Unlocking the Gates: How and Why Leading Universities Are Opening Up Access to Their Courses

By Taylor Walsh | Go to book overview

5
QUALITY OVER QUANTITY:
OPEN YALE COURSES

Launched in 2007, Open Yale Courses (OYC) is Yale University’s contribution to the open online courseware space. As of this writing, OYC offers 25 introductory-level courses, carefully selected to include some of Yale’s most popular subjects and faculty members.

Professional-quality lecture videos are the cornerstone of OYC’s offerings. Recorded live in the classroom with a videographer following the action, the videos attempt to faithfully capture the Yale student experience for the home user, enabling non-enrolled students to “audit” Yale courses virtually.1 Reflecting the principle of quality over quantity, OYC provides a small number of courses that seek to embody the university’s reputation for excellence. The OYC team stresses that all its courses are “full” and “complete,” with a consistent presentation of the same curricular elements: video and audio versions of every lecture, searchable transcripts, syllabi, introductory summaries for each lesson, faculty biographies, and reading lists, as well as problem sets and other materials where appropriate.

OYC is a key component of Yale’s broader digital strategy, which treats the university’s web presence as a critical tool for expanding its global reach. Several internal initiatives are now in place to increase access to the university’s collections, courses, and other resources, as a means of sharing Yale’s intellectual assets with the world. The OYC team recognizes its potential to advance the uni-

1Yale Center for Media and Instructional Innovation, “Open Access to the Yale Classroom Experience,” http://cmi2.yale.edu/projects.php?action=view_project&project=oyc& category=platform.

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