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MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) describes itself as a “free and open publication of material from thousands of MIT courses, covering the entire MIT curriculum and used by millions of learners and educators around the world.” Users of this online resource include self-paced learners as well as educators.
Senior Lecturer in Japanese Takako Aikawa explained the importance of OpenCourseWare this way: “Knowledge is to share — and it must be as ‘inclusive’ as possible. By putting our materials on the OCW, we hope to better promote the study of the Japanese language and culture to the world. We thank the OCW for their collaboration on this project.”
Aikawa has been working with OCW and fellow lecturers Masami Ikeda-Lamm, Wakana Maekawa, and Emiko Rafique, to refresh the online Japanese language offerings to reflect their latest adjustments to their curricula. These include Japanese I through IV: 21G.501, 21G.502, 21G.503, and 21G.504.
H. Sharon Lin, a Digital Publication Specialist for OCW, works with instructors, helping them to mount their course sites and follow the standards applied to all the online courses. According to Lin, the Japanese online classes have had thousands of users since they were first published in 2012 (close to 100,000 for 21G.501 alone). She pointed out that an important resource is the educator interviews captured by OCW, which give educators around the globe a chance to hear how the teachers at MIT think out their approach to teaching their subjects. Four “Instructor Insights” are posted on OCW, which interview Senior Lecturer Takako Aikawa on these topics: Meet the Educator, Grammar and Drill Sessions, Developing Students’ Language Skills, Assessment Strategies, Teaching Japanese Culture through Language, and Japanese Community Events. The interviews are posted in both English and Japanese.
OCW’s “Meet the Educator”interview with Takako Aikawa: