Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Self-taught, self-graded, self-graduated
Did you ever take a class in college and think, "Jeez, I could teach better than this tweed-wearing bloke." (One assumes you were British when you thought this.) Well, now's your chance, thanks to MIT OpenCourseWare which offers almost all the tools you need to take an MIT class without actually taking an MIT class. You get access to the course syllabus, a list of reading materials, downloadable lecture notes, homework assignments and in a number of cases, access to discussion groups so you can talk over the material with other self-learners as you go. The only thing missing? Teachers and grades. There are a ton of classes from which to choose, including political science, poetry and literature, aeronautics, nuclear science, music and roughly 200 others. All you've got to do is hunt down the textbooks, which may or may not be difficult depending on how good your local library is. For anyone who would still be in school if not for those ungodly tuition costs, this is a cool higher-ed toy. And just think, now's your chance to create your own sorority. I intend on hazing my cat mercilessly.