Dean's Letter

Dear Friend of OpenCourseWare,

As a theoretical physicist who joined MIT’s faculty a few years before OpenCourseWare was launched, I remember hearing about OCW from its inception and seeing it as an incredible gift to the world. It made sense that MIT would pioneer this radical act of openness. MIT is committed to working with others to bring knowledge to bear on the world’s great challenges. And, how better to do so than advancing the education of learners around the world? Openly sharing what we teach, and how we teach, far beyond our campus is imprinted in MIT’s DNA.

We can feel the global impact of OCW when we hear from some among the millions of OCW learners about how OCW has helped them advance their education; we also listen to the MIT community. You would be hard-pressed to find students or faculty here who do not rely upon OCW resources as they learn, or teach, something for the first time. And, I think that essentially every newly arrived graduate student or postdoc whom I ask, no matter what corner of the globe they come from, tells me that they learned from MIT’s teachers via OCW long before they set foot on our campus.

Before I turn to OCW’s goals, I want to convey my gratitude to Joe Pickett and recognize his myriad efforts and the depth of his commitment in helping to lay today’s foundation for the OCW of tomorrow. We wish him well as he enjoys his retirement – and we miss him. I am also excited to welcome Curt Newton to head the OCW publication team. A member of the OCW team from nearly the beginning, Curt’s expertise and experience give him a unique perspective on OCW’s power today and its promise for tomorrow.

Now, to OCW’s agenda. Because it has become an incomparable open educational resource that uncovers the broad sweep of MIT’s undergraduate and graduate curricula, OCW faces challenges born of its own success. In the years ahead, Curt and his team and I will work together to ensure that OCW remains an open, and vibrant, reflection of the breadth of MIT’s teaching, including interactive components that are central to its active learning pedagogy today. We want to reach more educators, who bring OCW materials to their students and multiply their educational impact. And, we need to ensure that OCW is smoothly open to the many who learn on their mobile devices.

As the Dean for Digital Learning, it is my responsibility to gather the support necessary to see OCW innovating nimbly, as technologies advance and the needs of OCW learners evolve. It is a privilege for me to join in the stewardship of this open resource, sharing the best of MIT’s knowledge and perspective with so many millions of people around the globe who are learning from it in so many ways, seeing it thrive, and helping the OCW team build new successes upon our strong foundation. I look forward to updating you on our progress and I hope we can count on you to join us in supporting OCW and to share OCW with your colleagues, friends, and community.

You’ll be hearing from us soon when we launch our fall fundraising campaign.


Krishna Rajagopal
Dean for Digital Learning, Open Learning