Saturday, July 7, 2012

Why do you have to use the OpenCourseWare?

Let's remind that the OpenCourseWare is made of courses, taught at the high school or at the university level, that are put on the internet for anyone to access freely. You can use the OpenCourseWare for several reasons including the following:

1. For your own interest. If you are interested in a particular subject or field you can use the OpenCourseWare to gain or update your knowledge in that field.
2. To update your skills or knowledge for work. If you are a professional you can use the OpenCourseWare to review or update your knowledge in a subject or field.
3. To understand concepts you are studying. The OpenCourseWare is used by many students to help them understand concepts they are studying. If you are studying mathematics you can find a lot of OpenCourseWare materials to help you to understand a lot of mathematical concepts.
4. To learn something for a particular subject or task. I heard about someone working on a solar energy project using the OpenCourseWare to help him realizing the project.
5. To supplement/create teaching materials. Educators use the OpenCourseWare to create courses, enrich the curriculum, etc.

These reasons are based on a study by the OpenCourseWare Consortium. According to this study the OpenCourseWare is used by Teachers, Students at the Secondary or high school level, Students at the undergraduate and graduate level, Self-learners, Working professionals, Employers, etc.

The results of the survey by OCW about respondents using OpenCourseWare are:
46%: to help understand concepts I am studying
31%: to learn something for a specific project or task
23%: supplement/create teaching materials
50%: to update my skills or knowledge for work
59%: for my own interest
7%: other.

A survey of users of OCW materials translated in traditional and simplified Chinese by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign revealed similar results.
68%: to extend my professional knowledge
62.8%: to increase knowledge of personal interests
31.4%: to answer questions related to my profession
25.9%: for academic studies

The percentages of these two surveys show that the OpenCourseWare is mostly used for personal interests, professional knowledge and academic studies.

My interest in different subjects of human and exact sciences led me to create the Open Popular University. I realize also that knowledge cannot be the prerogative of educational institutions meaning that in order to learn something you have to spend not only a fortune but a huge amount of time and physical energy. Knowledge should be to the disposal of the six billions of humans beings living on the earth and everybody should be able to access and learn that knowledge without any restrictions. The purpose of Open Popular University is to demystify knowledge and make it accessible to anybody provided that you have access to a computer and internet access.

My goal for Open Popular University is that it can become an open and free encyclopedia of courses and knowledge. A lot of resources are needed in order to realize this goal. I am launching a fundraising in order to optimize the site and to continue to add more courses. If you are a reader of this blog and believe in my philosophy of education I am asking for your support by doing the following:

1. Make a donation to and ask others to do the same by sharing the link of the fundraising.
2. Like the facebook page of Open Popular University at
3. Visit the site of Open Popular University at and share the link to others. Feel free to reach me for any questions by writing on the comments section of this blog.

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