OpenFiction [Blog]

‘Cause numbers are just fun

As we approach the 10th anniversary year for MIT OpenCourseWare, I’ve been trying to pull together a few numbers to encapsulate ten years of open sharing.

One of the first projects I worked on in ’03 when I joined the team was the development of a database to track workflow and publication information. Built in Filemaker, the system (in a new iteration done by a professional developer) is still one of the workhorses of our operation, and the system of record for much of our activity. Here are a few high level numbers culled from the system:

  • 5,464 course records – We have 2013 courses on the site, so the rest are in process, archived, abandoned, or never pursued.
  • 11,266 contributor records – The Rolodex of the project—anyone who’s contributed content to the project or worked on the staff.
  • 35,826 object records – These are intellectual property “objects,” i.e. anything we need to get permission for. These don’t include the overall permissions for the course that we secure from the contributing faculty, but are the charts, graphs, illustrations—the third party materials. Note not all of these were permissioned; some were cited and removed and some were replaced with other materials.
  • 3,734 reused objects – IP objects previously cleared that reappeared in other courses. Good to see. Some of this is for new versions of the same course, but a fair amount is cross-pollenization.
  • 41,697 feedback e-mails received – 8,015 flagged as positive, 762 flagged as negative, the rest mostly inquiries.
  • 5,818 donations made to the project – We really appreciate the support and it’s an important part of our sustainability model.

More numbers, big and small as we approach the 10th anniversary!


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