OpenFiction [Blog]

Introduction to Psychology Now Available in MIT OpenCourseWare’s Innovative OCW Scholar Format

Introduction to Psychology is the 6th of seven courses OCW will publish this year specifically to meet the needs of independent learners.

CAMBRIDGE, MA, July 31, 2012 — MIT OpenCourseWare has released a new version of 9.00 Introduction to Psychology in the innovative OCW Scholar format designed for independent learners. This course presents a scientific overview of how the mind works, and applies that knowledge to contemporary debates around topics like nature versus nurture, free will, consciousness, human differences, the self, and society.

“I hope site visitors come away with an appreciation of just how amazing people are,” says Professor John Gabrieli, who developed the course. “I hope the course makes you think about yourself and your friends in a different way than you ever did before.”

Gabrieli, a renowned expert in the field of learning and memory, has used brain imaging technology combined with behavioral testing to map abstract concepts like memory, thought, and emotion to specific regions of the brain. Gabrieli’s research has significantly advanced our understanding of how learning and memory are organized in the mind. Some of his most recent research has provided insights into key aspects of autism, dyslexia, and visual memory. Gabrieli has also received numerous awards for his teaching, including the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching at Stanford University in 2001.

MIT’s original version of 9.00 Introduction to Psychology from 2004 has received more than 650,000 visits. The new Scholar version provides visitors to the OCW site with an even more robust learning experience.

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. The Introduction to Psychology course provides a complete learning experience for independent learners, including lecture videos, reading assignments from a free online textbook and detailed notes from another book, interactive quizzes for each session, discussion content to elaborate key concepts, online resources for further study, review questions, and exams with solution keys.

The first five of a planned 15 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.

Seven OCW Scholar courses were published in 2012. Linear Algebra, Differential Equations, Principles of Microeconomics, and Introduction to Electrical Engineering and Computer Science were published earlier this year. Fundamentals of Biology, Introduction to Psychology, and Introduction to Computer Science and Programming were published this past month. 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 John Gabrieli

John Gabrieli is the director of the Athinoula A. Martinos Imaging Center at the McGovern Institute. He is an Investigator at the Institute, with faculty appointments in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, where is holds the Grover Hermann Professorship. He also co-directs the MIT Clinical Research Center and is Associate Director of the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, MGH/MIT, located at Massachusetts General Hospital. Prior joining MIT, he spent 14 years at Stanford University in the Department of Psychology and Neurosciences Program. Since 1990, he has served as Visiting Professor, Department of Neurological Sciences, Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Hospital and Rush Medical College. He received a Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience in the MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences in 1987 and B.A. in English from Yale University in 1978.

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

Advertisements

MIT OpenCourseWare Selected One of Best Free Reference Web Sites for 2012 by American Library Association

Posted in MIT OpenCourseWare, Open Educational Resources, OpenCourseWare by scarsonmsm on July 23, 2012

OCW honored alongside other rich online reference resources including Google Art Project and World Databank

CAMBRIDGE, MA, July 23, 2012 — MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) has been selected as one of the “Best Free Reference Web Sites” for 2012 by a division of the American Library Association (ALA). The award is part of an annual series initiated by the MARS: Emerging Technologies in Reference Section of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) of the ALA to recognize outstanding reference sites on the World Wide Web. The MIT OpenCourseWare site is one of 26 other web sites to be recognized this year by a committee of member librarians from across the United States. Selection criteria include the quality, depth, usefulness, and uniqueness of the content, as well as the ease of accessing the information. MARS noted that OCW content was “amazingly rich” and “a great resource for self-improvement and for college students who would like extra guidance…in parallel courses.”

Other notable recipients of this year’s award include the Google Art Project, an interactive experience that brings together thousands of works of art from hundreds of museums, the Kahn Academy, which offers free educational content for K-12 subjects, the World Databank, the World Bank’s statistical database on the economic and financial health of countries, the National Jukebox, which makes available over 10,000 song recordings dating from 1901-1925 from the Library of Congress, Common Sense Media, which provides ratings and detailed information for parents about the suitability of movies, books and video games for children; the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Vault, an open database of declassified FBI records; and Emory University’s Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Database, containing detailed information on 35,000 slaving voyages that occurred between the 16th and 18th centuries.

“We are honored to be recognized by the American Library Association’s emerging technologies group,” says Cecilia d’Oliveira, MIT OpenCourseWare’s Executive Director. “Universal access to high quality information is a vision that we both share, and this award helps raise awareness about the importance of the open education movement.”

The American Library Association established MARS: Emerging Technology in Reference Section in 1978 to track important developments in the use of technology for library reference services. MARS is charged with researching and representing the interests of those concerned with attaining the highest possible quality in planning, developing, managing, teaching, or conducting all forms of computer-based reference information services in libraries. They work to explore the impact of new technologies on users, services and collections, and find ways to educate and prepare library personnel for new developments, emerging trends, and best practices in library reference. This was the 14th year of the award; a full index of all websites that have won the award can be found at the American Library Association.

About MIT OpenCourseWare

MIT OpenCourseWare makes the materials used in the majority 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 our Next Decade Alliance sponsors Ab Initio Software Corporation, Lockheed Martin, MathWorks and Dow Chemical.

Maybe it’s ironic

Posted in MIT OpenCourseWare, MOOC, Open Educational Resources, OpenCourseWare, sustainability by scarsonmsm on July 17, 2012

From the latest breathless NYTimes article on MOOCs:

Coursera does not pay the universities, and the universities do not pay Coursera, but both incur substantial costs. Contracts provide that if a revenue stream emerges, the company and the universities will share it.

Although MOOCs will have to be self-sustaining some day — whether by charging students for credentials or premium services or by charging corporate recruiters for access to the best students — Ms. Koller and university officials said that was not a pressing concern.

I suppose it’s ironic for me to be saying this–given my line of work–but I have concerns about the business model for MOOCs. Not the “build it and they will come” aspect, because I’ve made a good living off of that proposition, but more the cost of the building. I’m a little afraid that MOOC content is largely going to fall into the sour spot between OpenCourseWare content, which is really cheap to produce, and truly useful adaptive learning content, which is really costly to produce.

OCW content costs in the single to tens of thousands to produce; MIT’s model, which is fairly costly, runs about $10K per course. Most other OCWs out there spend far less, often as little as $3K per course. Of course, for that investment, you largely get static PDFs that were used in classrooms, rather than online courses. To create an OCW course with video is about $5K to $25K depending on the recording setup and production value.

I just completed a review of Taylor Walsh’s Unlocking the Gates, which chronicles–among other projects–Carnegie Mellon’s Open Learning Initiative, one of the few online course efforts with significant science behind it. In that profile, Taylor reports the OLI team doesn’t believe they’ll get their cost per course down to anything less than about $500K.

Now I would guess that the cost per course for some entrants into the MOOC space has been in the $500K range, especially those with more robust automated feedback, but I doubt many of the more recent entrants will spend that much. So let’s say that it’s more in the range of $250K, or an order of magnitude more expensive. Assuming that doesn’t buy you particularly robust automated feedback, is the cost jump worth it? Is it sustainable?

I’ve been taking the Udacity statistics course, and at least through the first unit, the automated feedback consists of a clever integration of boxes to enter answers to question directly into the video screen, but no scaffolding or support to help you if you are stuck on a question or adaptive elements (that I can discern) to route you through topics depending on your skill level. The delta between the little box that says “You got it right!’ or “You got it wrong.” and the answer on a chalkboard or PDF is not that big, but I’m guessing the cost to get there is.

And the cost to get from there to real adaptive learning is likewise a big jump, and not one that I think many schools will be willing to make. So my guess is that many of the universities that are joining Coursera are either investing too much in their course materials or too little. Too little, and it’s not clear the experience will be worth it to students to pay for; too much and the schools may not be able to recover costs.

In a system where nobody–the content provider, the platform provider, or the student–has any obligations to anyone else, the barrier to entry is low–as it is with OCW–and the barrier to exit is also very low. This means they are not likely to convert more than a very small fraction of students to paying customers, and the easiest option for participating schools will be a quick exit.

Will be interesting to watch.

Tightly coupled or loosely joined

One of the issues I’ve been thinking about as I watch the development of massively scalable courses (I continue to resist calling them MOOCs) is whether or not we are repeating the problems of learning management systems in the new course platforms.

My experience with learning management systems is that because they are tasked with doing so many different things, they don’t do any one thing particularly well. In part this is an issue of development burden–even a big, well-resourced team is hard pressed to keep up on the development of the full suite of tools that educators want to use. The second issue is one of nimbleness. It’s much harder in a big system like an LMS to throw out code and start from scratch on a particular piece of functionality–there’s just too much legacy commitment.

I’m not primarily (or maybe even secondarily) a technical guy, so there may be new approaches to putting platforms together that will mitigate the second issue, but as far as I can see, the first issue only gets worse when it comes to massively scalable courses. Why? The key development that is allowing courses to scale in any meaningful way right now is the new generation of automated assessments such as the circuitry sandbox used for 6.002x.

That tool, as reported in the Globe yesterday, has been under development for many years. The problem is, creating an automated assessment tool of similar complexity in a different field is likely to be a similarly complex undertaking. To create a program that spans a wide range of subjects in a meaningfully scalable way means a similar investment in each field.

I understand the instinct to create these integrated platforms–a more coherent user experience and probably most importantly unified data collection from people on the system, but I wonder if those advantages are going to be compelling enough to actually create a sustainable model, especially if the assessments available are less effective than those offered at boutique learning sites like Codecademy. After all, as a learner, I don’t want to learn two dozen different subjects, I want to learn one, so I don’t care if the site I go to has good medical automated assessments if what I want is to learn javascript.

In addition to the burden of creating assessments across a range of fields, the massively scalable course platforms are also going to have to create content and learning communities as well, adding to the development burden. An alternative to this that I see is for learners to build experiences by pulling together complementary individual projects. We collaborate, for instance, with OpenStudy to add interactive opportunities to MIT OpenCourseWare content. There’s no reason learners couldn’t choose to use Peer 2 Peer University for the same purpose. And increasingly, there are automated feedback tools such as those at Codecademy emerging that can provide a robust experience.

The most compelling part of the massively scalable course value proposition right now–beyond the learning opportunity itself–is the possibility of credentialling, but it’s not clear right now what the market value of that will be, or how much reputational capital participating universities are willing to burn in these efforts, or how efforts like the Mozilla Open Badges Infrastructure will impact credentialling.

MIT OpenCourseWare publishes new resource for entrepreneurship education

Posted in MIT OpenCourseWare, Open Educational Resources, OpenCourseWare by scarsonmsm on April 23, 2012

Entrepreneurship course list supported by a grant from the NASDAQ OMX Foundation.

CAMBRIDGE, MA, April 23, 2012 — MIT OpenCourseWare has released a new cross-disciplinary course list presenting the core academic materials—including syllabi, lecture notes, assignments and exams—from 66 MIT entrepreneurship courses. The courses are organized into lists that cover core and supplemental entrepreneurship concepts and are also presented in topical lists including finance, law, leadership, marketing, and strategy. In addition, the resource includes videos on entrepreneurship subjects and links to entrepreneurship-related sites from across the MIT community. Initial courses selected for the list were curated by MIT Sloan School of Management Senior Lecturer Joseph Hadzima, with input from Bill Aulet, Managing Director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship.

“We’re very excited to see this resource published on the OCW site,” said Bill Aulet. “This site highlights some very valuable entrepreneurship educational material from MIT and will be a practical resource for entrepreneurs worldwide.”

The launch of the entrepreneurship cross-disciplinary list represents the first phase of MIT OpenCourseWare’s efforts to organize and publish MIT’s entrepreneurship curriculum, and the OCW staff will be adding additional course materials and supplemental content in the future, as well as updating some of the content currently included.

The entrepreneurship cross-disciplinary course list is the latest in MIT OpenCourseWare’s series of cross-disciplinary list addressing topics including energy, the environment and transportation. These lists highlight how MIT addresses today’s complex challenges across the many traditional disciplines and departments that structure the Institute. The entrepreneurship course listing includes materials from the Sloan School of Management, the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, the Media Arts and Sciences program, and the Experiential Studies Program.

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 NASDAQ OMX Foundation

The NASDAQ OMX Educational Foundation, Inc., was established in 1994 and is supported entirely by contributions from The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. The mission of The Nasdaq OMX Educational Foundation, Inc. is to promote and provide opportunities through collaborations and initiatives that support and deliver innovative educational programs and charitable activities supportive of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.’s Mission.

The NASDAQ OMX Educational Foundation is also dedicated to supporting our communities and those who are in need. The Foundation has a history of providing humanitarian relief to those affected by natural disasters and other tragic events. Over the years the Foundation has provided humanitarian relief support following 9/11, Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti.
Contact:

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

MIT Professor Shigeru Miyagawa named award recipient by the OCW Consortium

Professor Miyagawa recognized with other leaders of the global OpenCourseWare movement.

Shigeru Miyagawa

Professor Miyagawa

CAMBRIDGE, MA, March 22, 2012 — MIT Linguistics professor Shigeru Miyagawa has been selected to receive the President’s Award for OpenCourseWare Excellence (ACE) for his contributions to the global OpenCourseWare and Open Education movements. Professor Miyagawa has been a key member of the faculty team that has nurtured the development of MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW), has contributed a significant amount of his own course materials to the site, and has traveled extensively to spread the practice of openly sharing educational materials globally.

“I am honored and deeply humbled by this recognition,” remarked Professor Miyagawa. “MIT OpenCourseWare and the many other projects around the world are the result of the generosity of thousands of educators who have shared their teaching materials, and all deserve to be recognized. I am glad to have helped to make this sharing possible.”

Professor Miyagawa, who holds the endowed Kochi-Manjiro Professor of Japanese Language and Culture chair, served on the committee that proposed MIT OpenCourseWare in the year 2000. Since the program’s inception, he has been a member of the MIT OpenCourseWare Faculty Advisory Committee, and he currently serves as chair of that body.

When OCW published its proof-of-concept site in the fall of 2002, Professor Miyagawa contributed materials from two courses, CMS.930 Media, Education and the Marketplace and 24.946 Linguistic Theory and the Japanese Language. In the following year he contributed materials from 24.953 Argument Structure and Syntax and 21F.027 Visualizing Cultures, one of the richest and most visually engaging of MIT OpenCourseWare’s offerings.

Professor Miyagawa has also been a tireless advocate for the global OpenCourseWare movement. In 2005, he provided assistance to six of Japan’s top universities in forming the Japan OpenCourseWare Consortium, which has since grown to include 24 Japanese universities and 20 associated organizations. In support of the global movement, Professor Miyagawa has traveled to locations including Cameroon, Korea, Portugal, Israel, Taiwan, and Zambia to advocate to for the creation of OpenCourseWare programs at universities around the world.

Honored with Professor Miyagawa by the OCW Consortium are Dr. Oladele Ogunseitan from University of California, Irvine and José Vida Fernández of University Carlos III of Madrid. Chair for the Department of Population Health & Disease Prevention, Program in Public Health, Dr. Ogunseitan is the recipient of the OpenCourseWare Consortium’s Leadership ACE for his role in building the prominence of the UCI OCW site within that institution. Professor for the Department of Public Law and Deputy Director of the Telecommunications Law Master Program of the University Carlos III, Dr. Vida has been awarded the Educator Award for OpenCourseWare Excellence in recognition of the outstanding body of content he has published through that university’s OCW site.

The Awards for OpenCourseWare Excellence provide annual recognition to outstanding individuals, courseware and OpenCourseWare sites in the OCW Consortium community. The awards are presented each year at the global OpenCourseWare Consortium’s annual conference, to be held this year April 16-18 in Cambridge, UK. The Consortium’s Board of Directors selects individual award recipients; an awards committee populated from the Consortium membership selects site and course awards. The Educator ACE was previously given to MIT physics professor Walter Lewin in 2011.

“We’re very pleased to honor these three individuals,” said OCW Consortium Executive Director Mary Lou Forward. “Each of these recipients embodies the commitment widely shared throughout the OCW community, and each has made a remarkable contribution.”

The OCW Consortium Awards for OpenCourseWare Excellence are sponsored by KNEXT, an education software and solutions provider that focuses on learning assessment, ePortfolio development and higher education advisory services.

About the Award Recipients

Professor Shigeru Miyagawa has been at MIT since 1991, where he is Professor of Linguistics and holds the endowed chair, Kochi-Manjiro Professor of Japanese Language and Culture. In linguistics, he has published numerous books and monographs, and has nearly fifty articles on syntax, argument structure, and East Asian and Altaic linguistics. He also runs a laboratory that creates interactive educational programs. JP NET, which has the entire MIT Japanese program on the web, was one of the first online projects in the world to place an entire academic program on the Internet (1993-1994). Visualizing Cultures, in collaboration with the Pulitzer Prize historian John W. Dower, has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Humanities as an outstanding humanities educational website. He was on the original team that proposed OpenCourseWare, and has helped to start opencoursewares in Japan and elsewhere. He serves on the MIT OpenCourseWare Advisory Board. Miyagawa received his Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Arizona in 1980, and his B.A. from the International Christian University in Tokyo in 1975.

Dr. Oladele Ogunseitan is professor of public health and founding Chair of the department of Population Health and Disease Prevention at the University of California, Irvine, where he is also professor of Social Ecology. Since 2009, he has served as the Co-Director of the UC Irvine Framework Program in Global Health funded by the National Institutes of Health’s John E. Fogarty International Center for Advanced Study in the Health Sciences. He is the Director of Research Education, Training and Career Development for the NIH- funded Institute for Clinical and Translational Science. He is a member of the steering committee for the UC Irvine Environment Institute and he serves on the executive committee for the Urban Water Research Center. He earned his doctorate in microbiology at the university of Tennessee, and his Master of Public Health at the university of California, Berkeley, where he also earned a certificate in International Health. He is the author of Microbial Diversity (Blackwell-Wiley, 2005) and editor of Green Health (Sage, 2011).

Professor José Vida Fernández graduated magna cum laude from University of Granada (Spain). He is also European PhD from the University of Bologna (Italy). He is a noted legal scholar on telecommunications law, health care law, poverty and welfare state. Vida teaches administrative law at the University Carlos III of Madrid and has lectured abroad (US, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Perú). He is Deputy Director of the Telecommunications Law Master Program of the University Carlos III and fellow of the Institute Pascual Madoz (University Carlos III) and Residential Scholar at the Indiana University Institute for Advanced Study. Prof. Vida has broad research experience as director of public and private funded projects. He has also received awards from Spanish and international organizations for innovative teaching projects and OpenCourseWare publications (University Carlos III, 2007; Universia, 2010; OCW Consortium, 2011).

About KNEXT

KNEXT, which is part of Kaplan, is an education software and solutions company focused on helping higher education institutions build or enhance prior learning assessment offerings and online portfolio management. By enabling individuals to translate their prior learning into college credit and track their progress through online portfolios, KNEXT helps institutions recruit engaged adult learners and increase both persistence and graduation rates. For information about KNEXT, the Learning Recognition Program, self-assessment quizzes, the PATH courses, and more, visit http://www.knext.com.

About the OpenCourseWare Consortium

The OpenCourseWare Consortium is a collaboration of more than 250 higher education institutions and associated organizations from around the world creating a broad and deep body of open educational content using a shared model. The mission of the OpenCourseWare Consortium is to advance formal and informal learning through the worldwide sharing and use of free, open, high-quality education materials organized as courses.

Activities of the OpenCourseWare Consortium are supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, member dues, and contributions from sustaining members including: African Virtual University, China Open Resources for Education, Delft University of Technology, Japan OpenCourseWare Consortium, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Korea OpenCourseWare Consortium, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, NetEase Information Technology, Open Universiteit, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Tufts University, Universia, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, University of California, Irvine, University of Michigan, and University of the Western Cape.

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

OCW Consortium announces 2012 winners of individual Awards for OpenCourseWare Excellence

Individual awards announced; site and course awards to follow.

CAMBRIDGE, MA, March 22, 2012 — The OpenCourseWare Consortium has announced the 2012 winners of individual Awards for OpenCourseWare Excellence (ACE).

Dr. Oladele Ogunseitan, University of California, Irvine Professor and Chair for the Department of Population Health & Disease Prevention, Program in Public Health, is the recipient of this year’s Leadership ACE for his role in building the prominence of the UCI OCW site within that institution.

José Vida Fernández, University Carlos III of Madrid Professor for the Department of Public Law and Deputy Director of the Telecommunications Law Master Program of the University Carlos III, is the 2012 recipient of the Educator ACE in recognition of the outstanding body of content he has published through that university’s OCW site.

MIT professor Shigeru Miyagawa has been awarded the President’s Award for OpenCourseWare Excellence for his leadership in developing MIT OpenCourseWare and his pivotal role in fostering the growth of OCW in Japan and around the world.

The Awards for OpenCourseWare Excellence provide annual recognition to outstanding individuals, courseware and OpenCourseWare sites in the OCW Consortium community. The awards are presented each year at the global OpenCourseWare Consortium’s annual conference, to be held this year April 16-18 in Cambridge, UK. The Consortium’s Board of Directors selects individual award recipients; an awards committee populated from the Consortium membership selects site and course awards. Site ACE’s will be announced later in March and ACE’s for individual courses will be announced at the OCWC Conference.

“We’re very pleased to honor these three individuals,” said OCW Consortium Executive Director Mary Lou Forward. “Each of these recipients embodies the commitment widely shared throughout the OCW community, and each has made a remarkable contribution.”

The OCW Consortium Awards for OpenCourseWare Excellence are sponsored by KNEXT, an education software and solutions provider that focuses on learning assessment, ePortfolio development and higher education advisory services.

About the Award Recipients

Dr. Oladele Ogunseitan is professor of public health and founding Chair of the department of Population Health and Disease Prevention at the University of California, Irvine, where he is also professor of Social Ecology. Since 2009, he has served as the Co-Director of the UC Irvine Framework Program in Global Health funded by the National Institutes of Health’s John E. Fogarty International Center for Advanced Study in the Health Sciences. He is the Director of Research Education, Training and Career Development for the NIH- funded Institute for Clinical and Translational Science. He is a member of the steering committee for the UC Irvine Environment Institute and he serves on the executive committee for the Urban Water Research Center. He earned his doctorate in microbiology at the university of Tennessee, and his Master of Public Health at the university of California, Berkeley, where he also earned a certificate in International Health. He is the author of Microbial Diversity (Blackwell-Wiley, 2005) and editor of Green Health (Sage, 2011).

Professor José Vida Fernández
graduated magna cum laude from University of Granada (Spain). He is also European PhD from the University of Bologna (Italy). He is a noted legal scholar on telecommunications law, health care law, poverty and welfare state. Vida teaches administrative law at the University Carlos III of Madrid, and has lectured abroad (US, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Perú). He is Deputy Director of the Telecommunications Law Master Program of the University Carlos III and fellow of the Institute Pascual Madoz (University Carlos III) and Residential Scholar at the Indiana University Institute for Advanced Study. Prof. Vida has broad research experience as director of public and private funded projects. He has also received awards from Spanish and international organizations for innovative teaching projects and OpenCourseWare publications (University Carlos III, 2007; Universia, 2010; OCW Consortium, 2011).

Shigeru Miyagawa has been at MIT since 1991, where he is Professor of Linguistics and holds the endowed chair, Kochi-Manjiro Professor of Japanese Language and Culture. In linguistics, he has published numerous books and monographs, and has nearly fifty articles on syntax, argument structure, and East Asian and Altaic linguistics. He also runs a laboratory that creates interactive educational programs. JP NET, which has the entire MIT Japanese program on the web, was one of the first online projects in the world to place an entire academic program on the Internet (1993-1994). Visualizing Cultures, in collaboration with the Pulitzer Prize historian John W. Dower, has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Humanities as an outstanding humanities educational website. He was on the original team that proposed OpenCourseWare, and has helped to start opencoursewares in Japan and elsewhere. He serves on the MIT OpenCourseWare Advisory Board. Miyagawa received his Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Arizona in 1980, and his B.A. from the International Christian University in Tokyo in 1975.

About KNEXT

KNEXT, which is part of Kaplan, is an education software and solutions company focused on helping higher education institutions build or enhance prior learning assessment offerings and online portfolio management. By enabling individuals to translate their prior learning into college credit and track their progress through online portfolios, KNEXT helps institutions recruit engaged adult learners and increase both persistence and graduation rates. For information about KNEXT, the Learning Recognition Program, self-assessment quizzes, the PATH courses, and more, visit http://www.knext.com.

About the OpenCourseWare Consortium

The OpenCourseWare Consortium is a collaboration of more than 250 higher education institutions and associated organizations from around the world creating a broad and deep body of open educational content using a shared model. The mission of the OpenCourseWare Consortium is to advance formal and informal learning through the worldwide sharing and use of free, open, high-quality education materials organized as courses.

Activities of the OpenCourseWare Consortium are supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, member dues, and contributions from sustaining members including: African Virtual University, China Open Resources for Education, Delft University of Technology, Japan OpenCourseWare Consortium, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Korea OpenCourseWare Consortium, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, NetEase Information Technology, Open Universiteit, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Tufts University, Universia, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, University of California, Irvine, University of Michigan, and University of the Western Cape.

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

MIT OpenCourseWare publishes unique introductory Python programming independent study course

Posted in MIT OpenCourseWare, open education, Open Educational Resources, OpenCourseWare by scarsonmsm on March 6, 2012

6.00SC Introduction to Computer Science and Programming provides a comprehensive introduction to the basics of programming.

CAMBRIDGE, MA, March 6, 2012 – Python programming has fast become the introductory programming language of choice, and now MIT OpenCourseWare has unveiled a new Python programming resource designed specifically for independent learners. Developed by Professor John Guttag, 6.00SC Introduction to Computer Science and Programming is a free and open course aimed at students with little or no prior programming experience. 6.00SC is the fifth of seven OCW Scholar courses planned for release by the end of February.

The traditional version of 6.00 on the OCW site, first published in 2007, quickly became the most visited course on the site, regularly receiving more than 100,000 visits each month. With the additional content and structure of the OCW Scholar format, Professor Guttag expects that 6.00SC will help hundreds of thousands more learn this very marketable skill. But the course doesn’t just teach a programming language—it teaches computational modes of thinking, allowing students to formulate problems that can be solved with computers and implemented in a variety of programming languages.

“The methods taught in this class provide a systematic approach to problem solving that can be applied to thousands of very real challenges,” said Professor Guttag. “By creating this independent learning resource, I hope to put these tools in the hands of people making a real difference in the world.” Prof. Guttag has long collaborated with both local hospitals and the Boston Celtics on real-world applications of the concepts he teaches.

OCW Scholar courses represent a new approach to OCW publication. MIT professors and students work closely with the OCW team to restructure the learning experience for independent learners, who typically have few additional resources available to them. The courses offer more materials than typical OCW courses and include new custom-created content. The OCW Scholar version of Introduction to Computer Science and Programming includes lecture videos, recitation videos and a series of problem sets involving the creation of word games.

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, Differential Equations, Principles of Microeconomics and Introduction to Electrical Engineering and Computer Science were published earlier this year, and Introduction to Computer Science and Programming is the fifth of seven OCW Scholar courses that will be published in 2012. Other upcoming OCW Scholar courses include Principles of Microeconomics, Introduction to Psychology and Fundamentals of Biology. 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 John Guttag

From January of 1999 through August of 2004, Professor Guttag served as Head of MIT’s Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department. He served as Associate Department Head from Computer Science from 1993 to 1998. EECS, with approximately 1800 students and 125 faculty members, is the largest department at MIT. Professor Guttag currently co-heads the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory’s Networks and Mobile Systems Group. This group studies issues related to computer networks, applications of networked and mobile systems, and advanced software-based medical instrumentation and decision systems. Professor Guttag has also done research, published, and lectured in the areas of software engineering, mechanical theorem proving, hardware verification, compilation, and software radios. In addition to his academic activities, Professor Guttag has had long-term consulting relationships with a number of industrial research and advanced development organizations. He has also worked for many years as a consultant specializing in the analysis of information systems related business opportunities and risks. He currently serves on the technical advisory boards of Vanu, Inc., on the Board of Directors of Empirix, Inc., and on the Board of Trustees of the MGH Institute of Health Professions. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the ACM. Prof. Guttag earned an A.B. in English and an M.S. in Applied Mathematics from Brown University, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Toronto.

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

MathWorks makes multi-year sponsorship commitment to MIT OpenCourseWare

Joins Dow Chemical and Lockheed Martin in OCW Next Decade Alliance to support global educational opportunity

CAMBRIDGE, MA, March 2, 2012 — MathWorks has joined Dow Chemical and Lockheed Martin as founding members of MIT OpenCourseWare’s Next Decade Alliance. Next Decade Alliance sponsors make significant multi-year commitments supporting MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW), MIT’s effort to share the core academic materials—including syllabi, lecture notes, assignments and exams—from all of MIT’s courses. The materials are made freely available on the web under open licenses that permit reuse, modification and redistribution of the content for non-profit purposes.

Since OCW’s launch in 2002, the program has shared materials from more than 2,100 MIT courses, including video recordings of the complete lectures from 50 classes, through the OCW site. OCW has distributed 290 copies of the site on hard drives to universities in bandwidth constrained regions, and translation partners have created more than 1,000 translated version of OCW courses. In the past decade, OCW materials have been accessed by 125 million educators and learners worldwide.

“MathWorks and MIT have a long history together and we are very pleased to enter the latest chapter of this relationship,” says MIT Provost L. Rafeal Reif. “The Next Decade Alliance will provide OCW the resources to build on its past success and innovate in bringing educational opportunities to the world.”

In the next ten years, OCW is poised to explore the rapidly expanding world of open education. Though a series of initiatives supported by the Next Decade Alliance, MIT will push forward in expanding the reach of OCW materials, explore how OCW content can be shaped to meet the needs of specific audiences, experiment with a broader open education ecosystem including online communities, and work with teachers to bring OCW content into more classrooms.

“MathWorks is proud to play a role in broadening access to education, and in exploring the possibilities of the web in improving the lives of millions around the world,” says MathWorks CEO Jack Little, an MIT graduate. “This is an effort we feel is truly worthy of MathWorks’ sustained support.”

About MathWorks

MathWorks is the leading developer of mathematical computing software. MATLAB, the language of technical computing, is a programming environment for algorithm development, data analysis, visualization, and numeric computation. Simulink is a graphical environment for simulation and Model-Based Design of multidomain dynamic and embedded systems. Engineers and scientists worldwide rely on these product families to accelerate the pace of discovery, innovation, and development in automotive, aerospace, electronics, financial services, biotech-pharmaceutical, and other industries. MathWorks products are also fundamental teaching and research tools in the world’s universities and learning institutions. Founded in 1984, MathWorks employs more than 2200 people in 15 countries, with headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts, USA. For additional information, visit www.mathworks.com.
MATLAB and Simulink are registered trademarks of The MathWorks, Inc. See http://www.mathworks.com/trademarks for a list of additional trademarks. Other product or brand names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

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 125 million individuals have accessed OCW materials.

Contact:

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

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