Capella University announced they are offering free online access to tutorial content on the web: http://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2012/04/26/capella-posts-25000-free-tutorials-through-sophia
The “free online tutorials, courses, etc.” continues to defy me. There is a huge movement to put content online, making it free and accessible to the world. This is all fine and dandy EXCEPT for – what is the REAL expectation in using this content? How many MIT, Yale and Harvard free online classes have YOU taken this spring? Don’t get me wrong – I think there is GREAT value in finding this content online, especially for faculty and instructional developers who are creating or refreshing online classes. Having access to online content to integrate or at least inspire and influence our classes is awesome. However, I just cannot grasp the feasibility and practicality that these free online courses are truly “accessible” to the “typical” community college or even undergraduate student. So why are these big schools investing in this movement? What are they gaining and how does their return on investment measure up? I just don’t get it.
What do you think? What role do these resources play in our big-picture view of online education? What are we missing by not tapping in to them? What can we avoid if we avoid them?
Here is MIT’s free online courses website: http://ocw.mit.edu/index.htm
Here are Yale’s: http://oyc.yale.edu/
And here is Harvard’s: http://www.extension.harvard.edu/open-learning-initiative
Just to name a few…