This course provides an elementary introduction to probability and statistics with applications. Topics include basic combinatorics, random variables, probability distributions, Bayesian inference, hypothesis testing, confidence intervals, and linear regression.

These same course materials, including interactive components (online reading questions and problem checkers) are available on MIT’s Open Learning Library, which is free to use. You have the option to enroll and track your progress, or you can view and use the materials without enrolling.

Of course, MIT OpenCourseWare is only a small part of the much larger ecosystem of open education, and our interviewees’ enthusiasm for OER is by no means limited to the educational materials offered by MIT through OpenCourseWare. Faculty appreciate the fact that open licensing allows them the freedom to pick and choose when adapting materials to meet their curricular needs, and that bringing in perspectives from colleagues at other institutions allows students access to a richer learning experience.

We continued this conversation with an additional conference panel titled “Open for Collaboration: Joining Forces Across Different Sectors of Higher Education” at the OER24: Open Education Conference, hosted by the Association for Learning Technology (ALT) in partnership with Munster Technological University (MTU) and their Department of Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) in Cork, Ireland. The theme for this 15th annual conference for open education research, practice, and policy was “Digital Transformation in Open Education.”

The feedback from the global open education community makes us eager to involve MIT faculty who have published their course materials on MIT OpenCourseWare, so that community college faculty can influence how teaching happens at MIT, too. Doing so would accomplish what Erik Altenbernd from College of the Canyons imagines as a dialogue between a two-year college and a major research institution like MIT. In other words, instructors at community colleges and those at MIT might be able to learn from each other, in a mutually beneficial relationship.