EDUCATION: Free MIT Site Debuts

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Science  18 Oct 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5593, pp. 501
DOI: 10.1126/science.298.5593.501c

Bucking the trend in for-profit distance education, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced last year that it would share nearly all of its course materials on a free Web site (Science, 13 April 2001, p. 175). This pilot site premieres the first installment of resources for the project, known as OpenCourseWare. Those interested can choose among more than 30 undergraduate and graduate classes in 17 departments. The offerings range from standard handouts—syllabuses, lecture notes, and the like—to fluid dynamics software and even a complete textbook on transportation planning. You can't take courses through the OpenCourseWare project. However, professors at other universities can adapt the materials for their own classes, and students can mine them for background information.

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