20 years ago, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) set itself an ambitious goal to make education accessible to everyone who seeks it worldwide. On April 4th, 2001, MIT announced to publish the core educational materials freely on the web through its project MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW). Soon, other universities around the world joined the mission of sharing Open Education Resources (OER) on their university platforms.
“The idea is simple: to publish all of our course materials online and make them widely available to everyone.” Dick K.P. Yue, Professor, MIT School of Engineering.
Years later, Harvard and MIT launched edX, a massive open online course (MOOC) provider, to deliver online learning opportunities to the public in 2012. MOOC platforms offer more interactive learning features than OCW, as they allow students to sign up, take notes and complete assignments, interact with their peers, leave comments, or review the course, and finally earn badges or certificates for completing the course.
Class Central has tracked the development of MOOCs even before the birth of the “MOOC” itself. MOOCs have a clear focus on the learner and generally the course contents are locked behind a signup wall. OCW, however, also gives the educator a great opportunity to share, find and use high quality educational resources to develop their own teaching material. So, we did some research and compiled the following list of OCWs that offer some of the best teaching and learning materials available worldwide. If you find an important source missing, please leave as a comment. We would be happy to include it in our compilation.
If OCW courses don’t interest you,Class Central has got you covered. Either browse our extensive catalog of30,000 online courses or have a look at our thematic collections:
Most of Stanford’s on-campus computer science courses have a companion website. Many are only open to Stanford students. But others are open to everyone, giving access to course materials such as slides, readings, and assignments. Some even provide video lessons — for instance:CS106B,CS107, CS110, CS221, CS229, CS231n, andCS224N.
Open Yale Courses (OYC) has provided selected lectures and other learning materials from Yale College courses free of charge since December 2007. Millions of learners from around the world have watched them on the OYC website, through channels on YouTube and iTunes U.
The videos of these courses can also be found on their YouTube channel, which since 2007 have accumulated ~400M views, compared to ~250M views for MIT’s OCW channel. Perhaps this makes NPTEL the most popular OCW resource on the planet. Typical courses include:
Open Michigan is the home for all things open at the University of Michigan, including Open Educational Resources. Learners are free to access a range of course materials, videos, lectures licensed under Creative Common. Course materials include:
The Open Learning Initiative (OLI) provides textbook-replacement courseware built upon principles in three Carnegie Mellon University’s focusses: cognitive science, computer engineering and human-computer interaction. Some of them are paid courses. There are 70+ courses and typical courses are:
TU Delft (the Netherlands) launched its OpenCourseWare (OCW) website with three MSc programs, Water Management, Micro-electronics, and Offshore Engineering in October 2007. Today, they have offered 100+ courses. Typical courses include:
USU’s OpenCourseWare (OCW) provides open access to educational resources in different subjects like Anthropology, Biological and Irrigation Engineering, and Education. The latest material is from 2008 and the lectures are audio in nature. It does allow reuse. Typical courses are:
National Tsing Hua University is a research university in Hsinchu City, Taiwan. They host 170+ courses in Chinese language on their OCW platform. The videos are also uploaded on their YouTube channel which since 2008 has received 5.3 million video views.
It is one of the rare OCW platforms still creating and uploading new content. You can switch between Chinese and English to browse the course information and video lectures are taught in Chinese. The latest courses include:
National Taiwan University (NTU) is one of the most prestigious universities in Taiwan. NTU OCW now offers 230+ courses in traditional Chinese language on the website and some course videos are also on its Youtube channel. 6 new courses have been launched in 2021. The 10 most popular courses on the platform have got a total of 14 million views:
National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University (NYCU) is a national university in Taiwan. NYCU OCW hosts 220 courses on its websiteand videos are also available on YouTube. As far as we can tell, the courses are mostly in Chinese language. NYCU OCW Youtube channel has garnered ~16 million views since 2012.
35+ University of Tsukuba OCW
The University of Tsukuba, located in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, is one of the prestigious national universities established by Japanese Government. Tsubaka OCW offers a number of courses and lecture videos in the field of Maths, Psychology, Physics, and many others. The videos are hosted on their YouTube channel which since 2013 has accumulated ~1 million video views.
200 METU OpenCourseWare courses
Middle East Technical University (METU) is a public technical university located in Ankara, Turkey. METU OpenCourseWare offers ~200 courses in Turkish and English. The videos are hosted on its YouTube channel which since 2013 has received ~2 million video views.
140 Hanyang University’s OCW Courses
Hanyang University is a private research university in South Korea. Their OCW Platform hosts 140 courses in Korean and English. Their YouTube channel has received 630k views since 2008.
140+ UTokyo OpenCourseware Courses
The University of Tokyo is a public research university located in Bunkyō, Tokyo, Japan. On their OCW platform, they offer 140+ courses in Japanese Language. In 2018, they launched a Youtube channel which has since then accumulated 100k views.
55+ Kyoto University OCW
Kyoto University OpenCourseWare (OCW) actively publishes and publicly shares the videos and materials from the courses, open lectures, and international symposiums at Kyoto University. They offer 55+ courses, but also keep uploading lectures to their YouTube channel, which since 2008 has accumulated over 10+ million views.
With a background in Health Statistics and Sociology, she has built a career path in Data Analytics. She joined the team as a Data Analyst and is helping Class Central to improve its services for global MOOC learners.