If you are interested in OpenCourseWare (OCW), then you probably are aware that Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has and probably will continue to make the largest contribution to this online educational effort to date. But, in light of the recent financial meltdown, MIT plans to make cuts to its OCW budget. If MIT is making cuts, then what are other, smaller institutions doing about their contributions to OCW?
OCW is, basically, intellectual philanthropy. A number of universities and colleges now offer courses online and free of charge to anyone with a computer and an Internet connection. But, OCW is more than posting online courses, quizzes and videos for learning. It takes a dedicated staff to deal with publishing an OCW site and to keep it updated. In MIT’s case, the sum amounts to $4 million per year, although portions of this amount are covered by grants provided by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Andrew Mellon Foundation and through donations, revenue and other sources. (more…)