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Find, Share, Use Free Academic Research, Syllabi

Want to design a course similar to or even pick up a course just as it was taught at MIT, read on.

Here are free educational course outlines and links to open source scientific publications listed in the book How Open is the Future?

This from the book:

MIT OpenCourseWare

They publish not only syllabi but also lecture notes, course calendars, problems and solutions, exams, reading lists, and even a selection of video lectures. The MIT seems happy with the impact of this openness: more than half of the site visitors come from outside North America. Educators, students and self-learners all use the content to
increase their personal knowledge, but educators use the site mainly for planning, developing or improving courses or classes, while students use it mainly to find materials for the courses they are taking. Almost half of the visiting educators interviewed said they had reused, or were planning to reuse, MIT OpenCourseWare. Several universities
have begun to translate MIT courses (at least into Spanish and Chinese versions, as of May 2004).

The Connexions project

is a web-based environment designed to allow the collaborative development and free availability of educational and research materials. The material is organised in small modules that can easily be fitted into larger courses. The project started at Rice University in Houston in 2000, and was officially launched as an international project in February 2004. In July 2004 they had 1,800 modules online. All content is free to be used and reused under the Creative Commons Attribution Licence. In contrast to other projects such as the MIT OpenCourseWare, Connexions is open to contributions from everyone. Connexions promotes communication and collaboration between content creators, as they believe that “collaboration helps knowledge grow more quickly, advancing the possibilities for new ideas from which we all benefit”. Their platform is based on the open-source content-management system Plone, and the new tools they develop are available as free software.

Merlot (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching)

is an online catalogue of online learning materials. Merlot is an international project, sponsored mainly by the California State University. By July 2004, it contained links to more than 11,000 learning objects along with annotations such as peer reviews and assignments. Teachers can not only contribute links to their material, they can also create a page with their collection of Merlot links. The number of times a learning object is mentioned in such collections is used as a rating measure.

The Directory of Open Access Journals

lists more than 1,200 open scientific and scholarly journals of which more than 300 are searchable at article level.

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