|Weekly News Digest
March 5, 2012 — In addition to this week's NewsBreak(s), the editors have compiled the Weekly News Digest, featuring stories from the week just past that you should know about. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today.
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MIT OpenCourseWare and Flat World Knowledge Team Up
MIT OpenCourseWare and textbook publisher Flat World Knowledge have teamed up to provide free, high-quality textbooks to learners accessing OCW’s OCW Scholar courses. This is among the first collaborations between an OpenCourseWare publisher and an open textbook publisher.
Initially, three OCW Scholar courses will be paired with Flat World texts: 14.01SC Principles of Microeconomics (2012), 9.00SC Introduction to Psychology (2012), and 3.091SC Solid State Chemistry (2011). OCW Scholar courses follow OCW’s original model of openly published course content—such as syllabi, lecture notes, assignments and exams—but are created specifically for independent learners, who typically have few additional resources available to them. The expert-authored, peer-reviewed texts from Flat World are also openly available, and provide an ideal resource for this audience.
“The combination of free access to world-class textbooks and the flexibility to modify the material exactly to our needs makes Flat World Knowledge ideal for pairing with the OCW Scholar courses,” remarked MIT OpenCourseWare executive director Cecilia d’Oliveira.
Flat World Knowledge, a commercial open textbook publisher and pioneer in the open education resources movement, makes its catalog freely available online, and charges modest fees for a variety of digital and print formats. Faculty are supported with supplements, including desk copies, test banks, instructor manuals, lecture slides, and video clips.
“Our collaboration represents a new phase in the evolution of open education,” said Eric Frank, president of Flat World Knowledge. “Through this innovative, financially sustainable model, learners will benefit from a complete package of premium quality material, without the barriers of cost and access.”
Flat World Knowledge also supports the sustainability of MIT OpenCourseWare. A portion of sales of digital or print versions of these texts or ancillary resources goes to support OCW, and Flat World is also providing underwriting support for MIT OpenCourseWare.
Source: MIT OpenCourseWare
Paula J. Hane
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