The OpenCourseWare (OCW) movement started in 1999 when the University of Tübingen, in Germany, published videos of lectures online. It only took off with the launch of the OCW at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in October 2002. The movement has now spread to over 120 other universities worldwide.
What sets OCW apart is the fact that it is free and is available to everyone and anyone via web access. Among the multiple advantages of an OCW, the basic ones include aiding college students explore a potential major as they plan out their programmes of study, enhancing their knowledge of any subject for real-world applications. It also encourages faculty to update their courses as they keep a track of what fellow instructors are doing on a regular basis.
Having proved to be a life-modifying resource for those who have no other access to higher education, OCW’s beneficiaries also include self-learners, participating universities, and faculty members. However, OCW does not provide any credentials and self-learners use it exclusively for personal benefit and there is also an inability to interact with the professors who create the materials.
Along with MIT, OCW is being offered by many other prestigious universities like Yale, Stanford, Tufts, Apeejay Stya University and many more. Apeejay Stya University (ASU) has also adopted Open Educational Resources (OCW) with open arms. Recently, a workshop was organised by Commonwealth Educational Media centre for Asia (CEMCA), the Asian arm of the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) to introduce the faculty members with this digitised academic hemisphere on the ASU campus by Dr. R. Sreedhar, Professor Emeritus, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, ASU & Dr. Savithri Singh, an expert on the subject and Principal, Acharya Narendra Dev College, Delhi University.
Speaking on the occasion, Vice Chancellor of ASU, Prof. Dr. K.K. Dwivedi said, “The world has turned digital so why not education? Foreign universities have updated their course materials on the net and this is the time that we need to innovate and design new pedagogy at the Apeejay Stya University.”
OCW is a new and evolving concept. Universities have always been keen to have their own area where they could be among their peer institutions, aiding students in the discovery of their content. Today, there is availability of a wealth of no-cost OCW material available to learners across the globe.