Talk:MIT OpenCourseWare

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MIT does not do Open Courseware[edit]

MIT has refused to provide Opencorseware meeting the definition of courseware. [A class one could use to master the the subject matter] Mit only provides curriculum outlines and certain related info. Not Courseware. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.113.213.199 (talk) 23:19, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

MIT Admits to lies[edit]

They admited to lies and changed their home page:

"OCW shares free lecture notes, exams, and other resources from more than 1700 courses spanning MIT's entire curriculum."

We all knew the 1,800 number was false but there are only 9 courses with the fontent needed for a person to teach or learn the class from.
Thank you Wikipedians for forcing them to tell the truth!  —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.113.213.199 (talk) 10:00, 17 October 2007 (UTC) 

Government intervention[edit]

I think it is important to include some additional information in this section showing that currently a possible conflict of interest exists in national and state policy regarding education. It is one thing when there are private companies competing with state produced and tax-payer funded curricula, and it is quite another when a family member of the President of the United States and the Governor of Florida is trying to change how the United States goes about producing educational curricula. In the section below:

"It is possible to look at this initiative as a shot across the bow of those who are trying to turn curricula into a commodity. Consolidation in the publishing industry has led to the formation of huge corporations that sell books and teaching materials to schools."

Perhaps we could add a link to Neil Bush as an example of those who might potentially be effected by OCW.

Individual States' Department of Education and OCW - online lecture advocates[edit]

I have been trying to find mathematics lectures on each individual state's Department of Education web sites. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be one single state that offers a standardized online program of video lectures to students. If you do a google search for mathematics video, mostly, for profit videos will comprise the search results. Are the companies that produce these videos lobbying the states to stop them from offering video lectures on state web sites? Why aren't the states DOE's taking advantage of video on demand technology. Obviously, from the number of private companies producing this type of curriculum, people want it. If we really want to make sure that no child is left behind, instead of Neil Bush's bank account is not left behind (Neil Bush owns Ignite Learning- which I believe is a for profit curriculum development company), wouldn't tax dollars be spent on the kinds of resources that rich people purchase for their children? Producing high quality lecture videos is not that expensive given the billions of dollars spent by the Federal Government's DOE alone. The Federal DOE is not involved in curriculum, but why can't the states cooperatively or seperately develope video curriculum for online access? It seems obvious that this would be the most cost effective use of a small percentage of DOE dollars. I am also sure that most teachers would welcome ready access to lecture material of this type. Local, in the classroom, school teachers will never be replaced. They will be needed to answer questions, etc.

Are there any movements that advocate state produced online math and science curriculum for high school students and high school honors students? - I realize that a single state produced humanities course would be likely to be too ideologically slanted. Could we put links in this article to those movements or groups? It is wonderful that MIT is at the forefront offering lectures in differential equations, etc. But the average high school student or adult learner does not have the background for this class. Nevertheless, the MIT courses do have the ability to motivate students. Knowing that this material is available once the student is ready gives the hope of a chance at some level of participation in a first class education.

Use of OCW material in Wikipedia?[edit]

I have a question. I found MIT OpenCourseWare, the site providing a course materials from MIT's faculty. (I found that site from the list at [1]). I read the term of use [2] and it looks like the materials in there can be adapted to here, wikipedia. What do you think? -- Taku 22:54 Jan 10, 2003 (UTC)

My answer is a bit late, but I think that we are not free to use OpenCourseWare materials. I have read their license and it seems to restrict uses to non-commercial purposes. This is an "additional restriction" that is conflict with the GFDL. --DanKeshet 19:26 Jan 19, 2003 (UTC)
I was looking through the article, and it mentions that copyright remains in MIT- but not what terms the material is licensed under, which is something pretty important that should be mentions. --Maru (talk) 17:30, 22 October 2005 (UTC)

I am sorry I didn't notice your comment until now. Anyhow, thanks a lot. -- Taku 16:02 Jan 27, 2003 (UTC)

However, I see no harm in placing extensive links to their materials in Wikipedia since they're definitely doing something we should approve of. I'll aim to place links to their courses at closely related articles. --bodnotbod 18:55, Feb 9, 2005 (UTC)
Indeed, all items on the page are still copyrighted by MIT or MIT staff, so I don't think it would go over well if they were adapted to MIT. That being said, I just went through and recounted the courses, 1435, up from 915 in January. MIT's been busy, it seems. --Dataphiliac 05:48, 8 August 2005 (UTC)
Concerning copyrights, I know I was paid by OpenCourseware for a non-exclusive license to post materials that I wrote for course 18.441 (statistical inference). So it's certainly nothing like public-domain stuff. Michael Hardy 17:47, 8 August 2005 (UTC)
Yes, but it's all still valuable stuff to have online, and if non-commerical interests are allowed to redistribute freely, then we can at least be confident some copy will be mirrored somewhere online. --maru (talk) contribs 23:28, 4 June 2006 (UTC)


Subject list[edit]

Is there a reason to keep the subject list? It seems so comprehensive that its meaningless. Doug Alford 15:00, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

Worse than that, it looks like a set of links to MIT CourseWare when it is actually a set of links to Wikipedia general articles on these subjects. Cuvtixo

OCW ≠ MIT OCW[edit]

There are several other schools that have OCW now, including Utah State (http://ocw.usu.edu/), Johns Hopkins (http://ocw.jhsph.edu/), and Tufts (http://ocw.tufts.edu/). Perhaps OCW should not redirect here, but be its own article? --Uttaddmb 21:04, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

No. There is no such thing as "courseware" or "open courseware" or "OCW" outside of project names themselves. It is "course material" or "open course material" or better Open educational resources we are talking about. Plain English is called for in Wikipedia articles. --Roger Chrisman 08:19, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
The redirect from OpenCourseWare to MIT Open Course Ware was canceled, because the word "OpenCourseWare" is permitted in the world, Universities behind MIT maked up "OCW"'s site, maked up world wide consortiums and conferences for OCW. The article of OpenCouuseWare in Wikipedia is opened. Please add text if you know about OCW.--HATA A. K. (talk) 06:06, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Faculty resistance[edit]

The article states that there isn't a lot of resistance from the faculty, but I wonder how many faculty would allow their lectures to be videorecorded and then put in public libraries for all to view. The MIT website states that the video streaming isn't accessible for a lot of people but I think tapes and CD's in libraries would be more accessible. --Anon.

When I taugh 18.075 in the summers of 2000, 2001, and 2002, all of my lectures were videotaped. For all I know, the tapes may still exist. -Michael Hardy 00:26, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

I think we should just go ahead and delete the "Implications" section, because it reads like a press release. It's nothing but speculation and bragging. The warning at the top says that the claims are unverified. I say that those claims are unverifiable. It's not about facts. I say just delete it. --Gnebulon 17:12, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Why aren't others doing this?[edit]

Additionally we should discuss, at least via a link to a new article, the darkside of education. For example, why isn't the US Dept. of Ed. publishing open courseware? Does OCW conflict with private for profit curriculum development companies like Neil Bush's Ignite Learning and his cash COW (Curriculum on Wheels)? What pressures, if any, do private companies like his put on programs that are beneficial to the nation.

What damage might companies do to public policies in order to privatize (convert) national resourses. Surely, if american tax dollars are going to curriculum development, shouldn't the licenses for these products be held by those who contracted to make these products. Why should americans have to buy twice the products that their tax dollars produce.

I should say that I write this not knowing if the DOE is producing Video Lectures, applets, and online HTML textbooks. I find it difficult to conceive that the DOE could possibly claim to be the leader for educational policy without doing so. Nevertheless, there does not seem to be any usable link to such resources on the DOE website.

Additionally, I have spent many hours searching the internet, without success for government produced lecture series on High School and College mathematics.

I feel real shame that my country is not helping children and young adults to realize their potential by providing an excellent course of free online education at least through high school.

Other countries are doing this, e.g. Ireland and England have very good online education through high school. (See skoool.ie and the bbc's asguru.com. If we care more about our children than our wealthiest citizen's bank accounts, we will insist on free, firstclass, streaming video lectures and free textbooks online. --Anon.

But can we discuss any of this in the article without decending into original research? --maru (talk) contribs 23:28, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

The Department of Education is not a college or university. Why should it behave as if it is? Michael Hardy 18:43, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Is DOE supposed to be that kind of leader, or is it supposed to be more of a coordinator? I'm inclined to suspect centralization of actual content would lead to dumbing down. Michael Hardy 18:45, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Making MIT courseware more Wikimedia friendly[edit]

I'm in the process of drafting a paper trying to argue for improving the MIT open course ware license to make it more wikimedia friendly. The draft paper is on my wiki at http://www.gnacademy.org/joe. --Roadrunner 18:52, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

BTW: I like your homepage! Especially the "Q: Does convection help iron core collapse supernova models to explode? A: No" bit. Classic humor! (Funnier for me than you I suppose...) That said, what little I see of your essay (this is it, right?) looks like you are trying to argue for basically a Creative Commons Share-Alike Attribute license. --maru (talk) contribs 03:09, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
I've been wondering about this too, esp for using the material at Wikibooks. With the current licenses, requiring attribution, would it be enough to have a notice (using a template) on the relevant page acknowledging the source, with the url to the specific material? --Singkong2005 talk 07:03, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

OpenCourseWare is not just MIT[edit]

OpenCourseWare redirects here; however other institutions do OpenCourseWare, including those listed at the bottom of OpenCourseWare Finder and I think the University of Osaka. --Singkong2005 talk 07:03, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

I've created OpenCourseWare as a stub, and moved some material from here to there. --Singkong2005 · talk 22:24, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

Question for Wikipedia Community[edit]

From Steve Carson (scarson at mit dot edu), External Relations Director for MIT OpenCourseWare

Hi all,

I just stopped by to update the total courses number here, as I do from time to time, and I wanted to ask about the following statement and how it might be altered to better reflect what OCW is all about:

As of June 2009, of the over 1800 courses available, only 27 included complete video lectures, and not all of these have complete lecture notes. The lack of lecture notes makes it difficult to follow some lectures, for example, when the lecturer is referring to slides being projected in the lecture hall. The selection of available courses is somewhat incomplete. For example, prerequisite classes for a given course are frequently not available. However, the quality of those courses which include complete materials is very high, and many of the lecturers are extremely compelling.

It seems to me the above includes a bit of editorializing about the project (eg "only 27 courses"). The factual statement would be "27 of which contain full video lectures"). "The lack of lecture notes..." line is editorializing as well, an unsupported opinion. Again, "The selection of courses is somewhat incomplete..." has a bias to it, considering that MIT's OpenCourseWare covers at least 80% of MIT's total undergraduate and graduate curriculum, far more than any other OCW site. The line about high quality, while complementary, is also editorial in nature. What is the Wikipedia policy on this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 18.193.0.205 (talk) 16:23, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

«The lack of lecture notes can make it difficult to follow some lectures, for example, when the lecturer is referring to slides being projected in the lecture hall» seems reasonable, so it may be considered "common knowledge", while "The selection of courses is somewhat incomplete" etc. needs a source; however, you can specify that no OCW does better (with a source), etc. The high quality, if undisputed, can be reported without a specific source. --Nemo bis (talk) 08:07, 5 July 2009 (UTC)