Courseware is a term made up of the words “course” and “software” created to describe the teaching materials used by teachers and students, in particular for the computer.
It is sufficient to add the term “Open” and it is not difficult to guess that it means free, open and accessible to anyone on the network.
So we are talking about many kinds of materials (slides, videos, lectures, texts, exercises, audio, etc.) available online for teachers, students and all those who need them, for free.
All this is ruled by Creative Commons licenses!
It has to be said that OCW courses are not distance education courses. There are no certificates, or any kind of students’ interaction and it doesn’t give in any way access to the realities that provide the materials themselves.
The OpensCourseWare Consortium is an organization that groups more than 160 universities around the world, sharing the policy to own a free platform for distribution and access to their educational contents.
This includes several famous universities including the University of California, Irvine, MIT and many others.
The purpose is to give everyone the chance to have free access to the sources of knowledge.
The available materials are hundreds, diverse and organized by categories.
You can find topics of natural sciences such as social studies, art and mathematics, sciences, technology, history and geography, through the domains of the humanities, languages and medicine.
People feel it’s an irreversible process where universities and institutions, providing their courses and sharing their knowledge, will become active entities playing an important role improving the culture of the whole society.