Going back to college is a reminder that tuition can cost more than a house. But what if you could access almost the same education without the charge? MIT’s OpenCourseWare, while not an exact replica of a college course, is the closest thing you’ll get to going to school for free.
Since 2002, OpenCourseWare has published and digitized course materials from private and public universities. Materials vary from complete syllabi and lecture slides to video lectures and assignments. Unlike MOOCs, OpenCourseWare lets students learn at their own pace and have more control over their areas of study. It typically has structured lesson plans, too, so students register the material as they would in an actual classroom setting.
MIT…has inspired many schools to follow in its footsteps. Since its founding, more than 250 universities and organizations around the world have adopted OpenCourseWare principles to freely publish materials — most of which are licensed under Creative Commons.
We’ve rounded up some of the best in the gallery above. Take a look and let us know which ones are your favorites.
1. MITWhile not the first university to adopt OpenCourseWare (OCW), MIT’s initiative started the movement in 2002. Many other universities followed suit.Still one of the best OCW programs out there, MIT offers materials from 2,150 courses in business, engineering, math and science.MIT also offers in-depth courses about design, music theory and the fine arts. With video and audio lectures, interactive simulations and online textbooks, all courses in MIT’s OCW program feature calendars, syllabi, exams and supplementary materials.MIT has also partnered with various other organizations for translated courses in seven languages. You can download all the course materials in one package.
The OpenCourseWare Consortium is a worldwide collaborative initiative that brings together OCW from universities across six continents. Browse courses by language or source; there’s also a course catalog (currently in beta mode) to browse classes by subject.
The Consortium also has a OCW Toolkit Initiative of resources to help institutions set up the initiatives on their own.
Image: OpenCourseWare Consortium