Boilercast: Perdue University lecture podcasts
August 31, 2005 3:51 PM   Subscribe

Purdue University has begun providing podcasts of lectures of some courses, intended for students who miss a class or who want to review specific lectures. Users of the service can download a specific lecture or all of the lectures from an entire course. Apparently also open to the public it is called Boilercast, about 50 classes are starting now for Fall 2005.
posted by stbalbach (15 comments total)
Um..I've been looking around but there doesn't seem to be an easily found page to advise what the course codes represent. Going to the download page for each file gives the lecturer name but no other identifying info. Anyone got a key to this? I mean, this is likely a good thing but I don't want to download urban planning material if I want a medievel english course etc.
posted by peacay at 4:08 PM on August 31, 2005

I am fired up about this. I always wondered what people learned in "agriculture" classes. Now I can start with Agriculture 101 during my morning through metropolitan Washington. Maybe I'll learn how to plant corn or radishes or something. Thank you, Boilermakers.
posted by esquire at 4:13 PM on August 31, 2005

Here's the course listing

This comes out less than a year after graduating =\ Alas, no AAE courses offered anyway.
posted by Phantomx at 4:14 PM on August 31, 2005

I suppose I should add that to get to course descriptions you sometimes have to go a few clicks deep.
posted by Phantomx at 4:16 PM on August 31, 2005

A couple example classes (using link provided by Phantomx)

ANTH379 - Indians Of North America - General survey of North American Indian cultures.

FNR240 - Wildlife In America - History of the occurrence, exploitation, and management of North America's wildlife resources.
posted by stbalbach at 4:31 PM on August 31, 2005

Wouldn't a vidcast be much more useful to see, for example, what the lecturer has written on the board?
posted by gyc at 4:33 PM on August 31, 2005

Phantomx, that gives the general gist, thanks. Obviously if this was a set-up aimed towards the general public they wouldn't be so esoteric in their page content.
posted by peacay at 4:34 PM on August 31, 2005

Thanks for posting this, stbalbach. Looking forward to learning a little botany in the wee hours!
posted by maryh at 4:42 PM on August 31, 2005

Wouldn't a vidcast be much more useful

The only complete courses online (for free) in video format, that I am aware of, are about 10 classes at MIT's OpenCourseware. I recommend the first episode of Physics 101 for high entertainment.

The Teaching Company offers audio/video courses (for money), but they are not university classes, more like adult education (of high quality).

I look forward to the first university that releases its classes in opensource, available for re-mix in both audio and video format.
posted by stbalbach at 5:13 PM on August 31, 2005

..also if the Purdue syllabus were online that would make it more complete.
posted by stbalbach at 5:19 PM on August 31, 2005

I was actually just telling my girl I'd send mp3s of my neuroscience course to her. How awesome that they would actually provide this service to students. Is there concern that the student-only podcasts would be shared with non-students?
posted by blendor at 10:15 PM on August 31, 2005

This seems like a cool thing, but I agree with peacay, that the site does not seem at all interested in catering to people who are not already students. I don't really understand that, since it's supposed to be the degree and not the knowledge that costs money.
posted by OmieWise at 5:42 AM on September 1, 2005

I listened to "Indians of North America" this morning on my way to work. Very interesting! You miss a bit by not being able to see whatever visual aids the instructor might be using, but it's pretty neat, nonetheless.

Also, does it seem odd to anyone else that thare are so many Pharmacy-related feeds?
posted by mds35 at 7:14 AM on September 1, 2005

Omiewise, many of my professors would make sure that their notes that they put online could only be accessed from Purdue servers. That's if they put stuff online at all. You gotta remember that a lot of these lectures are stuff that they've written and prepared and are more than just a recitation of a book. Especially if the material comes from many sources and there is no main book that they are teaching from. Also not everyone thinks that information should be absolutely free to everyone.

I think the boilercast is a great thing, but until a video is included, I see this as not being a blip on the radar for any technical classes (above entry level courses) because of all the equations.
posted by Phantomx at 11:06 AM on September 1, 2005

stbalbach writes "The only complete courses online (for free) in video format, that I am aware of, are about 10 classes at MIT's OpenCourseware."
I kind of wonder about that. I didn't check the site but presume it's American. Sometime if/when I remember in the not too distant future, it might be worthwhile checking around a bit for other western english speaking nations' University sites. It might be that there's more available in NZ, UK & Oz online for instance - I don't know this but I'd presume that they tend towards being more social with their materials.

And Phantomx brings up something I hadn't thought about - copyright. It's my experience that lectures are derived from multiple sources and they may not be overly happy if the cherry picked diamonds from their publications are presented online (but then there's fair use, hmm?).

(on preview...MIT...of course it's's late....the brain is drained)
posted by peacay at 1:21 PM on September 1, 2005

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