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FAQ: Getting Started

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Author: Notre Dame OCW
Answers to frequently asked questions about getting started with Notre Dame OpenCourseWare

  1. Do I need to  register to use Notre Dame OCW course materials?
  2. How do I log in?
  3. Where are the course materials?
  4. How do I search for materials?
  5. Does every course have video lectures?
  6. What are the prerequisites to use Notre Dame OCW materials?
  7. When is the start date for my course?
  8. How do I get a copy of the course pack for a particular course?
  9. How do I download a course?
  10. What is an IMS Package?


  1. Do I need to register to use Notre Dame OCW course materials?

    There is no registration or enrollment process because OCW is not a credit-bearing or degree-granting initiative.

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  2. How do I log in?

    Users do not log in to access the materials. Simply click the links found in the navigation bars along the top and left sides of each page, and within the content on various pages.

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  3. Where are the course materials?

    To find what courses are available at this time, view the complete course list. Once you have accessed a particular course site, the left-hand navigation bar of each course homepage will detail what materials are available for that individual course. Participation in OCW by faculty is completely voluntary, so the amount and type of content varies from course-to-course. Navigation of course content, however, is similar for all courses. Simply click the links in the left-hand navigation bar on each page, and the links within the content of each page, to view the available materials.

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  4. How do I search for materials?

    You can utilize the Search function that can be found in the upper right-hand corner of every page on the Notre Dame OCW site. You can search for specific text, such as certain academic discipline area, across all courses or within just one course. To perform a detailed search, use our Advanced Search.

    Or, to see what courses are available, click on Courses in the top navigation bar of every page on the Notre Dame OCW Web site. This will allow you to view the list of courses available at this time.

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  5. Does every course have video lectures?

    No, Notre Dame OCW does not include video lectures in every course. Although video lectures are useful for students, it is not affordable, or feasible from a production standpoint, for us to provide video lectures for every course. Video and audio production remains one of the most expensive and time-consuming aspects of the OCW production process. In addition, video content must be reviewed to identify any third-party material (such as music or diagrams). We must then try to obtain permission to use third-party material from the owner, and if unable to do so, we must edit out these sections.

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  6. What are the prerequisites to use Notre Dame OCW materials?

    There are no prerequisites for users who utilize Notre Dame OCW course materials in their own learning. However, each course site indicates the prerequisites that are required of Notre Dame students.

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  7. When is the start date for my course?

    Since there is no registration process and no contact with faculty, you are free to use the materials at any time and to proceed at your own pace. There is no starting or ending date. The Spring or Fall term that is displayed following the name of each course reflects the semester in which the posted materials were used in the classroom. (They may have been used in whole or in part during subsequent semesters, as well.)

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  8. How do I get a copy of the course pack for a particular Notre Dame OCW course?

    The course-pack materials that accompany most Notre Dame courses often contain proprietary information and copyrighted materials that Notre Dame Faculty only use in their classroom interactions with Notre Dame students. These materials are not available, nor will they be in the future, to Notre Dame OCW users. However, every attempt is made to link to online materials, if available.

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  9. How do I download a course?

    You do not need to download a course to view the course materials. Simply click the links found in the navigation bars along the top and left side of each page, and the links within the content of each page.

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  10. What is an IMS Package?

    IMS Content Packaging is a standard format that allows learning content to be exported from one content management system to another. You would only download an IMS package if your intention is to export a Notre Dame OCW course to another content management system.

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Portions of this page were created or adapted from material created by MIT OCW, Copyright © 2005 MIT in accordance with the MIT OCW Terms of Use.