In the Spirit of Open

Logo graphic for Open Education Week 2016.By Sarah Hansen, OCW Educator Project Manager

OCW is participating in Open Education Week 2016 (March 7-11)!  We’re sharing a video to introduce you (and your teaching colleagues around the world) to our new OCW Educator portal, which allows users to now search OCW content by instructional approach and teaching materials.

 

Use the portal to find new examples, explanations, and simulations to make concepts in your classroom come to life. Enrich your students’ experiences with OCW images, lecture slides, and video. All of these resources come straight from the classrooms of MIT’s leading researchers and teachers. Because OCW is Creative Commons licensed, these materials are made for sharing. Download files for later. Share with students. Modify, remix, and reuse in your teaching.

Through This Course at MIT pages, MIT faculty share their thinking, methods, and tips about the art and science of teaching with the global educator community. Use the portal to discover new ways to motivate your students with active learning. Get students more deeply engaged in problem solving. Help your students learn to work in teams. Weave communication skills into STEM subjects. Refresh your approach to large-class lectures.

Explore

Explore a few of our latest OCW Educator videos:

Share

Help us share this resource. Tell a teacher about OCW Educator. Share resources you find on OCW with students and colleagues. Let’s keep open going!

MIT announces new learning research initiatives

Photo of student in a library working on papers and her laptop.MIT’s committed efforts to understand learning and improve it at all levels of education took a big step forward yesterday. As reported by MIT News:

MIT President L. Rafael Reif announced today a significant expansion of the Institute’s programs in learning research and online and digital education — from pre-kindergarten through residential higher education and lifelong learning — that fulfills a number of recommendations made in 2014 by the Institute-Wide Task Force on the Future of MIT Education.

Most notably, Reif announced the creation of the MIT Integrated Learning Initiative (MITili), to be led by Professor John Gabrieli, and a new effort to increase MIT’s ability to improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning by students from pre-kindergarten through high school (pK-12), to be led by Professor Angela Belcher. The announcement also included a program to support faculty innovations in MIT residential education and new work to enhance MIT’s continuing education programs. Read more >

What does this mean for OCW and other MIT open educational resources? We look forward to providing better opportunities for learners, and sharing MIT’s latest teaching methods through initiatives like OCW Educator. The accompanying FAQ: Reshaping MIT’s programs in online and digital education states that

Research out of MITili will inform MIT’s digital learning and open education efforts, such as MIT OpenCourseWare, MITx, and the new MicroMaster’s program, and seeks to further improve these online learning platforms by applying latest developments in learning scholarship and educational technology. Read more >

Exciting times!

As an OpenMatters blog post wouldn’t be complete without some related OCW content, we heartily recommend MITili founding director John Gabrieli’s popular 9.00SC Introduction to Psychology. This OCW Scholar course takes you on an engaging scientific journey through human nature, including “how the mind works and how the brain supports the mind.”

#AllAboutOpen: Our OCW Educator Twitter Chat

As part of Open Education Week, Open College at Kaplan University (OC@KU) and the Open Education Consortium (OEC) hosted a 24-hour Twitter event, #AllAboutOpen. We participated in the lively discussion last night for half an hour, talking about the OCW Educator initiative. If you missed the chat (or prefer the blog to Twitter), here’s a recap:

Learn, Cure, Fuel, Make: MIT launches “Solve” (MIT News)

Graphic of four colored squares with the words Learn, Cure, Fuel, Make.

The four pilliars of Solve. (Source: MIT Solve website.)

MIT launches “Solve” to galvanize action on solving the world’s great challenges
Leaders to gather for keystone event at MIT next October
Technology Review | December 12, 2014

MIT will convene technologists, philanthropists, business leaders, policymakers, and social-change agents Oct. 5-8, 2015, for the launch of “Solve,” an initiative to galvanize these leaders to drive progress on complex, important global challenges that MIT has singled out as urgent and ripe for progress. Curated by distinguished members of the MIT community, this highly collaborative event will take place at Kresge Auditorium and at various labs, classrooms, and facilities across the MIT campus.

Solve will organize challenges into four content pillars, identified by MIT as strategic targets for interdisciplinary research, problem solving, and collaboration:

  • Learn, curated by Anant Agarwal, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT and CEO of edX, will focus on access to education, and digital and distance learning.
  • Cure, curated by Phillip Sharp, Institute Professor at MIT and an affiliate of MIT’s Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, will examine the affordability of care, and advanced diagnostics and therapies.
  • Fuel, curated by Angela Belcher, the W.M. Keck Professor of Energy at MIT, will focus on environmental sustainability, food and water security, and renewable energy.
  • Make, curated by Rodney Brooks, professor emeritus of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT and founder, chairman, and chief technology officer of Rethink Robotics, will delve into manufacturing, global infrastructure, and the future of work.

The curators will assemble challenge teams to address specific global issues in the developing and developed worlds, with short- and long-term goals for tackling pressing issues where serious progress is possible…

Read the full article.

We certainly agree that learning is one key to solving the world’s most pressing problems, and look forward to this initiative.

Why do OpenCourseWare? Why do MITx?

As the former Chair of MIT OpenCourseWare’s Faculty Advisory Committee, Prof. Shigeru Miyagawa has been asked many many times “why does MIT do OpenCourseWare?” He spoke about his answer to this question last month at the Columbia Center for New Media Teaching and Learning (CCNMTL).

 

Prof. Miyagawa’s answer goes back to a quote from former MIT president Chuck Vest:
“If you share money, it disappears, but if you share knowledge, it increases.”

Promoting open education around the world (Whitehouse.gov)

Photo of Barack Obama speaking at a meeting.

President Barack Obama delivers remarks at a meeting on the Open Government Partnership at the United Nations in New York, N.Y., Sept. 24, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

“Because we know that education is a cornerstone for progress…we’re going to do more to help citizens in other countries, especially students, access the incredible online educational tools and resources we have in the States.”
– President Obama, September 24, 2014

During his remarks last week at a meeting of the Open Government Partnership at the United Nations, President Barack Obama reaffirmed the U.S. Government’s commitment to open education. Several new initiatives were detailed in a blog post by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy:

The United States is committed to:

Raise open education awareness and identify new partnerships. The U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Office of Science and Technology Policy will jointly host a workshop on challenges and opportunities in open education internationally with stakeholders from academia, industry, and government.

Pilot new models for using open educational resources to support learning.  The State Department will conduct three pilots overseas by December 2015 that use open educational resources (OER) to support learning in formal and informal learning contexts. The pilots’ results, including best practices, will be made publicly available for interested educators.

Launch an online skills academy. The Department of Labor (DOL), with cooperation from the Department of Education, will award $25 million through competitive grants to launch an online skills academy in 2015 that will offer open online courses of study, using technology to create high-quality, free, or low-cost pathways to degrees, certificates, and other employer-recognized credentials.

The posting concludes with a ringing affirmation of the benefits of OERs:

OER can be a powerful tool for the State Department because it advances several of its core objectives. Because OER is free and openly accessible, it plays an important role in increasing access to high-quality educational content around the world, particularly for underserved and disadvantaged communities.  It also helps ensure that women and girls have access to educational resources.  More education correlates to greater social equality.

Open education resources can also improve the quality of teaching and learning here in the United States by fostering experimentation that can accelerate student comprehension and support more affordable educational experiences. A study of the Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative statistics course demonstrated accelerated learning, with participating students mastering required course material in half the time of a traditional course. Likewise, a recent study by the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition calculates that open educational resources have already saved post-secondary students $100 million in out of pocket costs over the last few years.

We join the President and leaders, learners, and teachers around the world in celebrating these efforts.

Read the complete Whitehouse.gov blog post here.

MOOCs Won’t Replace Business Schools — They’ll Diversify Them (Harvard Business Review)

We know MOOC learners are diverse. Is the same true for those taking MOOC business courses? Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania analyzed data from the students who took business MOOCs. They found much more diversity (geographically, at least) in the MOOC participants, compared to students in MBA programs. According to their data:

…78% of individuals who registered for an online business course came from outside of the United States. For comparison, Executive MBA programs in 2012 only attracted an average of 14% foreign students. Part-time or flexible MBA programs attracted 10%-32% foreign students, depending on the type of program. Even full-time two-year MBA programs, which attracted 45% foreign students, fall far short of the international reach of these business MOOCs. Read the entire blog post.

These findings suggest that MOOCs from business schools are not “cannibalizing” their existing pool of potential applicants, but instead reaching new audiences and under-served learners.

You can see the list of business and management courses on edX here. If you’re interested in courses from MIT Sloan School of Management, check out our list of featured OCW courses, or the entire course lists here.