Open courseware can be a great way to learn new skills and information from some of the best colleges and universities in the US for free — all you need to do is search for the courses you want and commit to improving yourself with some of the best resources currently available.
What is Open Courseware?
The term open courseware refers to the free and open availability of college courses from major universities around the United States. Started in 2002 at MIT, the aim of the open courseware initiative is to bring a body of high-quality collegiate material and make it available, for use and/or adaptation, to the general public.
How Does Open Courseware Work?
Open courseware is provided free-of-charge from major universities like MIT, Tufts, and Yale, to name a few. These prestigious institutions offer access to materials used by students and created by college professors, including notes, video lectures, reading lists, exams, and much more.
Many posted exams have answer keys to help users check to make sure they have retained the information, and there are discussion forums available in certain content areas. Open courseware does not require any sort of registration and is completely self-paced. Although there is no access to faculty, feedback is shared and used by the universities.
What About Grades and Personal Feedback?
Open courseware seeks to educate people in a non-traditional way that hearkens back to the days before college degrees were the be-all, end-all to qualifying individuals. Since no degrees, grades, or certifications are awarded; it is up to the individual to dedicate themselves to learning the information.
Of course, when it comes to courses like writing, it is essential for people to put these new skills to practical use right away and seek feedback from alternative sources. Writing communities and forums are great places to seek out feedback for your work and get fast results.
Knowledge is Power
Whether you are able to interact in a traditional manner or not, open courseware seeks to help make educational resources available to anyone who chooses to better themselves through education. The fact that this wealth of knowledge is available for people to pick and choose what they would like to learn helps them to hand-tailor courses suited to their individual needs. This information ultimately can serve to help improve your skills as a writer and your knowledge in general.
This post was contributed by Kelly Kilpatrick, who writes on the subject of best online technology degrees. She invites your feedback at kellykilpatrick24 at gmail dot com
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