OPEN Courseware (OCW)

What is Open Courseware?

Open courseware (OCW) programs are developed by universities. These universities have a department especially for develop OCW content. The content is just recordings, assignments, and readings from professors teaching a class on campus. In essence, Open Courseware (OCW) is repurposed content from traditional course.

How Does It Work?

These resources are collected and uploaded to a website accessible to everyone from around the world. OCW courses don’t involve real time professor to student communication, any deadlines or required assignments, and there’s no credit granted at the end of the course (or degree for that matter) but the classes also don’t cost anything and people can start and stop them whenever they wish. The bottom line is: OCW is all about self-learners, people who just have the thirst for knowledge. And the best part is – the top colleges in the country and world are getting on board with this, which means OCW offers fairly expensive content completely for free.

How Is It Useful?

While it might seem like kicking off an OCW site would be cheap for universities – the content is already in existence, after all – but Yale predicts it costs them about $30,000-$40,000/ year to keep their OCW running. These costs include the video equipment, the employees managing the site, and more. This isn’t a particularly huge dent at a college like Yale, but it is a completely free service and therefore Yale has no way of recouping its costs. The mission of OCWs, however, is to distribute free content. Fortunately there are many non-profits who see the value in this kind of accessible education and are donating grants and funds to the cause.

Open Courseware Organizations

The following Infographic from presents the important points around open courseware:



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About kevin

A long-time technology enthusiast who, in the mid 80's, thought the internet might be something that would catch-on, so he taught himself programming. That started him on a very satisfying road as a course developer, trainer, online teacher and elearning evangelist. Thirty years later, he fancies himself to be a "futurist" and "thought leader".... those thoughts are more about learning that doesn't involve expensive technology and a vision of the future that makes education more critical than ever! More information at: