The Faculty Project

This year the world seems awash with new venues for free online courses. It’s not just universities anymore. Stanford birthed the startups Udacity and Coursera. MIT and Harvard are collaborating to create Edx.

And then there’s the Faculty Project. It’s a less ambitious but still interesting venue for free short courses, hosted by the for-profit site, which mainly hosts fee-based courses.

Right now the Faculty Project is home to 13 free short courses on a variety of topics, some by professors at namebrand institutions like Duke University and Dartmouth College. Subjects tend to be in the humanities and social sciences and include topics like Modern China and Economics of Energy and Environment. To participate, you create a username and password, and then you get the opportunity to watch short streaming lectures, ranging from 4 to 20 min. in length. Some are spiced with videos and other visuals. For example, the course on China starts out with early 20th century newsreel style video clips Chinese people working, marching, rioting and otherwise living their lives.

Although the site includes no obvious download links to allow you to capture the lectures, you can download them using software like Downloadhelper, a plug-in for Firefox. See: How to download streaming audio and video/ Part 1.

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