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ERIC Number: EJ839984
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar-20
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1557-5411
Knowledge at No Cost
Feintuch, Howard
Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, v26 n3 p16-18 Mar 2009
OpenCourseWare (OCW) program, offered at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), provides open access to course materials for a large number of MIT classes. From this resource, American Megan Brewster, a recent graduate working in Guatemala, was able to formulate and implement a complete protocol to tackle Guatemala's need for a plastics recycling system. The OpenCourseWare Consortium, a global network of universities with OCW programs, defines OpenCourseWare as, "free and open digital publication of high quality education materials, organized as a course." Users, who do not receive credit and are usually anonymously logged in, are students looking to enhance personal knowledge, educators or self-learners, says Steve Carson, external relations director for MIT's OCW program. The Open Education Resources movement does have its critics, though. "Just because it's popular, doesn't mean it's good," says Dr. Laurence A. Moran, a professor in the biochemistry department at the University of Toronto. Moran has a number of issues with OCW, specifically with MIT's biochemistry materials. He expressed concerns that apply to other universities as well. Moran says MIT's biochemistry OCW contains many examples of "stripped down notes." That is, the text of the lecture that is posted makes reference to charts and graphics from the course textbook that are not present because the images are copyright protected by the publisher. Moran says online lectures lacking the related textbook images are "completely useless." Carson strongly disagrees, however, with Moran's view that "stripped down notes are useless." To Carson, there is the bigger picture to consider: OCW provides a freelearning opportunity for someone who might not otherwise have the opportunity.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts