The MIT – Massachusetts Institute of Technology – on its homepage offers the courses material for free download. You may stay at home, don’t pay anything and still can have a non-supervized learning experience. A reading list, instructions for assignments and even some handouts referring to single sessions are published and accessible for everyone. Of course single publications can’t be offered – but there might be other disciplines than anthropology and political science, where scientific readings have less importance and aren’t an imperative necessity.
This is successfully demonstrated by another homepage – the Khan Academy. Khan Academy offers free materials for technical and mathematical disciplines. From Algebra up to financial economy and physics you can learn and even proof your knowledge – for free. There are also further universities and institutions providing more and more course materials freely accessible. Coursea and EDX.org offer hundreds of university courses from various partner institutions from all over the world and help the user to form a portfolio.
No matter how relevant freely accessible course materials, open access webinars and video-lectures might be for future job chances, no matter how knowledge can be established sustainably. However – it might be a chance for thousand and millions of people with no or limited access to regular highschool or university courses. To me it seems to be a clever marketing strategy chosen by the MIT, but also a considerable approach for maximizing people’s knowledge claim.