MIT online courses for free are in the form of OpenCourseWare. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) developed this system so the lessons can be free to the general public. Anyone with Internet access can use them.
These are Internet based publications. There are currently more than 2000 courses. These are at graduate and undergraduate levels. Most of them include assignments, exams, lectures and additional readings. Calendars and the syllabus are included as well.
Apart from the copious reading materials, there are also online notes and video demos available. Audio lectures are included in many of these courses. There are also study materials for high school students.
Science demonstrations, AP review courses and other study materials are available. They are divided into numerous departments including aeronautics and astronautics, architecture, biology and brain and cognitive sciences. Other science and technology courses include chemistry, earth, atmospheric, and planetary sciences and computer science.
There are also departments for chemical, civil and environmental engineering. Included in the course list are physics, nuclear science and engineering. Mechanical engineering, math, literature, linguistics and philosophy are also available.
Each department offers several subjects and topics. In mathematics, students will find subjects about single variable calculus, differential equations and introduction to probability and statistics. In physics there will be topics on classical mechanics, electricity and magnetism, vibrations and waves and quantum physics among others.
These lectures can be downloaded or viewed on the web. All these courses are self paced; the students decide when to study. These courses do not allow access to their faculty. Certificates and degrees are not given out either.
OpenCourseWare is only for the personal use of a student. They are useful for learning and continuing education. These courses do not earn credit. But they allow students and the general public to learn new topics. People can expand their knowledge without spending a cent.
There is also a course on economics, experimental study group, health sciences and technology. Students can also avail of a free course on writing and humanistic studies. There are also topics on women’s and gender studies, urban studies and planning, science, technology, and society. Political science is also available as is music and theater arts.
The idea for MIT online courses for free came in the year 2000. Two years later, fifty pilot courses were released. Since that time, over 55 million people have benefited from these programs.