Apr 28, 2009

MIT OpenCourseWare

by Jamie Littlefield, About.com

MIT OpenCourseWare Basics:

MIT OpenCourseWare is a collection of over 1,800 college-level class materials available at no-cost to the public. The content offered on the MIT OpenCourseWare website is taken from actual classes offered at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Anyone is free to learn from the educational material provided by studying the lecture notes, completing assignments, reading study guides, and watching lecture recordings.

MIT OpenCourseWare is designed for people who want to learn independently. Users do not have access to professors and cannot earn credit.

Where to Find MIT OpenCourseWare Classes:

All classes are available through the official MIT OpenCourseWare website.

How to Use MIT OpenCourseWare:

When studying an MIT OpenCourseWare class, start with the syllabus. Each class offers a syllabus that lists suggested textbooks and assignments. More detailed information can be found under the “Readings,” “Assignments,” and “Exams” categories. You may want to download any supplemental material and purchase the suggested texts to get the most out of each class. Remember: you don’t have to follow the class outline to a “T.” However, you’ll be able to maximize your learning by understanding what traditional students are expected to accomplish and creating a similar plan that suits your needs.

Top Free Online Classes from MIT:

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the many choices offered through MIT OpenCourseWare. Fortunately, the collection of classes is organized by category and by class format.

MIT is known for its stellar engineering and mathematics courses – these are a popular place to begin.

By searching for classes in the Audio / Video category, you’ll be able to find recordings of entire lecture series. This can be an especially valuable feature, since most OpenCourseWare classes lack the actual in-class content.

Younger learners may be particularly interested in the Highlights for High School section, which AP and college prep.

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