OpenFiction [Blog]

MIT OpenCourseWare Recognized by the AAAS

Open education site noted for providing exceptional online materials.

Cambridge, MA, July 29, 2010 – The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) announced today MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) has been named as a recipient of the Science Prize for Online Resources in Education (SPORE). MIT OpenCourseWare is Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s groundbreaking effort to share the core academic content—including syllabi, lecture notes, assignments and exams—from the entire MIT undergraduate and graduate curriculum. The site currently includes materials from more than 2,000 MIT courses and has received more than 68 million visits since OCW’s launch in 2002.

The Science Prize for Online Resources in Education (SPORE) was designed to promote exceptional online materials that are available free of charge to science educators. The acronym SPORE refers to a reproductive element adapted to develop, often in less than ideal conditions, into something new. The winning projects are intended to be the seed of progress in education, even in the face of formidable challenges to educational innovation. Science publishes an article about each winning project by the project’s developer. The article about the OCW site, which is called “MIT OpenCourseWare: Unlocking Knowledge, Empowering Minds,” will be published in the July 30 issue of Science.

“We’re trying to advance science education,” says Bruce Alberts, editor-in-chief of Science. “This competition will provide much-needed recognition for innovators in the field whose efforts promise significant benefits for students and for science literacy in general. The publication in Science of an article on each Web site will help guide educators around the globe to valuable free resources that might otherwise be missed.”

In responding to the announcement, OCW Executive Director Cecilia d’Oliveira said, “This is a wonderful recognition of the thousands of voluntary contributions of materials from MIT community members that make MIT OpenCourseWare possible. These contributions are a dramatic demonstration of MIT’s widely held commitment to knowledge as a public good.”

OCW materials are used by faculty, students and independent learners worldwide for a wide variety of purposes. Educators use the materials to improve courses and curricula at their schools; students supplement materials provided for their courses with the content from MIT; and independent learners study for pleasure or in the context of their professional activities.

In the past ten years, OCW has collected hundreds of user stories illustrating the impact of the resource. One such example is Indian educator Prabhakar Krishnamurthy, who describes how OCW’s Applied Operations Research and Quantitative Techniques course has influenced how he teaches his own course. “After three years of use in the classroom now I can say it is a ‘window to the world of best learning practices.’ Personally I myself benefited from the information and it led to significant changes in the way I co-learn with my students.”

About the AAAS

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal Science as well as Science Translational Medicine and Science Signaling. AAAS was founded in 1848, and includes some 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of 1 million. The non-profit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy; international programs; science education; and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS.

About OpenCourseWare

An OpenCourseWare is a free and open digital publication of high quality university-level educational materials – often including syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, and exams – organized as courses. While OpenCourseWare (OCW) initiatives typically do not provide a degree, credit, or certification, or access to instructors, the materials are made available under open licenses for use and adaptation by educators and learners around the world.

About MIT OpenCourseWare

MIT OpenCourseWare makes the materials used in the teaching of substantially all of MIT’s undergraduate and graduate courses—more than 2,000 in all—available on the Web, free of charge, to any user in the world. OCW receives an average of 1.5 million web site visits per month from more than 215 countries and territories worldwide. To date, more than 65 million visitors have accessed the free MIT educational materials on the site or in translation.

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Help build a history of OCW

As we prepare for next year’s OCWC Global Meeting in Cambridge, MA (May 4-6, 2011), where we will celebrate 10 years of OCW, one thing we’d like to build is a comprehensive timeline of OCW-related events—site launches, organizational milestones, traffic levels, etc—representing all of the many global contributors to the movement. And we’d like your help doing it.

As a start and a workspace, I’ve posted the timeline I pulled together for the MIT OpenCourseWare Milestone Celebration in 2007 on the Consortium wiki. I invite the community to log onto the wiki and add additional events and items (I obviously have to cover 2008-2011 still as well), or if you are note comfortable editing the wiki, simply send me an e-mail (scarson at ocwconsortium dot org) with your items and I will add them in.

Looking forward to a great celebration in 2011.

Another Big Numbers Post: 100 M Visits

Posted in MIT OpenCourseWare, Open Educational Resources, OpenCourseWare, web metrics by scarsonmsm on July 12, 2010

MIT OpenCourseWare hit another big number recently: 100 M visits. This represents visits to the OCW site and to our translation partner sites (note: this figure does not include traffic to the CORE translations from the past year, as they have been serving up content but not reporting traffic.)

Along with this big number, the others keep growing. A sampling of figures just for the MIT OpenCourseWare site (not including translations):

  • Total visits: 68 M
  • Page Views: 512 M
  • Hits: 4.84 B
  • MIT domain visits: 1.1 M
  • .Zip file downloads: 11.7 M
  • iTunes U downloads: 11.5 M
  • YouTube views: 11.3 M

I am nothing short of astounded by these numbers and how they have grown.

New OCW Consortium Site Launches

Posted in Open Educational Resources, OpenCourseWare, OpenCourseWare Consortium by scarsonmsm on July 12, 2010

I am happy to note that the new OCW Consortium site has launched. The original version was developed in house at MIT before during the early days of the Consortium, and was quickly outgrown. This version was developed by OCW members and staff and reflects the needs of the community as expressed by the wider membership. It represents another important step in the growth and maturity of the organization. Check it out and give the staff feedback.

MIT OpenCourseWare Reaches 2,000 Course Milestone

Groundbreaking open education resource program shares substantially all of MIT’s curriculum.

CAMBRIDGE, MA, July 12, 2010 — Already one of the richest collections of openly shared educational materials in the world, the MIT OpenCourseWare site has reached a significant milestone: With the publication of 10 new courses in the last two weeks, the site now shares core academic materials—including syllabi, lecture notes, assignments and exams—from more than 2,000 MIT courses.

First announced in 2001, MIT OpenCourseWare is an ambitious effort to share MIT’s education resources freely and openly on the web to improve formal and informal learning worldwide. All materials are available free of charge and without registration. The site’s first courses were published in 2002, and by November 2007, the site contained materials from more than 1,800 MIT courses, representing substantially all of the MIT undergraduate and graduate curriculum.

Since completing the initial publication of the MIT curriculum, the OCW team has shifted focus to primarily publishing updates to previously published courses, but has continued to capture 50 to 70 new courses each year as they are developed by MIT faculty. The addition of these new courses has brought the total number of unique courses on the site to 2,000.

“OCW is truly an MIT community achievement,” says OCW Executive Director Cecilia d’Oliveira. “These 2,000 courses represent the voluntary contributions of hundreds of MIT faculty and thousands of MIT students. It’s a remarkable feat of intellectual philanthropy.”

Since the site was launched in 2002, OCW materials have been visited on the MIT site or partner translation sites 98 million times by an estimated 70 million visitors from around the world. OCW materials are used by faculty, students and independent learners worldwide for a wide variety of purposes. Educators use the materials to improve courses and curricula at their schools; students supplement materials provided for their courses with the content from MIT; and independent learners study for pleasure or in the context of their professional activities.

In the past ten years, OCW has collected hundreds of user stories illustrating the impact of the resource. One example is consultant Biasco Nunez, who describes the importance of OCW to the businesses he serves in Trujillo, Peru. “I provide consulting services to small business owners within the community, including Basics of Business Administration and Technology. OCW represents for all of us, Peruvian small entrepreneurs, workers and teachers all together the most valuable source of knowledge available all the world over.”

About OpenCourseWare

An OpenCourseWare is a free and open digital publication of high-quality university-level educational materials—often including syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, and exams—organized as courses. While OpenCourseWare (OCW) initiatives typically do not provide a degree, credit, or certification, or access to instructors, the materials are made available under open licenses for use and adaptation by educators and learners around the world.

About MIT OpenCourseWare

MIT OpenCourseWare makes the materials used in the teaching of substantially all of MIT’s undergraduate and graduate courses–more than 2,000 in all–available on the Web, free of charge, to any user in the world. OCW receives an average of 1.5 million web site visits per month from more than 215 countries and territories worldwide. To date, more than 70 million visitors have accessed the free MIT educational materials on the site or in translation.