Monday, December 22, 2008

MIT open courseware - very cool

Yesterday I was browsing MIT's open courseware pages:

http://ocw.mit.edu/

The program offers a variety of very high-quality online course materials for undergraduate- and graduate-level classes. In many cases, they also have videos hosted on youtube.

I watched one class on practically solving large sparse linear equations with an introduction to partial differential equations, taught by Gilbert Strang - it was extremely well-taught! If you want to check out Prof Strang's Linear Algebra courses, search for "18.06" on youtube. Here's the first lecture in that series:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gVMRuLH6FdQ

This stuff strongly suggests that online learning can very well work for more advanced materials. Personally, I'm guessing that a bottleneck for online learning (besides internet access of course) is the maturity of the students, so that online education resources actually become more effective as the intended audience gets older.

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