The Open Courseware Movement Offers Free Education Online

Melanie Gross
Jun 29, 2009
Updated • Dec 12, 2012

Not everyone takes a college class just for the credit toward their degree, there are actually a lot of people who love taking classes just to learn something new, because they are bored, or because they wish to prepare themselves a little better for future classes. Among these people there are those with no money to put toward school, who don't have a car, or want to take a class at 1 AM. Whatever the reason, the Open CourseWare Movement has helped thousands of people who are interested in taking classes online take them for free. Because of the Open CourseWare Movement, students can take classes online without enrolling to a school or paying anything. Those wishing to take a class can do so immediately without waiting to hear back from some advisor or waiting for the bursar's office to approve a payment.

The Open CourseWare Movement allows students to find courses online that fit their needs. Because of the large amount of schools currently serving free online classes, students can choose from literally thousands of courses. These aren't just your every day, run of the mill colleges either! Universities such as MIT, Yale, and Stanford are among those that offer free courses online. Even colleges and universities in different countries such as Japan, Israel, and Spain are participating in the program. Because of this, many courses are offered in languages other than English.

For a college to qualify for the Open CourseWare program, they must offer at least 10 courses free online. The courses must contain everything a student needs, including the reading material (students who use this don't have to pay for books) for it to be a part of the program. Whether it's a class taken for fun or to learn something new, it's a good idea for students to look for classes from universities known particularly for that course or major. This helps ensure that the student will get the best education they can. Different courses are taught in different ways. Many courses have video lectures, just audio, or just course transcripts. It's important for those looking to take a class through the Open CourseWare program to look for classes that fit their needs such as a video class for those who learn better visually than by reading.

The goal of the Open CourseWare Movement is to get as many colleges and universities to participate as possible so that more people are given the chance to learn online. There are many ways that those who've benefited from the Open CourseWare Movement can help such as donating, passing on the word, or just taking a course to better themselves. It is usually a good idea to open a search engine and search for "open courseware" to find universities and colleges that offer these free courses.


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  1. ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Doesn’t Windows 8 know that www. or http:// are passe ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 4, 2012 at 7:57 pm

      Well it is a bit difficulty to distinguish between domains and files for instance.

    2. Leonidas Burton said on September 4, 2023 at 4:51 am

      I know a service made by google that is similar to Google bookmarks.

  2. VioletMoon said on August 16, 2023 at 5:26 pm

    @Ashwin–Thankful you delighted my comment; who knows how many “gamers” would have disagreed!

  3. Karl said on August 17, 2023 at 10:36 pm


    The comments section under this very article (3 comments) is identical to the comments section found under the following article:

    Not sure what the issue is, but have seen this issue under some other articles recently but did not report it back then.

  4. Anonymous said on August 25, 2023 at 11:44 am

    Omg a badge!!!
    Some tangible reward lmao.

    It sucks that redditors are going to love the fuck out of it too.

  5. Scroogled said on August 25, 2023 at 10:57 pm

    With the cloud, there is no such thing as unlimited storage or privacy. Stop relying on these tech scums. Purchase your own hardware and develop your own solutions.

    1. lollmaoeven said on August 27, 2023 at 6:24 am

      This is a certified reddit cringe moment. Hilarious how the article’s author tries to dress it up like it’s anything more than a png for doing the reddit corporation’s moderation work for free (or for bribes from companies and political groups)

  6. El Duderino said on August 25, 2023 at 11:14 pm

    Almost al unlmited services have a real limit.

    And this comment is written on the dropbox article from August 25, 2023.

  7. John G. said on August 26, 2023 at 1:29 am

    First comment > @ilev said on August 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    For the God’s sake, fix the comments soon please! :[

  8. Kalmly said on August 26, 2023 at 4:42 pm

    Yes. Please. Fix the comments.

  9. Kim Schmidt said on September 3, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    With Google Chrome, it’s only been 1,500 for some time now.

    Anyone who wants to force me in such a way into buying something that I can get elsewhere for free will certainly never see a single dime from my side. I don’t even know how stupid their marketing department is to impose these limits on users instead of offering a valuable product to the paying faction. But they don’t. Even if you pay, you get something that is also available for free elsewhere.

    The algorithm has also become less and less savvy in terms of e.g. English/German translations. It used to be that the bot could sort of sense what you were trying to say and put it into different colloquialisms, which was even fun because it was like, “I know what you’re trying to say here, how about…” Now it’s in parts too stupid to translate the simplest sentences correctly, and the suggestions it makes are at times as moronic as those made by Google Translations.

    If this is a deep-learning AI that learns from users’ translations and the phrases they choose most often – which, by the way, is a valuable, moneys worthwhile contribution of every free user to this project: They invest their time and texts, thereby providing the necessary data for the AI to do the thing as nicely as they brag about it in the first place – alas, the more unprofessional users discovered the translator, the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, the greater the aggregate of linguistically illiterate users has become, and the worse the language of this deep-learning bot has become, as it now learns the drivel of every Tom, Dick and Harry out there, which is why I now get their Mickey Mouse language as suggestions: the inane language of people who can barely spell the alphabet, it seems.

    And as a thank you for our time and effort in helping them and their AI learn, they’ve lowered the limit from what was once 5,000 to now 1,500…? A big “fuck off” from here for that! Not a brass farthing from me for this attitude and behaviour, not in a hundred years.

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