MITx and Open Course Ware – Rafael Reif, Eric Grimson



Rafael Reif (top) is Provost at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology led the creation of MITx. Accepting at TDIA for Rafael is the Chancellor of MIT, Eric Grimson.

The mission of Massachusetts Institute of Technology is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century. The Institute is committed to generating, disseminating, and preserving knowledge, and to working with others to bring this knowledge to bear on the world’s great challenges. MIT is dedicated to providing its students with an education that combines rigorous academic study and the excitement of discovery with the support and intellectual stimulation of a diverse campus community. We seek to develop in each member of the MIT community the ability and passion to work wisely, creatively, and effectively for the betterment of humankind. From school clubs to online education, the traditional classroom is no longer the only venue for education. In 1999, MIT Faculty considered how to use the Internet in pursuit of MIT’s mission—to advance knowledge and educate students—and in 2000 proposed Open Course Ware in 2001.

OCW provides free MIT educational content you can use to enhance or refresh your knowledge or teach others. It’s best to think of OCW as a free online library of course materials used to teach MIT undergraduate and graduate courses. Each OCW course contains at least two parts: 1) some type of instruction which may include a syllabus, lecture notes, reading list, or calendar, and 2) a learning activity such as assignments, quizzes, or exams. Then it’s up to you to decide what you’d like to learn. Whether you choose to study a course from beginning to end or just focus on a concept or two, we encourage you to work at your own pace since you won’t receive any credit, certificate, or degree from OCW. MIT published the first proof-of-concept OCW site in 2002, containing 50 courses. They made MIT lectures, notes and materials of more than 2,100 courses free and available to the world. By November 2007, OCW completed the initial publication of virtually the entire MIT curriculum, over 1,800 courses in 33 academic disciplines. Through OCW, educators improve courses and curricula, making their schools more effective; students find additional resources to help them succeed; and independent learners enrich their lives and use the content to tackle some of our world’s most difficult challenges, including sustainable development, climate change, and cancer eradication. Around 2012, more than 125 million people had logged-on and today now has materials from 2260 courses and 175 million visitors.

Now MITx is taking online learning at step further. Massachusetts Institute of Technology is dedicated to advancing knowledge and educating students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century. Through MITx, the Institute furthers its commitment to improving education worldwide. edX powers MITx and is an online learning destination and MOOC provider, offering high-quality courses from the world’s best universities and institutions to learners everywhere. Open edX is the open-source platform that powers edX courses and is freely available. With Open edX, educators and technologists can build learning tools and contribute new features to the platform, creating innovative solutions to benefit students everywhere. 

Angela Brugioni