MIT Announces OpenCourseWare

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VEST: OpenCourseWare is a web-based program that will provide free access to primary materials for virtually every course at MIT. Over the next 10 years, detailed lecture notes, course outlines, problem sets, exams, and so forth, for over 2,000 MIT courses will be posted on the web and made accessible to everybody worldwide for free.

LERMAN: This resonated with what many of us believe is the core mission of the university. The university isn't about selling courses for profit. That's not what we exist for. That's not why we were created. And that's not why most of the faculty, virtually all of the faculty, have decided to become professors. It's very much about how do you disseminate and create human knowledge.

YUE: I think MIT's mission and goal is not just to students within its walls, but MIT has a role to students everywhere, perhaps beyond national boundaries and globally.

ABELSON: There are real benefits to MIT, not financial benefits, but in terms of strengthening our educational community. We went around and gave presentations in every department at MIT.

And people would say things like, Gee, I would really like to be able to see in detail what my colleagues right here in this department are doing. And students are saying, Gee, before I go major in a subject, I would really like to be able to see what's in those courses.

So there's a real benefit having this material available, even openly across the MIT community.

VEST: Thinking back into history that when Andrew Carnegie decided he wanted to improve learning and quality of life across the United States, he didn't go out and found a for-profit correspondence school. He created a system of libraries. And I think that-- I'd like to believe there's still enough idealism and enough recognition that this really ought to be the bedrock use of the capability of the internet and the World Wide Web in education. And I think it's an idea that will find patrons. And we're very confident about that.