43% Independent


Cecilia d’Oliveira and colleagues recently wrote an essay in Science about MIT’s OpenCourseWare initiative, ten years after its inception. Among the stats:

OCW currently receives upwards of 1.5 million visits each month from 900,000 unique individuals. Students have grown to 42% of the audience, and educators and independent learners now constitute 9% and 43% of visitors, respectively. Twelve percent of educators responding to a March 2010 visitor survey indicated that they do incorporate OCW materials into their own content as anticipated, but educators more frequently use OCW for personal learning (37%), to adopt new teaching methods (18%), and as a reference for their students (16%). Students were largely expected to use the site as a supplement to materials they received in their own classes, a use identified by 40% of students. Just over 43%, however, indicated that they also use OCW for personal learning beyond the scope of their formal studies, and a further 12% use it as an aid in planning their course of study. Independent learners use OCW in a variety of personal (41%) and professional (50%) contexts, including home-schooling children and keeping up on developments in their professional field. 66% of visitors indicate they are mostly or completely successful at meeting their educational goals for visiting the site.