This week is Open Education Week, a global celebration of the open education movement and its impact on teaching and learning. At WPI, we'll be celebrating by highlighting some of the excellent work in open education by our faculty.
Adam Powell, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
How have you been involved in open education?
In addition to building the Transport Phenomena Archive [online space for collaborative development of educational materials] around my transport and materials processing courses, I brought together eleven faculty members from seven departments to create Introduction to Modeling and Simulation, an undergraduate course covering topics from lattice gases to finite elements to density functional theory (DFT). [This course is available through MIT Open Courseware.]
Why is open education important?
My interest in Open Educational Resources (OER) began with enthusiasm for open source software (OSS) and open access research publication. To me these three open traditions have always seemed logical extensions of the centuries-old academic tradition of open publication of research which facilitates building on each other’s work.
OER can potentially eliminate textbook expenses, open access research publication removes access fees for academic research, and open source software provides research tools with the ability to “look under the hood” at negligible cost to users.