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MIT launches its first free course to be studied and assessed completely online. This is exactly the kind of bold thinking we need in higher education today.
Mahendranath Reddy's profile photoTina Ray's profile photoDhiraj Patra's profile photoGaurav Chauhan's profile photo
Awesome.....i hope one will be again a place to learn......people will go to university not for a degree which helps nothing but getting a job....!!!!
Cool. Free, world wide, online AND accredited sounds great but I've already signed up to free online uni courses through the University of California(Not accredited but who cares its for my own interests) so I might give it a miss... this time
This is education 3.0 education for every one and every one deserves one.
Put the knowledge accessible to the people and they will develop a better world! Thanks. Standford U. has many cousrses in the same way.
this is so cool... wishes do come true :)
i believe the success of education is to pass the knowledge to someone else even in a easier way....and MIT is doing a perfect job

GREAT, great, great!!!
Hope there will be more to come.
This is a welcome step. Question: will the likes of Google which upholds this, hire people who have taken such courses?
I don't get it at all. Why are they doing it? Who is paying for it, and why? After all, I can guarantee you that the knowledge and intellectual authority (as in, why we take what they say as true) embedded in this course was not provided for free. These professors get paid--a fair amount, if they're any good--and let's not get started on what other production costs were involved. Now, if these profs et al. were in a position to do their work pro bono, like hotshot lawyers who are partners or salaried juniors in big law firms, we can hardly conclude that reliable university knowledge (or competent legal counsel) is, or could be, free. So what's all this blather about how great it is? Will someone explain it, first?
Wish i had the prerequisite knowledge of electricity and magnetism. :(
+Roderick Bell, Ph.D.: previously I had read in the context of other universities offering similarly that such free material is on an as-is basis. No interaction of students with experts or experts will answer only top questions from a forum. Degrees, a basis for employ-ability after taking education, will not be offered for free. Such efforts are purely for sharing knowledge. Those people can benefit from such free material who do not need a degree as a negotiable instrument.
Great Idea!!!!!!!! Quality education for everyone!!!! It's good. Let us hope other universities will also initiate this online learning.
Must admit that it sounds like ████ █████ █████!
Ranjit, I'm not following you, I'm afraid. Are you suggesting, by analogy, that GM might stock a huge lot with automobiles and say, well, these are as-is, right off the assembly line. No dealer prep, no service agreements--no value add once it comes off the line. These cars, they're purely for driving or whatever, but they're only useful to people who don't need the follow-on support structure of warranties, service facilities, etc. Is that what you're saying, as though the car off the assembly line didn't cost anything?
finally, a step in the right direction for the education system.
+Roderick Bell, Ph.D., I beg to differ a bit about the analogy. The cost of making course material available for free is already recovered from paying students. Unlike physical things, there is no linear cost in replicating software based media. Also, MIT says such material will be used by on-campus students as an augmentation. MIT is recovering costs. It is their courtesy that instead of keeping such material behind closed doors, they are making it available for everyone to access.
very nyc attempt..............
I've been waiting for MITx to go live for the last few months! I think it is going to be awesome. So when is Google going to start it's own online university? :)
If I want to know something (for free), I'll take Wikipedia any day. MIT? Don't hold your breath for anything remotely approaching a comprehensive curriculum. (And I'd really like to know what band of idiots came up with this project.)
MIT in the snow. Thank heavens there hasn't been too much of it
Wish I knew what some of you folks were saying.
+Riderick Bell this is an opportunity for MIT to educate millions (perhaps tens of millions) of online students per year. Its not possible to do that in a campus scenario - most university classes are 500 people or less, I suspect MIT is doing it (as others have started too) not just for altruistic reasons but also to gain a foothold in the e-learning exonomy. At some point there will be monetization, so ask yourself: is it easier to get 500 people to pay $2000 for your product (education) or have 1 million peole pay $1 each?
And +tony burns is definitely right about the future of e-learning. They're even making inroads into law education which, needless to say, has the law schools all in a hissy which is wonderful for humans although God knows we really do not need any more lawyers. It has been suggested there should be a hunting season to thin the present herd. Hmmm.
This will bring about a revolutionary change in both educational and educational-fee systems, won't this?
Just signed up for the course, thanx for the heads up. Will be interesting to try a completely online course. :)
Well, I see we got quite a discussion on this one. OK Tell you guys what. I went ahead and signed up for the course. Now, a little background. I have a BS in English from a liberal arts school located in just about the middle of Alabama USA. I earned it in1989, I thank God for wordstar (even if it did not have a spell correct feature, damnit! Good at biology, physics, basic algebra and calculus in a verrrrry basic level. I've taken a class here and there but I have no experience in a modern college setting. I was considered high tech because I had a basic understanding of BASIC and could call a word processor program. I just read the first chapter of the book (60 on amazon used, no kindle.) and I gotta say, I was able to follow what I read. I was sure there was no way I could pass this course, but I'm looking forward to the challenge. And it's MIT! I would never get in on campus, I wonder what this will be like.
@Ranjit, yes, intellectual property is different from fixed capital and may be non-rivalrous (your use of it does not diminish my use of it, unlike, say, a seat on a train). But intellectual property, in general, needs protection or the producers of it are insufficiently incentivized to produce it. Notwithstanding the romantic drivel that seems to surround intellectual endeavor, it's not easy and most of the top producers are competitive as hell. Moreover, (1) student tuition is not nearly enough to pay for the knowledge they consume, (2) "recovering costs" seldom explains the existence of anything, physical or software (not physical?) or knowledge. People don't put their efforts at risk just to break even; if they did, they wouldn't last long unless they achieved a phenomenally perfect record.
@Sacha, hm, I'll have to ponder your excellent point.
@Tony, you could be right. At least you offered a non-ludicrous explanation for why MIT would do this. Thanks!
Best of luck +Mark Durham . Sounds like this is right up your alley. Hope you do get to their campus someday. Boston is a great city to be young in. +Roderick Bell, Ph.D. Dr. Bell, I doubt you'll qualify as a darling of Occupy. LOL. I am a vet. Thank you for what you do for us.
I have wondered about the 'damage' free education causes to the livelihood of those who live off educating others. There is a substantial amount of mediocre teaching that is going to be 'displaced' by this sort of initiative. Online may be thought of as a good supplementary education. In many cases it can be better than the 'direct' education accessible to people.
Yes, the bar is getting raised. To keep repeating a routine lecture semester after semester is outmoded. The research in education gets directed towards how to make this better understood. Individual help gets more time as expert faculty is freed from the drudgery of repetition. Face to face education has to develop along elements that need face to face interaction. In due course all education will be hybrid. A component that is direct and another that is distant.
As users of knowledge we need familiarity with 100 subjects, but mastery only in about 10. While we spend money on the mastering part, we can avail the free education on the peripheral part. Face to face education will become costlier, and focus more on lab work, and research.
Even without 'formal' courses being announced by brand name universities such as MIT, and Stanford, they and many others have already posted tons of educational content on Youtube. To an interested student these are available for free, even today, but without any support. The formal courses are adding the 'support'.
Wait, when you" want to know something (for free)," you'll "take Wikipedia" over MIT? And you wondered why I didn't use up time trying to explain to you the value of automated courses to society at large? SMDH
pada ngomong apa sih ya aku ora wudeng
Stanford has similar! We all need to do whatever it takes to spread education to the masses! It'll only improve our current predicament.
Nicki B
you smart people are very confuzzling
This is great!
For worker with a desire for qualitative education, For people whose schedule may not permit regular classroom hour, for those desiring but can’t afford the exorbitant online fees. This is freedom for all and from one the most reputable of institutions in the world. Kudos to MIT
Open education is a wonderful idea.
No heavy debate here, JUST, THIS WILL MAKE THE WORLD GO FORWARD, if the average persons education level is just a but higher, then we will benefit, lack of education is a cancer of our WORLD.
MIT has been doing this for a long time.
1 Entire Class online -> 1 Entire Department Online -> 1 Entire School Online -> Free Online Professors, but $300 e-books.
Wow, THIS is revolutionary (versus Apple's pseudo-revolutionary 'how can we sell more apple shit education revolution'). I am definitely taking this course (from the Andes mountains in Ecuador nonetheless!)
I've signed up, I've wanted to go there for the longest time, lets see how I do! Pray for me!
Quality of the learning experience is key. I am intrigued.
definitely not qualified according to MIT, but I've never backed down from challenge, so this should be fun.
I signed up for it. Back in my day, theater majors weren't allowed to take EE courses. So, I'm doing it now. Class starts in early March, runs through most of June.
r u laural smidict's brother?
I'm not so sure that is bold.
I'm thinking, what took so long?
ao iu
Great very Great MIT ...
Good Idea....... great thinking. keep it up MIT.
Stanford has already started this sort of thing with a few courses last fall. I was enrolled in a class which had a free online component!! They have some courses this spring as well. This is one of them - Scroll to the bottom to check out the other ones.
"The road not taken is the road less traveled",wishing the initiative the success it deserves
Excellent share, signed up. I'm an SE and trying to get acquainted with electronics & circuits for some hobbyist robotics and related things. This is perfect, and will hopefully get me the needed basis to start digging into further things.

+Roderick Bell, Ph.D. To respond to your comment(s), consider perhaps what's currently revolutionizing the video game industry with the "freemium" model: a game, in its entirety, is provided for free to the masses. While 99% of players don't pay a dime, revenues are made through the 1% of paying folks, who pay for largely convenience and shortcuts. Perhaps for MIT to make this work in the long run it could follow the same model by providing the material for free, in that anybody can sign up and eavesdrop on the classes, but thorough testing + awarded degree + personal professor one-on-one time + discussion sessions + [whatever else] can be 'sold' at a premium. Ie, selling "convenience" that'll help students understand the material faster. That model is working superbly for Zynga, so maybe that'd be a good approach for education as well. If things work out well, you'll have a highly educated population but only a small amount (the 'paying' folks) would hold the degrees & certification. In my case, I don't care to have an EE degree but I'm dying to learn more. Will I turn into a paying student at some point? Who knows, but if I do, then MIT has an another paying student that's not located in the state. Win for them, perhaps?
I'm taking classes with +Udacity to learn how to build my own search engine! I can't wait. I am SO glad to have this kind of access to current, interesting and valuable education!!
If I was not already graduating end of April I would go for it. But can't loose sight of current goal. Maybe I can do the ones in the fall? 
Nice ... i would like to do it.. hmmm lets see.
So this is a legitimate credential? I mean you could put this in your resume? It's a fantastic idea, but I see people balking at it's actual value.
Brilliant - education for all! Must lead to greater collaboration in world - informed communities make better decisions. This is great for me - just getting the hang of Google +!
Direct link: Enroll for free:

FAQ: "Can I get a certificate? No. MIT OpenCourseWare is a publication of the course materials that support the dynamic classroom interactions of an MIT education; it is not a degree-granting or credit-bearing initiative...." --

"even schools, like Harvard, with a 'distance education' component go to great lengths to differentiate the 'true' Harvard education from a 'distance learning certificate,' lest they raise the ire of the Old Boys' Network by watering down what it means to get a Harvard degree" --

Wake me up when they get real.
fucking awesome i just enrolled kinda funny too as ive been watching circuitry videos for the past 3 days on and and it will go right inline with my associates in applied science i start 3 days before...
Why is this "the kind of bold thinking we need in higher education today?"
Thanks a lot cos this will help some of in Africa.
For oldies like me, this is a fantastic chance and I'm taking it!
Read the article +Roderick Bell, Ph.D. MIT has an endowment of almost 10 billion dollars. They could stop accepting tuition today and still employ as many professors and researchers 100 years from now on investment revenue alone. The goal of the acadamy has never been employing PHDs, it has been disseminating knowledge as widely and deeply as possible. If an institution decides to horde their knowledge in the future in an attempt to create false scarcity there will always be another school willing to give it away for free. In a world of bits you only need one copy for the entirety of society. Personally I learn best with debate, discussion and project work. Attending a small land grant university it was easy to get that interaction but everyone I know who has attended the more prestigious UW here has had to teach themselves from the text and canned lecture and might as well have been in front of a computer. I think this is the start of something very big.
This is awesome! Back to college! :-) Thanks for sharing
Higher education? All I need is a book + test. This is yet another example of how the education system is retracting. It is all about money; don't ever forget it.
Just WOW for all of us the education enthusiast. Thanks a lot. MIT is already Open Course ware to study online without any certificate.
I just signed up for 6002x. I'll be taking it in parallel with the Udacity "Programming a self-driving car" course. Man, is my brain gonna hurt ;)...
wow... u deserve to be in the hot spot at this very moment... :)
That is so awesome. I love and applaud MIT's efforts to educate those that wish to learn. This is an awesome compliment to all the MIT lectures already on YouTube.
Congrats MIT and thankyou for launching such a fantastic project.
Happyyyyyyy Valentineeeeee Dayyyyyyy all my Friend. Muahhhhhhh
I applied to M.I.T ... but didn't get in ... still a little bitter : [
Happyyyyyyy Valentineeeeee Dayyyyyyy. All my Friend. Muahhhhhhh.
Happy Valentines! Don't forget to buy those roses!
I consider a course of MIT in engineering to pursue a masters degree in engineering technology, how can i register.
What would happen if some of the classes that are offered to Googlers were also open to the public?
Will this not help China, S. Korea, Taiwan and may be India and a few other countries to continue to out-score the U.S.?
This is fantastic! Finally some movement, some change in the way learning is delivered.
It's a real worry that they are offering the course for free when it's clearly not free to run (lecturer online face time, set-up and maintenance of the entire online structure (the content might be ready but it is not going to magically appear in the online student space) administration support to answer questions from students etc.). This sort of behaviour is feeding the misconception that anything web-based is worth less than the "physical" version.
wt courses r u offering n hw cn i join ds
I think credited online education from top universities should be available, even if you do it for your own interest it is worthwhile to be able to use it at a job interview, an employer will certainly be more interested in someone with credited courses in MIT over one who says to have it but can't prove it
This is what +CADLearning should do for +Autodesk certification prep.
Wow k want to give that a go
And yet, I will still make fun of anyone who gets an "online degree", no matter the name :)
I signed up. Interestingly my understanding of the motivations improved after I read the course description. The textbook, priced at $100, is written by the course director. This adds an interesting layer to the possible rewards MIT and its faculty may reap. This comment is not to minimize how wonderful the class may be.
This is great. I'm a technology student at UB, and I wish I had the goods to study at MIT.
I think education should be affordable for everyone. The American Way of Capitalism is not the right solution in education. Take Switzerland for example. For my Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering here at ETH Zurich, I pay only arround 800 Swiss Francs per Semester, so 1400 per year. (more infos:, CHF 1 = 1.0906 $) Books and gym included. The rest is financed by the state. My living expences not, that's clear. And I'm not especially supported, because I'm a genius in my class. So everyone has a chance to get a really highclass education. ETH is the best university on continental Europe and I think a lot better than MIT ;-) (my personal ranking) So I think, if America want's to compete in the future against China or Europe, it needs fundamental changes in it's public and private education system. CHF 1 = 1.0906 $
A great first step to make education free for all !
UN Declaration of Human Rights now Includes the Web

Article 26(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit. (2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace. (3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
Great move from MIT. Thanks a lot. Very clever, too. Will secure the brand MIT in the digital age. A great beginning. Will be interesting to see how they follow up at a time where we might see an end of the traditional University. Ref Solve for X: Adrien Treuille on collaborative science
I've enrolled in this. Some of the things I liked about it.
"The course web site was developed and tested primarily with Google Chrome." "...partial support for Internet Explorer"
"If you successfully complete the course, you will receive an electronic certificate of accomplishment from MITx."
"the first half of the course will include an optional remedial differential equations component for those who need it."
The Textbook, while recommended, is not required as relevant sections will be provided electronically.
"MIT is planning to make MITx course content and software infrastructure available under open source licenses that will help create a vibrant ecosystem of contributors and further MIT’s goal of making education accessible and affordable to the world."
Of course, there is something in it for them too:

"Limited License Grant to MIT. By submitting or distributing User Postings to the Site, you hereby grant to MIT a worldwide, non-exclusive, transferable, assignable, fully paid-up, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to host, transfer, display, perform, reproduce, modify, distribute and re-distribute, relicense, and otherwise exploit your User Postings, in whole or in part, in any form, and in any media formats and through any media channels (now known or hereafter developed)."
That clause is a pretty standard part of forum rules, dude. It's mostly there so they can do things like delete posts people make, or use their explanations to improve course materials. If that's really their secret evil plan, they need to get a new secret evil plan. Which they don't. Because it isn't.

Now, I'm sure MIT has a secret evil plan, but it probably more involves giant robots than exploiting people's intellectual property.
Universities must not be measured for their hold on knowledge but by how well they quality control their graduates and cultivate their students' talents and efforts to creating new wealth.
By "new wealth"? How about by "sustainable wealth"? +Yu-Jen Chang That's what the whole world needs now, moral leadership across the board not interested so much in short-term profits for investors but solutions for a sustainable economy, not so much based on paper money.
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