As promised after yesterday’s post about Open University, I’m following up by talking about the other great Freebie link I found from PBW the other day: MIT’s Open Courseware. Now I’m not sure that this is quite as handy dandy as Open University, but the breadth of courses available is amazing. Under anthropology I found a class called Magic, Witchcraft, and the Spirit World. How cool is that? I would have loved to take a class like that in college! There are dozens of classes I skimmed over that I’d love to take. This really makes my geeky little permanant student heart beat wildly. Now these are full college courses. Many of the course materials are downloadable (lectures and such), but there are still reading lists, so if you really wanted to get the full experience, you know exactly what to buy and read for each assignment. I think this would wind up being most helpful if you were attempting to write about an area you needed some more specialized expertise in and you really wanted to immerse yourself. I’m not sure it’s the MOST financially solid way to go if you wanted to be authentic (textbooks cost money after all), but you could certainly get quite a bit out of the lectures and provided reading materials to educate yourself about all kinds of stuff.
I read in comments on PBWs original post that there may be similar things available at Yale and one other Ivy League school. Definitely worth checking out. Certainly a valuable asset to have access to Ivy League classes without the Ivy League price tag.