Santa Clara, CA (PRWEB) April 27, 2009
Sharecourseware.org, a site that provides students, educators and researchers free lecture notes and course notes, has been launched. The site is one of the largest depositories of college and university level course materials on the internet. It includes thousands of high quality courses collected from various open courseware sources.
Sharecourseware.org allows access to these course materials free to all users, both registered and non-registered. Registered users can also post open courseware that they created or obtained from other sources and share it with the world. Users can create an account in a matter of minutes and post courseware that may include course outline, lecture notes, video lecture, tests & exams, further reading materials, downloads, webliography, and options for user ratings and leaving comments. The site accepts text, pdf or ppt lecture notes, audio and video files, among other things. Once a courseware is created and approved by site administrators, authors can edit and maintain their courseware however they see fit but subject to the rules and objectives of the site.
Authors can communicate with users of their course materials through internal messaging facility built-in the system. Author editor tools include buttons that allow or disallow users to contact the author and/or leave comments online regarding the courseware. So, when "Allow Users to Comment" button is toggled on, users of the courseware can leave comments about the courseware, which will show as Reviews in the "More Options" part of each courseware. Similarly, if "Allow Users to Mail" button is toggled in, users can send messages, questions or comments to the author using the author's email address on record. The editor menu also has a button which when toggled restricts courseware access to registered users only. All registered users can rate a courseware by giving 1-5 stars. The average rating for each courseware will show on the More Options part of the courseware so users can see and evaluate the quality of the courseware.
Sharecourseware.org contains more than 2000 courses at the time of launch, making it one of the largest sources of open courseware on the internet. It includes courses in various categories, including Engineering, Earth Sciences, Social Studies, Natural Sciences, Medicine, Health Sciences, Humanities, Management and Law. Each category includes several subcategories under it, making browsing to find specific courses and topics easy and convenient. For example, the Engineering lecture category is divided into Aeronautics and Astronautics, Architecture, Aerospace, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering & Material Science, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, and Urban Studies & Planning subcategories.
The site has advanced search features that include filters by category, subcategory, author, title, and keywords. Users can use these filters to find materials they are looking for quickly and effectively. Users can save any courseware as their favorite in the My Favorites folder, or download lecture notes and video lecture and save them in their computer. Similarly, the My Courseware folder allows users to see all the courseware they have posted on Sharecourseware.org, making editing and maintaining their courseware easy and convenient. This folder also displays how many times each courseware was viewed and/or rated by users.
ShareCourseware.org also includes discussion forums where users can discuss courses, lectures notes and materials posted or any other topic and help one another. The site automatically creates one main discussion forum for each subcategory created within a category. There are as many forums as there are subcategories, such as Mechanical Engineering, in the system. All courses posted are linked to the Discussion Forums. So, when an author posts a courseware, a link is created within the courseware under More Options which leads users to Discussion Forums. The FAQ page provides details about these and other features with in the site.
Sharecourseware.org was founded to help students and educators all the over the world get quality educational materials from various sources. The site is meant to help students get supplementary course notes from other sources so they can understand their subject matter well. It will also help educators get guidance and templates to further develop their courses for college. This site should especially be invaluable to people with limited educational resources the world over so they can get access to course materials developed by some of the finest institutions in the world. Although many of us take access to quality courseware for granted, there are millions around the world who lack the most basic educational materials and are struggling to study complex topics with limited resources. We believe this site will be of tremendous help to these folks.
Although there are several open courseware sites on the internet, what makes this site unique and more useful is that users can create their own accounts and post open courseware and share it with the rest of the world. With this feature, we believe, like-minded educators from all over the world can create and maintain course materials on this site and potentially make this site the largest source of educational materials online. This will enable users to come to one site for much of their supplementary courseware needs for their education, rather than spending hours to find the courseware they are looking for all over the internet.
Sharecourseware.org provides all of these services absolutely free to all users, both registered and non-registered users. The site is run by donations from volunteers. Anyone who is interested in helping with this cause can contact us at Contact@Sharecourseware.org. You can help promote this project by various means, including posting additional free courseware in one of the categories and subcategories created, or by donating money to cover operating expenses. Please help us grow this site one course at a time.