우리나라에서도 웹을 활용한 이러닝(e-learning)이 주요한 교육 수단으로 주목을 받은지 오래되었지만 양질의 고급 강의를 웹에서 접하는 것은 아직도 상당히 어려운 일이다. 특히 대학 수준의 강의는 더더욱 그렇다. 한국 방송 대학교 에서도 유료로 몇몇 강의를 일반인들에게 제공하고는 있지만 아쉬운 부분이 많다. 교육에도 시장 원리가 적용되고 수익자 부담의 원칙이 강조되는 것이 아쉬울 뿐이다. 미국의 MIT를 비롯한 몇몇 유명 학교를 중심으로 교수들이 진행하는 실제 강의 정보를 강의 계획서, 교안, 강의 비디오, 시험 문제 등을 무료로 제공하는 사례가 많아지고 있다. 아래는 대표적인 무료 온라인 사이트이다. 학부, 대학원 수준뿐만 아니라 일반인을 대상으로하는 교양 강좌 수준의 강의도 있다. 적절히 잘 활용하면 훌륭한 학습 자료원으로 이용할 수 있다.
각 사이트에 대한 설명은 다음 기사에서 발췌한 것이다.
Education Portal, "Universities With the Best Free Online Courses"
1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (mit.edu)
If you are looking for a wide range of free courses online, MIT is your best option. There are more than 1,800 free courses offered through the school's OpenCourseWare project. Courses are in audio, video and text format and can be translated into a number of different languages. People from all over the world use OpenCourseWare and 96 percent of visitors say they would recommend the site to someone else.
2. Open University (open.ac.uk)
3. Carnegie Mellon University (cmu.edu)
Carnegie Mellon University offers a huge collection of free online courses and course materials through a program known as the Open Learning Initiative. OLI courses are set up to allow anyone at the introductory college level to learn about a particular subject without the help of a formal instructor. Course options include, but are not limited to, statistics, biology, chemistry, economics, French and physics.
4. Tufts University (tufts.edu)
Like MIT, Tufts University has OpenCourseWare that is free to everyone. Courses are sorted by school (School of Medicine, School of Arts and Sciences, etc.) and include lecture notes, assignments and other supplementary materials.
5. Stanford (stanford.edu)
Stanford University, one of the world's leading academic institutions, has joined forces with iTunes U to provide access to Stanford courses, lectures, interviews and more. Courses can be downloaded and played on your iPod, PC, or Mac and can also be burned to a CD. If you don't have iTunes, you can download it here for free .
6. University of California, Berkeley (berkeley.edu)
UC Berkley has been offering live and on-demand webcasts of select courses since 2001. There are now hundreds of current and archived UC Berkley courses available as podcasts and webcasts. Courses cover a wide range of subjects, including biology, astronomy, chemistry, computer programming, engineering, psychology, legal studies and philosophy.
7. Utah State University (usu.edu)
Utah State University also provides access to an oleo of free online courses. Study options include everything from Latin and anthropology to physics and theatre arts. The text based courses are comprehensive and can be downloaded as a zip file or viewed directly on the site.
8. Kutztown University of Pennsylvania (kutztownsbdc.org)
Kutztown University's Small Business Development Center offers the largest collection of free business and entrepreneurial courses available on the web. Course topics include accounting, finance, government, business law, marketing and sales. Interactive case studies, comprehensive text, slides, graphics and streaming audio all help to demonstrate the concepts presented in each course.
9. University of Southern Queensland (usq.edu.au)
The University of Southern Queensland in Australia provides free access to a number of different courses through their OpenCourseWare initiative. Courses from each of the five faculties are available and cover a broad range of topics, including communication, technology, science, career planning, teaching and multimedia creation.
10. University of California, Irvine (uci.edu)
UC Irvine recently joined the OCW Consortium to begin providing free university level courses online. Right now, there are only a handful of options to choose from, but the list is growing. Current courses cover topics like capital markets, financial planning, human resources and e-marketing. Course materials typically include syllabi, lecture notes, assignments and exams.