College courses go online

For education or prestige?

Until recently, if you wanted to take Professor Rebecca Henderson’s course in advanced strategy to understand the long-term roots of why some companies are unusually successful, you needed to be a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where Ms. Henderson teaches at the Sloan School of Management. Admission to the Sloan School is extremely selective, and tuition fees are over $50,000 a year.

For the past two years, though, anyone with an Internet connection can follow Ms. Henderson’s lectures online, where the lecture notes and course assignments are available free through M.I.T. OpenCourseWare. Why give away something with such a high market value?  NYT

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