National Bureau of Economic Research.  He is a co-editor of the Journal of Public Economics, and an Associate Editor of the Journal of Health Economics.

Dr. Gruber received his B.S. in Economics from MIT, and his Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard.  He has received an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship, a FIRST award from the National Institute on Aging, and the Kenneth Arrow Award for the Best Paper in Health Economics in 1994. He was also one of 15 scientists nationwide to receive the Presidential Faculty Fellow Award from the National Science Foundation in 1995. Dr. Gruber was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2005, and in 2006 he received the American Society of Health Economists Inaugural Medal for the best health economist in the nation aged 40 and under. Dr. Gruber’s research focuses on the areas of public finance and health economics. He has published more than 125 research articles, has edited six research volumes, and is the author of Public Finance and Public Policy, a leading undergraduate text.

During the 1997–1998 academic year, Dr. Gruber was on leave as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the Treasury Department. He was a key architect of Massachusetts’ ambitious health reform effort, and in 2006 became an inaugural member of the Health Connector Board, the main implementing body for that effort.  In that year, he was named the 19th most powerful person in health care in the United States by the magazine Modern Healthcare.  During the 2008 election cycle, he was a consultant to the Clinton, Edwards and Obama Presidential campaigns and was called by the Washington Post, “possibly the [Democratic] party’s most influential health-care expert.”

About the Stanton Foundation

The Stanton Foundation was created by Frank Stanton, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest executives in the history of electronic communications. During his 25 years as president of CBS, he turned a lesser-known radio network into a broadcasting powerhouse. Stanton made many historic contributions to the industry and to the society it served. In 1960, he initiated the first televised presidential debates—the famous Nixon-Kennedy “Great Debates”—which required a special Act of Congress before they could proceed.  He also spearheaded the creation of the first coast-to-coast broadcasting system, allowing CBS to become the first network to present a news event live across the continental United States, a speech by President Truman at the opening of the Japanese Peace Conference in San Francisco. Frank Stanton was the commencement speaker at MIT in 1961.

Contact:

Stephen Carson

External Relations Director

MIT OpenCourseWare

617-253-1250

scarson@mit.edu

http://ocw.mit.edu

 

 

MIT OpenCourseWare video retrospective

Posted in media, MIT OpenCourseWare, open education, Open Educational Resources, OpenCourseWare, Video by scarsonmsm on February 22, 2012

Gathering resources for the upcoming Open Education Week (March 5-10) and through this was a pretty good list of video highlights from MIT OpenCourseWare’s first decade.

MIT’s Institutional Decision to do OpenCourseWare
May 2001

Celebrating a Decade of MIT OpenCourseWare
Apr 2011

WISE Awards 2010 laureate Cecilia d’Oliveira for MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW)
Feb 2011

Advancing the OpenCourseWare Movement: Challenges and Achievements
January 2011

Bill Gates on MIT OpenCourseWare
April 2010

Walter Lewin Highlights
December 2007

MIT OpenCourseWare Milestone Celebration Video
November 2007

MIT Milestone Celebration | Keynote Address, Thomas Friedman
November 2007

MIT OpenCourseWare Press Conference
Apr 4, 2001

Cable Green with the case for open textbooks

Posted in Open Educational Resources by scarsonmsm on February 16, 2012

Nobody says it better.

Why MITx and OCW are a powerful pairing

Posted in MIT OpenCourseWare, mitx, open education, Open Educational Resources, OpenCourseWare by scarsonmsm on February 13, 2012

Audrey Watters is covering this morning’s announcement that MITx has opened enrollment for its first course, 6.002x Circuits and Electronics.  She makes a wonderful observation about why MITx and OCW are great combination:

…the connection to MIT OCW is important here, and it’s something that makes MITx quite distinct from some of its online learning competitors. As MITx is situated as part of the university’s broader mission, MIT isn’t just offering isolated courses or content here, disaggregated from other related materials and/or catering to people who already have a fair amount of expertise in a field. Rather the MITx classes will be situated as part of the larger university curriculum and tied into its other online learning initiatives. There will be a list of all the related curriculum and courses on the MIT OCW website, for example, with the pre-requitsites available (and/or coming soon) as MIT OCW Scholar classes.

MITx goes live

Posted in MIT OpenCourseWare, mitx, open education, Open Educational Resources, OpenCourseWare by scarsonmsm on February 13, 2012

If you haven’t seen this already, enrollment is open for the first MITx course, 6.002x Circuits and Electronics.

View related courseware on OCW.

Differential Equations now available in MIT OpenCourseWare’s innovative OCW Scholar format

Posted in MIT OpenCourseWare, open education, Open Educational Resources, OpenCourseWare by scarsonmsm on February 8, 2012

18.03SC is the second of seven courses OCW will publish this spring specifically to meet the needs of independent learners.

CAMBRIDGE, MA, February 6, 2012—MIT OpenCourseWare has released a new version of Differential Equations in the innovative OCW Scholar format designed for independent learners. Organized by Professor Haynes Miller and Dr. Jeremy Orloff, 18.03SC Differential Equations includes lecture videos, exams and solutions, and interactive Java® demonstrations. Differential equations are important to scientists and engineers who need to model natural systems and solve engineering problems.

The original version of 18.03 Differential Equations was first published on OCW in 2004 and has regularly been among the most visited courses on the site, attracting more than 30,000 users each month. Both the original version and the new Scholar version include video recorded in the MIT classroom by renowned math professor Arthur Mattuck. In 1992, Professor Mattuck was among the first group of faculty to be designated Margaret MacVicar Fellows, which recognizes faculty who have made exemplary and sustained contributions to the teaching and education of undergraduates at MIT.

“It’s a real thrill to integrate these outstanding lectures into a format specifically designed to support online learning,” said Professor Miller. “It brings the best of the classroom together with new learning approaches enabled by the Internet.” Professor Miller is also a MacVicar Fellow.

OCW Scholar courses represent a new approach to OCW publication. MIT faculty, staff, and students work closely with the OCW team to structure the course materials for independent learners. These courses offer more materials than typical OCW courses and include new custom-created content. In addition to the lecture videos, exams, and demonstrations, the OCW Scholar version of Differential Equations includes course notes, problem sets and solutions, and a unique series of video problem solving sessions recorded specifically for this publication.

The first five of a planned 20 OCW Scholar courses were launched by MIT OpenCourseWare in January 2011, and have collectively received more than 800,000 visits in less than a year. The initial OCW Scholar courses included Classical Mechanics, Electricity and Magnetism, Solid State Chemistry, Single Variable Calculus, and Multivariable Calculus.

Linear Algebra was published earlier this year, and Differential Equations is the second of seven OCW Scholar courses that will be published in 2012. Other upcoming OCW Scholar courses include Principles of Microeconomics, Introduction to Psychology, Fundamentals of Biology, Introduction to Electrical Engineering and Computer Science I, and Introduction to Computer Science and Programming. OCW Scholar courses are published on the OCW site with the support of the Stanton Foundation.

About MIT OpenCourseWare

MIT OpenCourseWare makes the materials used in the teaching of substantially all of MIT’s undergraduate and graduate courses—more than 2,100 in all—available on the Web, free of charge, to any user in the world. OCW receives an average of 1.75 million web site visits per month from more than 215 countries and territories worldwide. To date, more than 100 million individuals have accessed OCW materials. MIT OpenCourseWare is supported by donations from site visitors, grants and corporate sponsorship.

About the Instructors

Arthur Mattuck has been Professor of Mathematics at MIT since 1965. He has been widely recognized as one of the Institute’s most effective and innovative lecturers. His lecture videos on Differential Equations, which are a part of this course, were first published on OCW in 2004 and have been seen by millions of people around the world.

Haynes Miller is a Professor of Mathematics at MIT. In 2005 he was made an MIT MacVicar Faculty Fellow in recognition of his outstanding contributions to undergraduate education. He has taught Differential Equations many times and was the prime mover behind its current design. Professor Miller contributed many of the materials used in this OCW Scholar course. He was also the principal investigator behind the development of the Interactive Java Demonstrations called Mathlets used in this course.

Dr. Jeremy Orloff is a lecturer in the Department of Mathematics and in the Experimental Study Group at MIT. He has taught Differential Equations many times. Dr. Orloff was the lead content developer of this OCW Scholar course and worked closely with MIT OpenCourseWare on its development.

About the Stanton Foundation

The Stanton Foundation was created by Frank Stanton, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest executives in the history of electronic communications. During his 25 years as president of CBS, he turned a lesser-known radio network into a broadcasting powerhouse. Stanton made many historic contributions to the industry and to the society it served. In 1960, he initiated the first televised presidential debates—the famous Nixon-Kennedy “Great Debates”—which required a special Act of Congress before they could proceed. He also spearheaded the creation of the first coast-to-coast broadcasting system, allowing CBS to become the first network to present a news event live across the continental United States, a speech by President Truman at the opening of the Japanese Peace Conference in San Francisco. Frank Stanton was the commencement speaker at MIT in 1961.

I was feeling like a megatrend today…

Posted in media, MIT OpenCourseWare, open education, Open Educational Resources, OpenCourseWare by scarsonmsm on February 2, 2012

from “New Media Consortium Names 10 Top ‘Metatrends’ Shaping Educational Technology By Nick DeSantis:

5. Openness — concepts like open content, open data, and open resources, along with notions of transparency and easy access to data and information — is moving from a trend to a value for much of the world. As authoritative sources lose their importance, there is need for more curation and other forms of validation to generate meaning in information and media.

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