April 2, 2008: Internet knowledge sharing courseware makes its Canadian debut at Capilano

      Wednesday, April 2, 2008
      Contact: Shelley Kean at 604.983.7596

      Internet knowledge sharing courseware makes its Canadian debut at Capilano

      (NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C.)—In a first for Canada, Capilano College will join ranks with other members of the OpenCourseWare consortium started in 2002 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and officially launch its OpenCourseWare (OCW) website April 4 at http://ocw.capilanou.ca

      John Dehlin, OCW executive director and an employee of MIT, will be in Vancouver on Friday, April 4 to oversee the launch.

      “OCW is as important to knowledge sharing on the Internet as the development of the printing press was to sharing books,” says Dr. Penny Le Couteur, dean of Arts and Sciences at Capilano. “The implications are that people can obtain knowledge for free and know that the knowledge they are getting is from the top learning institutions in the world.”

      The free knowledge offered by MIT’s OCW site is so popular that its courses are getting more than two million hits a month – an example of the burgeoning interest in Internet education.

      OCW is a free and open digital publication of high quality educational materials organized as courses. This is a non-credit granting activity that does not require registration. OCW materials can be used by students to augment their current learning, and by self-learners who can draw upon the information for self-study or supplementary use. OCW does not provide access to faculty, however faculty voluntarily agree to share the content of their course material with the world.

      “OCW contributes to the shared intellectual commons in academia, which fosters collaboration among other scholars across disciplines worldwide,” says Capilano instructor, John Wilson, who together with Chris Gratham, manager of Capilano’s Education Technology Centre, is spearheading the project at the institution. “It will advance technology-enhanced education and will serve as a model for university dissemination of knowledge in the Internet age.”

      Capilano is the only Canadian member of the OCW Consortium, which has more than 150 member institutions worldwide and more than 5,000 courses published. It joins member institutions from countries that include China, France, Japan, Spain, United Kingdom, Netherlands, United States and Vietnam.

      “The OpenCourseWare concept is a great fit with Capilano’s guiding principle of offering quality educational services,” says Capilano’s president, Dr. Greg Lee. “We fully support it because it is yet another tool that will help us further our mission of enabling student success.”

      The official OCW website can be found at: www.ocwconsortium.org

      Capilano serves the communities of the Lower Mainland, Howe Sound, and the Sunshine Coast through campuses in North Vancouver, Squamish and Sechelt. Enrolment totals 6,800 students in credit programs each term with an additional 7,000 people taking non-credit courses annually. Capilano offers a complete range of preparatory courses, university transfer courses, business and management studies, creative and applied arts programs, health and human services programs, plus a range of services in support of student learning and success. Credentials awarded include bachelor degrees, associate degrees, post-baccalaureate diplomas, advanced diplomas, diplomas, certificates and statements of completion.