Online College Courses & Classes : Open Database

A Directory of Free Online College Courses and Classes

Online College Courses and Classes Directory of 2013

This directory has been developed to help you find the right courseware for your own needs, as many OCW programs are still quite basic. You can filter your search in the following ways:

The following resource will guide you in finding the open courseware materials that you want, whatever your needs may be.

Discover Open Courseware

Open courseware is about sharing the structure and materials of free online college courses. Open courseware publications are quality educational materials that are available to the public at no charge. They are available for use and adaptation for non-commercial purposes, and they are not meant to provide certification or access to faculty.

Open courseware may not give you college credit directly, but these online college courses can make difficult courses easier, as well as help you test out of certain subjects, depending on your school. Of course, it also provides opportunities for examining new subjects, whether you are a college student in a specialized and demanding program or simply a curious member of the public.

Open Courseware is still a new concept, and different institutions have different standards for what they consider OCW. These can range from a thorough set of video-based online courses for college sciences or other topics to lecture notes and a written guide for studying works of literature. Other examples of OCW publications are online textbooks and podcasts of lectures. Often, material is created to supplement traditional or online courses and later published for free. The field is evolving as well. “Massively online open courses” (MOOCs), where thousands of students enroll in a course with faculty moderators, are a new trend, and some programs even offer the opportunity to earn certification by paying a small fee to take a secure online exam.

See Why Schools Offer Open Courseware Materials

While colleges have been publishing instructional materials online since the dawn of the Internet, OCW as it is currently constituted began at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1999. MIT developed the concept of openly sharing course material for the benefit of students, as well as to demonstrate their curriculum and teaching methods to other educators in an easily accessible way. Open courseware furthers the academic mission of learning institutions, providing contributions to the public and worldwide academia. It also lets you “try before you buy,” as college coursework can be costly and demanding.

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