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, reports the New York Times. Why give away something with such a high market value?
“I put the course up because the president of M.I.T. asked us to,” said Ms. Henderson. “My deep belief is that as academics we have a duty to disperse our ideas as far and as freely as possible.”