"Open Courseware (OCW) is a worldwide community of higher education institutions and associated organizations committed to advancing the course of education in the world. The OCW takes the form of a free and open digital publication of high quality college and university-level educational materials. These materials, organized as courses, often include course planning materials and evaluation tools as well as thematic content. It is free and openly licensed, accessible to anyone, anytime, anywhere via the internet".

The time is over when university education was accessible to only a small number of people in any country. The only snag is that you cannot earn a degree by following the program of any university in the system, but the mere accessibility to this educational material is a huge advantage not only to students who are already formally enrolled in institutions but also to those who might otherwise not have had access to university education at all.
The courses are delivered in various languages including all the European languages spoken in Africa. The participating universities in the US include such high profile universities as most of the Ivy League schools.

Learning RevolutionUsing the Open Courseware

The best way to use the OCW is to access the participating universities from the website of the Open Courseware Consortium which serves as a resource for starting and sustaining OCW projects, a coordinating body on a global scale and a forum for ideas and future planning: http://www.ocwconsortium.org. You join by finding a username and a password; you can also subscribe to their newsletter. The starting point is the Getting Started column on the left hand side of the home page. You can search courses, browse course by language, source and publishing institution and you can also access OCW websites from here.

Open Courseware Consortium Global Meeting

Special Mention

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) M.I.T. has gone beyond the open course format of providing course material online and is currently in the process of launching an online learning initiative, called M.I.T.x, which will offer online teaching of M.I.T. courses free of charge to anyone anywhere in the world. Although the program will not allow students to earn M.I.T. degrees, it will award an official certificate of completion to those who can exhibit a mastery of the subjects taught on the platform, as a way of providing incentive to complete the online material. To avoid confusion with traditional M.I.T. degrees, the certificate of completion will be credentialled by a new nonprofit body to be created in M.I.T. The program will also provide online interactivity with regular M.I.T. students. This is as close as one can get to an M.I.T. degree and campus from a distance. As Ghanaians will put it, “If you don’t like this, what else do you want?’. In other words,"What more could you ask for?"Google M.I.T.x to read about it since, at the time of writing, it hadn't been implemented yet.

http://www.academicearth.org Although this site is not part of the OCW program, it has been featured here for the simple reason that it also deals with university courses and has a large component of free material. It was founded in 2009 by Richard Ludlow but acquired in January 2012 by Ampush Media, a media organization long associated with higher education .It provides free video programs in a large range of courses and, in addition, offers online courses for credit as well as online degree courses both of which are NOT free. The video courses are given by lecturers from such prestigious institutions as Princeton, Stanford, Harvard, Yale ,Berkeley etc.



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