OCWSearch, the search engine for OpenCourseWare classes, reached a milestone today, now indexing the OpenCourseWare content from ten major universities: the School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins, MIT, Notre Dame, The Open University UK, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Stanford Engineering Everywhere, Delft University of Technology, University of Massachusets Boston, the University of Tokyo, and Yale University. These universities all offer courses online for free, under the OpenCourseWare Initiative.
OCWSearch also released an API today. The API provides access to the full OCWSearch index, including course name, instructor name, and course description.
Launched in late April, OCWSearch indexes not only course titles, but course content as well - now boasting information on approximately 2600 course offerings.
The search engine began as founder Pierre Far's personal project, created in response to some of the difficulties he experienced trying to find accurate information about online statistics courses. But as it's a personal project, Far admits he has limited time to invest in the development of the project. And so, according to Far, "The API is a way for other programs to access the OCWSearch index. The objective of this API is to help spread the use of OpenCourseWare by enabling other developers to integrate OpenCourseWare searching capability into their apps."
Far hopes that the API will allow other developers to create mobile and web apps using the information at OCWSearch and take advantage of what he describes as the "big opportunity in open education."