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Taiwan Higher Ed Consortium Launches Free Online Course Initiative

A consortium of colleges and universities in Taiwan has launched the "Open Course Ware Consortium," with the goal of sharing its resources with the public. The program is modeled after the OpenCourseWare Consortium originally developed by an MIT faculty committee wishing to share their course materials openly on the Web and now involving 200 institutions and organizations.

The initiative in Taiwan, started by the National Chiao Tung University's (NCTU) Open Education Office, will allow users to download materials for personal use and modify the content.

Currently, NCTU offers 40 online courses in calculus, physics, and chemistry. Materials from those classes available online include outlines, handouts, assignments, and exams, "just like those you would get if you attended classes in person," said Pai Chi-kuang director-general at the Open Education Office. Some courses also offer video clips.

Other members of the consortium are expected to post resources for at least 10 courses over a two-year period.

Although no credit nor degrees will be offered to people who use the materials, high school graduates may be eligible for advanced credit at their respective colleges if they're able to pass an exam on the a subject they've studied using the online materials.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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