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U California, Irvine Adds Undergraduate Chemistry Curriculum to OpenCourseWare

University of California, Irvine (UCI) will launch Open Chemistry (OpenChem), a full undergraduate chemistry curriculum to be available online for free.

A collaboration between UCI's School of Physical Sciences and the university's OpenCourseWare initiative, OpenChem comprises "15 quarter-length undergraduate and select graduate chemistry video lectures," according to a UCI news release. Those courses represent all required lecture classes and some electives for undergraduate chemistry majors at UCI.

"The UCI Department of Chemistry has broken new ground by allowing students to follow a coherent and integrated pathway toward full mastery of undergraduate chemistry," said Gary Matkin, dean of Continuing Education, Distance Learning, and Summer Session at UC Irvine, in a prepared staement. "This is the first time that students and professors can find a complete undergraduate major in a consistent and high quality video format on a single website."

With 90 courses and hundreds of video lectures made available online for free since the open education movement in 2006, the move builds on UCI's commitment to open educational resources.

"We want to dramatically expand the role that open educational resources play in improving the quality of both teaching and learning," said Arne Duncan, United States secretary of education, in a prepared statement. "Open educational resources, or what we call OER for short, can not only accelerate and enrich learning; they can also substantially reduce costs for schools, families and students."

"Making knowledge open to the entire world is a wonderful result of the World Wide Web," said Marshall Smith, under secretary of education for former President Bill Clinton and a recent senior counselor to Duncan. "UCI has taken the next big step in this direction by presenting their entire undergraduate chemistry curriculum in an open format. This is a wonderful gift from a superb institution in the world's greatest university system."

Founded in 1965, the University of California, Irvine serves nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students with 1,100 faculty and 9,000 staff. More information about UCI's OpenCourseWare initiative is available at ocw.uci.edu. To learn more about OpenChem, visit learn.uci.edu.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is the multimedia editor for Campus Technology and THE Journal. He can be reached at jbolkan@1105media.com.

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