American University MIT has spent over a decade pioneering e-Learning on the university level. The college began it’s transition to digital learning in 1999 and has spearheaded dozens of projects and programs that center around innovative teaching in the digital age. OpenCourseWare is the focal point of MIT’s commitment to tearing down barriers to education. The program allows anyone anywhere in the world with an internet connection to access all MIT lectures, course materials and classes. The information is translated and re-dispersed by multiple partner organizations and used by both self-learners and students internationally. Further, the program helped lead the way for other organizations to create similar programs and there are now more than 60 organizations involved in the MIT OCW consortium.
“But the real payoff is OCW’s effect on educators and learners around the world. In November 2005 the site had 30,000 unique visitors a day—nearly 1 million a month. Self-learners account for 48% of those, with educators comprising 13% and students 31%. Mirror sites have translated and distributed the information around the world, especially where Internet access is limited.”