Just as the phenomenal Stanford sponsered Introduction to Artificial Intelligence class is wrapping up – MIT comes out with this:
MIT launches online learning initiative
Now MIT has had a significant portion of it’s educational material available to the public free of charge for over 10 years under it’s Open Courseware project – as have many other prestigious institutions. However the Stanford AI class and MIT’s new program go far beyond just putting links to lectures and documents on a webpage. By creating an environment where students interact with each other, project work is reviewed and ‘graded’ and there is some degree of interaction with the course professors (however moderated it may be) I found it much easier to stay motivated and actually complete the program. It is a much more compelling environment than just being handed a collection of Courseware. The points below are the big differentiators vs. the list of links OCW approach:
- Feature interactivity, online laboratories and student-to-student communication
- Allow for the individual assessment of any student’s work and allow students who demonstrate their mastery of subjects to earn a certificate of completion awarded by MITx
In addition to the announcement link above, there is also an interesting FAQ as well. I for one am very much looking forward to entering this new age of freely available advanced education. Just need to find enough free time to absorb all this knowledge being so generously shared!