MIT OpenCourseWare

Walter Lewin demonstrates conservation of energy in an OCW lecture

MIT OpenCourseWare (MIT OCW) is an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to put all of the educational materials from its undergraduate- and graduate-level courses online, partly free and openly available to anyone, anywhere. MIT OpenCourseWare is a large-scale, web-based publication of MIT course materials. The project was announced in October 2002 and uses Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike license. The program was originally funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and MIT. Currently, MIT OpenCourseWare is supported by MIT, corporate underwriting, major gifts, and donations from site visitors.[1] The initiative has inspired a number of other institutions to make their course materials available as open educational resources.[2]

As of November 2011, over 2080 courses were available online. While a few of these are limited to chronological reading lists and discussion topics, a majority provided homework problems and exams (often with solutions) and lecture notes. Some courses also include interactive web demonstrations in Java, complete textbooks written by MIT professors, and streaming video lectures.

As of November 2011, 46 courses included complete video lectures; not all of these have complete lecture notes. The video is available in streaming mode, but may also be downloaded for viewing offline. Many video and audio files are also available from iTunes U.




The concept of MIT OpenCourseWare grew out of the MIT Council on Education Technology, which was charged by MIT provost Robert Brown in 1999 with determining how MIT should position itself in the distance learning/e-learning environment. MIT OpenCourseWare was then initiated to provide a new model for the dissemination of knowledge and collaboration among scholars around the world, and contributes to the “shared intellectual commons” in academia, which fosters collaboration across MIT and among other scholars. The project was spearheaded by professors Dick K.P Yue [3], Shigeru Miyagawa, Hal Abelson and other MIT Faculty.

The main challenge in implementing the OCW initiative had not been faculty resistance, but rather, the logistical challenges presented by determining ownership and obtaining publication permission for the massive amount of intellectual property items that are embedded in the course materials of MIT's faculty, in addition to the time and technical effort required to convert the educational materials to an online format. Copyright in MIT OpenCourseWare material remains with MIT, members of its faculty, or its students.

In September 2002, the MIT OpenCourseWare proof-of-concept pilot site opened to the public, offering 32 courses. In September 2003, MIT OpenCourseWare published its 500th course, including some courses with complete streaming video lectures. By September 2004, 900 MIT courses were available online. The response from MIT faculty and students has been very positive and MIT OpenCourseWare is seen as being consistent with MIT's mission (to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century) and is true to MIT's values of excellence, innovation, and leadership.

In 2005, MIT OpenCourseWare and other leading open educational resources projects formed the OpenCourseWare Consortium, which seeks to extend the reach and impact of open course materials, foster new open course materials and develop sustainable models for open course material publication.


MIT OCW was originally served by a custom content management system based on Microsoft's Microsoft Content Management Server, which was replaced in mid-2010 with a Plone-based content management system. The publishing process is described by MIT as a "large-scale digital publishing infrastructure consists of planning tools, a content management system (CMS), and the MIT OpenCourseWare content distribution infrastructure".[4]

Video content for the courses were originally primarily in RealMedia format. In 2008, OCW transitioned to using YouTube as the primary digital video streaming platform form the site, embedding YouTube video back into the OCW site. [5] OCW video and audio files are also provided in full for offline downloads on iTunesU and the Internet Archive. In 2011, OCW introduced an iPhone App called LectureHall in partnership with Irynsoft.[6]


The annual cost of running MIT OCW is about $3.5 million per year. They are currently projected to run out of financial reserves in FY2012 without additional sources of funding.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ Attwood, Rebecca (2009-09-24). "Get it out in the open". Times Higher Education (London). Retrieved 2010-12-18. 
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • MIT OpenCourseWare — (MIT OCW) ist eine Initiative des Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), die das Ziel verfolgt, die Lehrmaterialien der Universität kostenlos und frei online verfügbar zu machen. Das Projekt wurde im Oktober 2002 gestartet. Zum heutigen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • MIT OpenCourseWare — …   Википедия

  • OpenCourseWare — (OCW) es una publicación web de los materiales de clase y la estrategia docente de asignaturas de Educación Superior, generalmente universitaria, análogo al software de código abierto. Los autores ceden los derechos de los contenidos con el… …   Wikipedia Español

  • OpenCourseWare — OpenCourseWare, or OCW, is a term applied to course materials in a virtual learning environment created by universities and shared freely with the world via the internet. Already in 1999 the University of Tübingen in Germany published videos of… …   Wikipedia

  • OpenCourseWare — (OCW) désigne un projet destiné à mettre gratuitement en ligne des cours de niveau universitaire, de la même façon que les logiciels libres le sont. Généralement, les cours viennent avec une licence de distribution et de modification peu… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • OpenCourseWare — bezeichnet frei verfügbare Onlinekurse von Hochschulen, im OpenCourseWare Consortium haben sich über 200 Hochschulen und unterstützende Organisationen zur Förderung von OpenCourseWare zusammengeschlossen. Das OpenCourseWare Consortium definiert… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • MIT — Massachusetts Institute of Technology « MIT » redirige ici. Pour le service de renseignement de la Turquie, voir Millî İstihbarat Teşkilatı. Massachusetts Institute of Technology …   Wikipédia en Français

  • MIT (homonymie) — Massachusetts Institute of Technology « MIT » redirige ici. Pour le service de renseignement de la Turquie, voir Millî İstihbarat Teşkilatı. Massachusetts Institute of Technology …   Wikipédia en Français

  • MIT Sloan School of Management — The MIT Sloan School of Management is one of the five schools of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. It is one of the world s leading business schools, conducting research and teaching in finance,… …   Wikipedia

  • MIT Physics Department — The Physics Department at MIT has over 120 faculty members. It offers academic programs leading to the S.B., S.M., Ph.D. and Sc.D. degrees.As of 2006, the department counts four Nobel Prize winners among its faculty: Samuel C.C. Ting (1976),… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.