MIT Opencourseware

The MIT Opencourseware Project

In 2001, MIT put all their courses (class notes, curriculum, syllabus, videos, etc.) online for free at MIT OpenCourseWare.

In 2005, MIT got a $500,000 grant from the Google Foundation. MIT asked me to manage this.

  • I set up 48,548 keywords for MIT's 38 academic subjects in 1,600 courses (such as aeronautics, chemistry, computer science, linguistics, mathematics, nuclear engineering, philosophy, and women's studies).
  • I put priority on reaching educators. If professors, university lecturers, teachers, tutors, and instructors learn about MIT OCW, they will use it throughout their teaching career and pass it on to other instructors and students. By reaching one instructor, I reach perhaps 1,000 students.
  • Because I speak a bunch of languages, I translated keywords into Chinese, Japanese, Korean, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Arabic, plus twelve additional languages.


Google set up the account in September 2005. It got 52 clicks per day at $0.76 per click. I took over in October 2005:

  • Clicks went from 52 clicks per day to 17,650 clicks per day
  • Cost-per-Click (CPC) fell from $0.76 to $0.07
  • Click-through-Rate (CTR) went from 0.12% to 4.02%

From May 2006 to March 2017 (eleven years), this produced 570.4 million impressions, 13.3 million clicks, and spent US$1,978,650. The overall cost-per-click (CPC) was $0.15, but that includes high CPCs at the beginning. In the last five years, CPCs were $0.07. The CTR similarly was over 8% in the last five years. MIT estimates more than eight million people downloaded courses. Many of them went on to become professionals, teachers, or professors.


  • Global campaigns are multilingual campaigns. You can't use only English. The top 100 keywords include English, Chinese, Arabic, German, French, and Spanish.
  • Arabic works very well. The click rate for Arabic keywords often exceeds 30%.
  • German also produces good results. Many students in South America, Asia, the Arab world, and Africa study at German universities. They learned their subjects in German and search in German.
  • The Web doesn't have weekends. Sunday in California is Monday in India and China. The Arab work week is Saturday through Wednesday. If you carry out global campaigns, it's every day.
  • MIT was the first university to do this. They also started a consortium with other universities. After several years, several hundred universities have also put their courses online.

Here's what MIT says about me: I'm listed between Bain, Google, and the United Nations.

Visit the MIT OpenCourseWare Project.