A Day in the Life with MIT OpenCourseWare

Photo of Cathleen

Cathleen Nalezyty (‘16), OCW digital publication specialist, provides insight into the OCW Team

For OCW, there is joy in helping people achieve their learning goals
By Yvonne Ng | MIT Open Learning

Every day at OCW, the team looks forward to creating, collaborating, and above all, learning. Each team member recognizes the importance of their role in helping to publish the free MIT courses so many learners around the world use and enjoy.

For Cathleen Nalezyty (‘16), a digital publication specialist, OCW is an expression of the Institute’s commitment to advancing knowledge to serve the world. She shared some of her thoughts about what it’s like to work at OCW every day.

What is a typical day like for you? What are some of the highlights?

It’s hard to say what a “typical” day is like—it varies so much depending on what courses I’m working on. One day I might be writing a list of edits for course videos and another I might be making PDFs accessible and adding metadata. Other days I may be reaching out to instructors of classes I’d like to see on OCW or contacting guest lecturers outside of MIT to get permission to use their work in the course.

Something that always makes my week (and often my month!) is when one of my larger courses goes live on OCW. There’s a lot of work and time invested in these courses. This is especially true for video courses, where the process takes months, since we start working with the professors before the class even starts, throughout the course, and only get to start building the course after that! I love getting to send out emails to our faculty letting them know that their course is published and open to the public.

Photo of Professor Strang leacturing in class

The OCW Video Team works to capture MIT professors sharing their knowledge. Here is Professor Strang lecturing in class.

What do you like about working with MIT faculty or fellow team members?

Working with MIT faculty is always inspiring as they’re the best in their field and yet, they’re also wonderfully human. (Some of my best conversations with faculty are completely incidental—like spending a few minutes at the end of a meeting talking about Tolkien because you happened to notice a particularly nice edition of The Lord of the Rings on their shelf…) They’re also very passionate about teaching and are excited to be able to share their knowledge with the world!

What about the OCW mission inspires you?

It’s really inspiring to know that the work you’re doing can help so many other people. OCW has a huge reach and that’s because it’s part of our mission: we want anyone to be able to access our content from anywhere. It’s incredible to work with a team who wants to share this knowledge, not just with MIT students, but everyone—from lifelong learners to other educators to curious high school students.

Is there anything else you want learners to know?

We love getting to hear your stories and your kind comments! We even have a little board right now that’s decorated with your quotes.

OCW spotlights learner feedback

OCW has a wall dedicated to wonderful feedback from learners.

Every day Cathleen and the OCW team work to meet the needs of learners eager to enhance their knowledge, lift up their communities, and change the world for the benefit of everyone. If OCW has been a valuable resource to you, please consider supporting our work with a gift on March 12, 2020 during the MIT 24-Hour Challenge. Visit us online to learn more or to support OCW on March 12.