NORMAN — A new University of Oklahoma program designed to expand the university's reach into Web-based content debuts Tuesday when OU launches freedom.ou.edu.
The website will offer free video lectures on topics dealing with American government and constitutional law, produced through the university's Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage.
The lectures will be available to the general public, free of charge, said Adam Croom, the project's manager. Croom said he hopes to see the lectures be used in American history and civics classrooms.
The courses differ from another model of online, noncredit courses that has received attention recently. Massive open online courses, or MOOCs, have grown in popularity since Stanford University pioneered the concept last year. In those courses, students must sign up to take a class, which may include discussion forums, quizzes and team projects.
For now, Croom said, OU's offerings are limited to openly available online lectures that last about 15 minutes and won't require the user to sign up. Project leaders are considering the idea of creating longer lectures in the future that might come as a part of a lengthier series on a single subject, he said.
Modeled after conference
Croom said the idea for the project came earlier this year, after the university hosted TEDxOU, an independent conference sponsored by TED, a nonprofit organization that holds similar talks each year in Long Beach, Calif., and Palm Springs, Calif.