MIT making course material available free on the Internet

Over the next two years, anyone will be able to access information on management, architecture and planning, engineering, humanities, arts, social sciences and science.

The Massachussets Institute of Technology (MIT) is taking an unprecedented step and putting materials for its entire cirriculum – more than 2,000 courses – online for free.

Web users will be able to access information on management, architecture and planning, engineering, humanities, arts, social sciences and science.

The Web site for the project is called MIT OpenCourseWare and will offer lecture notes, course outlines, reading lists and assignments for each course.

Tuition at MIT is approximately $39,000 a year. The Web project will cost the school about $158-million.

“MIT OpenCourseWare is a bold move that will change the way the Web is used in higher education,” said MIT president Charles Vest. “With the content posted for all to use, it will provide an extraordinary resource, free of charge, which others can adapt to their own needs. We see it as source material that will support education worldwide, including innovations in the process of teaching and learning itself.”

MIT doesn’t expect that the move will cause it to lose students. A spokesperson for the school said that using the materials online can’t replace the experience of sitting in the classroom and being taught by a live person.

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