10 Best OpenCourseWare Sites
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.
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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 isn't the first university to freely offer its course materials (the University of Tübingen in Germany did so in 1999), but it 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.
Image: Flickr, UIBK
The inside of the Daya Bay Antineutrino Detector in China. (Image courtesy of Brookhaven National Laboratory on Flickr.)
The MIT Department of Physics has been a national resource since the turn of the 20th century.
Our Department has been at the center of the revolution in understanding the nature of matter and energy and the dynamics of the cosmos. Our faculty - three of whom hold Nobel Prizes and 21 of whom are members of the National Academy of Sciences - include leaders in nearly every major area of physics. World leaders in science and engineering, including 10 Nobel Prize recipients, have been educated in the physics classrooms and laboratories at MIT. Alumni of the MIT Department of Physics are to be found on the faculties of the world's major universities and colleges, as well as federal research laboratories and every variety of industrial laboratories.
Our undergraduates are sought both by industry and the nation's most competitive graduate schools. Our doctoral graduates are eagerly sought for postdoctoral and faculty positions, as well as by industry.
The MIT Physics Department is one of the largest in the nation, in part because it includes astronomy and astrophysics. Our research programs include theoretical and experimental particle and nuclear physics, cosmology and astrophysics, plasma physics, theoretical and experimental condensed-matter physics, atomic physics, and biophysics. Our students - both undergraduate and graduate - have opportunities to pursue forefront research in almost any area.
All undergraduate students at MIT study mechanics, electricity and magnetism. Beyond that, our physics majors pursue a program that provides outstanding preparation for advanced education in physics and other careers. Our undergraduates have unusual opportunities for becoming involved in research, sometimes working with two different groups during their four years at MIT.
In addition to courses, supplementary physics resources are also available. Various MIT faculty are openly sharing these resources as a service to OCW users.