The MicroMasters program in Data, Economics, and Development Policy provides new path to MIT

Online learning initiative provides real-world opportunity for students.

Chuka Ezeoguine is a student from Port Harcourt, Nigeria, who is majoring in computer science. Driven to help the world’s poor, he is developing the knowledge base he needs to create algorithm-based solutions to economic problems.

Camelia Vasilov recently graduated from Leiden University College and interns at the World Startup Factory. Raised in Moldova, her first-hand experience with poverty motivates her to master the analysis and application of empirical research, so she can return home to design and implement sound development policies.

Sangalore Sumit is a computer science engineer in Bangalore, India. He hopes to aid government in the development and implementation of data-driven programs that bridge the gap between public policy and public welfare.

Living and working on separate continents, these people have one thing in common: they all studied together at MIT. MITx, that is.

Studying together around the world, students in the MITx MicroMasters program in Data, Economics, and Development Policy (DEDP) are connected by digital learning technologies and driven by a common cause: to help people in their communities and developing countries overcome challenges facing the world’s poor.

MITx MicroMasters is a new way to pursue a credentialed course of study from MIT. The cost of the DEDP program is based on ability to pay, and classes are open to anyone. According to Benjamin Olken, Professor of Economics, MIT, and Director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (JPAL), “Whether you’re interested in a career in development policy, or interested in pursuing graduate school admissions, this certificate will signal your competence with advanced material.”

Students who successfully complete the five-course curriculum can apply to a newly-established accelerated master’s degree program offered by MIT’s department of economics. Accepted students will earn their degree in one semester while studying at the main campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

“There are thousands of social programs all over the world,” says Esther Duflo, Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics, MIT, Co-founder and Co-director of JPAL. “But how do you evaluate their effectiveness? How do you ensure that policies used to tackle these problems are backed by scientific evidence? And how do you determine which methods are most useful in addressing these problems and yielding the best outcomes?”

Staying true to MIT’s commitment to academic rigor, the MicroMasters program in DEDP equips students with the skills and knowledge required to assess the effectiveness of anti-poverty initiatives through data-driven methodologies. It provides a solid foundation in microeconomics, data analysis, probability and statistics, development economics, and program evaluation.

“Our goal is to create a cadre of rigorously trained development economists to engage the problems of developing the world,” says Abhijit Banerjee, Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics, MIT, Co-founder and Co-director of JPAL.

Expand your mind. Expand your future. Learn more about the MicroMasters program and start improving the world today.

OCW Educator: New Ways to Search, New Ways to Find

By Joe Pickett, OCW Publication Director

OCW has just released a new portal for its Educator project that provides two new ways to search OCW’s collection of course sites. We’ve made a short video that gives an overview of the Educator project, shows how to get to the portal, and explains how it works.

20160224_EdPortal_Active Learning

Search by Instructional Approach allows users to look for courses by pedagogic topic. The search results produce a list of courses that have This Course at MIT pages with Instructor Insights explaining the course’s pedagogy. OCW currently has some 90 courses with Instructor Insights, with more being published every month.

The search topics cover a range of concepts, from “Active Learning” and “Assessment” to “Instructional Design” and “Learning Communities” to “Teaching Problem Solving” and “Teaching with Technology.” In seconds you can discover how individual MIT faculty members have gone about teaching their courses and how their approaches to teaching have evolved.

20160224_EdPortal_ChemistryNotes

Search by Teaching Materials opens OCW’s vast library of resources to targeted queries by content type. You open the search in a given subject (e.g. Chemistry), then identify a content type (Assignments, AV lectures, Lecture Notes, etc.), and then, in some cases, a specialty (Video, e.g.). So if you want to find exams or projects for Mechanical Engineering classes, the Finder instantly takes you to all of OCW’s courses with these features.

The OCW staff has long known that users can face frustration trying to find what they need in OCW’s vast library of teaching materials for 2,330 courses. The new Educator portal lets users know that OCW has been listening. After all, we’re users too!

Eight new courses in January

A man in a suit and mask standing outdoors next to a computer

Explore topics like digital hacktivism by groups such as Anonymous in the new OCW course Current Debates in Media. (Image courtesy of Stian Eikeland on flickr. License CC BY-NC-SA.)

OCW added eight new courses during the month of January 2016, bringing the current collection to 2,325 courses in total.  Of these latest courses, six are brand new subjects on OCW and two are updates of previously published subjects.

New Courses

Updated Courses

 

Shh! (But we need your help!)

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Image by Shreyans Bhansali

Dear Friends of OCW,

MIT OpenCourseWare is celebrating our 15th anniversary this year – and we need your help!

To celebrate, we’re creating a “surprise” thank you video to the MIT faculty who’ve made it possible for OCW to reach this milestone.

The video will star YOU and other OCW learners from around the world.

We would be forever grateful if you could record a video-selfie answering some (or all) of our questions below. There’s also a couple of technical guidelines below to help with the making of your video.

We need your submission by Friday, January 15, 2016 Wednesday, January 27, 2016 (new deadline)!

Thanks in advance for giving back!

Sincerely,

The MIT OpenCourseWare Team

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

QUESTIONS:

  • What is your name and where are you from?
  • Who told you about OCW?
  • What motivated you to use OCW?
  • Were the materials covered the hardest part about OCW?
  • What was your gut reaction (first sentence/thought) when you heard MIT class content was available online, free?
  • Have you built anything using your OCW learning? If so, can you show us?
  • Have you used anything you learned with OCW to give back to your community?
  • If you had to put a value on what you learned from OCW, how much would you say it’s worth?
  • What was your impression of MIT before knowing about OCW?
  • Can you remember the exact number of the course(s) you looked into?
  • Have you ever had a chance to thank MIT or your MIT professor?
  • Is there anything else you’d like to tell MIT or the world about OCW?

 

Would you please read the following lines:

Thank you, MIT.

For opening your books.

For opening your doors.

For opening your hearts.

I am course 14.01SC (Please fill in your course name/number – if you remember it)

I know you may not know me,

But I am your student.

And you are my professor.

Thank you!

 

Technical details:

  • Shoot horizontally.
  • Hold your phone steady – putting it on a mantel or something would be great, but don’t stand too far if that’s what you’re doing.
  • Don’t shoot from below the face.
  • Don’t shoot with a direct light source behind you – a window, the sun, a lamp etc.
  • Avoid noisy places – from waterfalls to kids or busy streets and cars.
  • Try incorporating the question into your answer, to give context (i.e. “When I first heard OCW materials were online and free, I thought….”)
  • If there’s a setting on your camera, set it (and then send it as large/best quality as possible).
  • Please upload your video(s) to this Link: WeTransfer.com

 

How to Send Your Videos

  1.  Go to WeTransfer.com
  2.  Click on the “+” symbol and attach the video file right from your smartphone that you would like to send us
  3. Type in MITOCW15@gmail.com as the recipient
  4. Type in your own email address
  5. In the “Message” section, please provide us with your name, email address and phone number. Only your first name, educational role (student, educator, independent learner) and Country will accompany your video. Please remember that anything published on our site is made available under a Creative Commons license that permits reuse and redistribution for non-commercial purposes.
  6. Click “Transfer” to send your video to us

No fooling: 20 more courses on OCW

Happy day-after-April Fools Day!

Since our previous “new courses” post in early January, OCW has published 20 more courses. Covering topics in STEM, humanities and social sciences fields, and ranging from introductory undergraduate to advanced graduate levels, these courses reflect the scope and depth of learning at MIT.

Eight courses are new subjects on OCW, while the other twelve are updates to previously published courses. Five courses have substantial video or audio lecture content, and two include an online textbook.

New courses:

Updated courses:

It’s Fair Use Week!

From the Fair Use Fundamentals infographic, courtesy of Fair Use Week (CC BY).

From the Fair Use Fundamentals infographic (PDF), courtesy of Fair Use Week (CC BY).

Fair Use Week is an annual celebration of the important doctrines of fair use in the United States and fair dealing in Canada and other jurisdictions. With a wealth of events and resources, it’s running February 23-27, 2015.

If you’ve used OpenCourseWare in the past few years, you’ve almost certainly benefited from our application of fair use. It allows us to retain more content, such as images and text excerpts in lecture notes, or media clips within lecture videos, that would otherwise have been cut out prior to our publication.

Since the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for OpenCourseWare was released at the end of 2009, fair use has led to more complete materials in over 180 OCW courses. That’s over 50% of the courses we’ve published during this time.  Across those courses, you’ll find about 4,000 pieces of content that would NOT be shared with you if not for fair use. And a few of these courses probably would not have been publishable without a fair use foundation.

To learn more about fair use in OpenCourseWare, see our FAQ on fair use.