More and more universities across the country and throughout the world are contributing their full courses and materials, including video lectures, to their school websites as well as sites such as iTunes U and YouTube EDU. And the cost of these courses that are normally worth thousands of dollars in tuition? Zero.
These institutions of higher learning say they're sharing their courses online with no charge to fulfill their mission of making education more accessible to the broader public, not just to students and educators but to independent learners worldwide.
While users do not get academic credit for the free online courses, they now have access to an array of educational materials that were not previously available to the public.
The program automatically records video of faculty lectures in courses
across all areas of study. Since its inception, webcast.berkeley has
recorded and published around 520 video lectures, says
Hubbard says webcast.berkeley viewed the partnerships with iTunes U and YouTube EDU as an extension of the university's ability to distribute content on platforms that students and the public were already using. "Our aim was to broaden the window of access to education," he says. "Our mission as a public university is to make this educational content available to folks from all walks of life."
These online educational courses can also reach an even more international audience with the help of automatic captions, combining Google's automatic speech recognition with YouTube's captioning system. The YouTube captioning can be translated into over 40 languages, Hubbard says.
Also in 2001,
Not only does the
So what impacts do these free online courses have on the classroom experiences in universities?
Hubbard says that at
These free online
educational resources are also helping to break down the financial and
geographical barriers that can limit access to education. "At some
level, these courses are helping to democratize knowledge," says
The Down-Low on Online Downloading Sites:
multimedia file-sharing site contains more than 250,000 educational
video and audio files from more than 600 universities, including
education-specific YouTube channel created in
Education: Free Online Course Offerings Grow in Abundance and Popularity | Rebecca Kern
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