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Unlocking the Gates by William Bowen, Taylor Walsh

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3

FREE AND COMPREHENSIVE:MIT’S OPENCOURSEWARE

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s OpenCourseWare (OCW) project, launched in 2001, set the standard for open-access online course materials as the first initiative of its kind. In what continues to be the highest-profile project in this field, MIT pledged to offer freely available web-based versions of syllabi, lecture notes, reading lists, assignments, and other materials for virtually all of its courses. OCW thus constituted a major institutional commitment to transparency, providing, in the words of former Provost Robert Brown, “a window into MIT on a very fundamental level”—its classrooms.1 Though the committee that initiated OCW did not set out to create a free offering, it opted to ...

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