How many people can say they studied even one course at Yale University? That may be a thing of the past as Yale will be offering audio and video footage of lectures for free to the public (seven classes as early as fall 2007). â€œOpen Coursewareâ€ as it is called began with MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in 2003. Believe it or not there are additional schools preparing to offer more comprehensive material such as â€œclass plans, lecture notes, lists of reading materials and even homeworkâ€, according to Anne Marie Chaker from the Wall Street Journal Online.
These offerings bring to mind distance learning but the differences are these courses are free as distance learning is at cost. With the free courses there is no record a student was ever enrolled or even completed the material offered.
Regardless of the implications both negative and positive this is huge in the realm of education as the costs of higher education continue to skyrocket we are assured there will be alternative methods for financially disadvantaged persons (or persons who have situations preventing them from gaining an education) to gain knowledge thus allowing all persons to increase earning potential if they are able to apply the knowledge they have gained.
Some of the schools listed in the WSJ Online article are:
University of Notre Dame
University of California, Berkeley
MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
And many more I'm sure will be following in MIT's footsteps.