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List of courses available on MIT’s web site for free

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 26, 2003

List of courses available on MIT’s web site for free. Did I mention free? Free!

Reader comments

GluttonAug 26, 2003 at 4:26PM

Such a good idea. People get degrees and take classes not to learn, but to gain credentials. Universities are in the business of selling credentials. So why not give away a worthless sample? It’s not like you could put it on your resume.

brittneyAug 26, 2003 at 6:12PM


Knowledge and free are two very good things.

gwintAug 26, 2003 at 8:08PM

Um, does anyone bother to actually see what the site has to offer? MIT OpenCourseWare oftens the syllabi, course notes, reading list, and assignments for a number of courses. Since when did that become “courses available for free”? Don’t believe the hype.

LukasAug 26, 2003 at 8:21PM

gwint, for some courses there are videos of every single lecture.

MikeAug 27, 2003 at 9:12AM

Lecture notes for the two classes I have browsed so far seem reasonably complete. Believe what you will. I couldn’t care less.

jayAug 27, 2003 at 1:52PM

Gwint, the value of knowing what MIT thinks I should know after a semester of whatever is huge. If I’m interested in learning about neuroscience, which I know nothing about, I’m much better off working myself through an MIT-designed course than surfing the net or checking out twenty books from the library. Plus, access to the fabled MIT Problem Sets and solutions is huge. If I’m a high school student wanting to go to MIT, I work my way through the intro calc class and say so on my application. Or, if I’m a BS math who signed up for complex variables three times but never actually ended up taking it (damn graduation requirements), I can work through MIT’s version later in life. I’d love to see their CS courses get posted, but it’ll be awhile before I exhaust what’s already there.

josh berezinAug 27, 2003 at 3:56PM

I’m still trying to understand the value of this, as well. For the classes without videotaped lectures, all you have is a reading list and a bunch of assignments that no one will grade. Big deal, I can get that from the library. Give us more video lectures! That’s the unique part of the offering, as far as I can tell.

davegAug 28, 2003 at 11:45AM

I am interested, but I would be 80x more interested if all the courses had video lectures. I only found one video-lecture: http://ocw.mit.edu/OcwWeb/Comparative-Media-Studies/CMS-930Media—Education—and-the-MarketplaceFall2001/CourseHome/index.htm

gwintAug 28, 2003 at 2:11PM

Actually, a full semester course on Linear Algebra is available. This is the one course I found on the site that truly is impressive: Full course lectures in streaming video, readings list, assignments in PDF, study materials (including java applets), and other related resources. If this is the direction they’re going, I’m thrilled, but from their timeline it looks like it’s going to be a few more years before a large range of courses are available.

JustinNov 21, 2003 at 3:40PM

There’s even a new site with OpenCourseWare discussion boards, course reviews, textbooks, etc. New OpenCourseWare Site.
I’m watching the linear algebra video lectures. They’re pretty well done!

Kalish Seth Jan 21, 2004 at 9:21PM

He who wishes to secure the good of others has already secured his own.

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.

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