Just go to class
We’re often asked if OCW has impacted attendance in MIT classes, and the statistics from our surveys say no (<4% of faculty who've published report subsequent drops in attendance). Here's why, from an advice column to new MIT students in today’s Tech:
Go to class. This might seem rather obvious to some people, but when you’ve gone to bed at 5 a.m. and woken up at 8 a.m., this concept might evade your logic. Borrowing class notes from classmates or trying to learn the material online is no substitute for actually attending lecture and recitation. Some classes, such as 3.091, record lectures and put them online later that day; in this case, there is really no difference as to whether you attend the class or watch it online, as long as you really do watch it if that’s what you choose. However, I would advise against relying on MIT’s Open CoursWare (OCW) lectures from previous years, since some content may differ or the class may proceed at a different rate. OCW is a great resource, but it won’t get you a degree.