Yale University has announced that it is offering publicly-accessible digital videos of several courses on the Internet for free. While the courses can’t be counted towards a Yale degree, Yale did gain the distinction of being the first member of the Ivy League to focus on video lectures. Princeton and Harvard Law School have already made course materials available for free online, even offering virtual courses in Second Life. MIT, while not an Ivy, has taken the step of making all of its courses freely available to netizens.
Yale’s pilot project features seven courses, all beginning in the 2007 academic year. Examples are “Introduction to the Old Testament,” “Fundamentals of Physics” and “Introduction to Political Philosophy.” Transcripts, rendered in several languages, are available for download. This PDF describes the program in more detail.