MIT Open Course Ware

MIT OCW Program

MIT OpenCourseWare (MIT OCW) is an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to put all of the educational materials from MIT's undergraduate- and graduate-level courses online, free and openly available to anyone, anywhere, by the year 2007. MIT OpenCourseWare can be considered a large-scale, web-based publication of MIT course materials. The project was announced in 2001.

This project is jointly funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and MIT.

The main challenge in implementing this initiative has 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 OCW material remains with MIT or members of its faculty.

As of August 2005, 1435 courses are available online. While a few of these are limited to chronological reading lists and discussion topics, a majority provide homework problems and exams (often with solutions) and lecture notes. Some courses also include interactive web demonstrations in Java or Matlab, complete textbooks written by MIT professors, and even streaming video lectures.

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