Appy Hour: iTunes U

App: iTunes U  iTunes U icon
By: Apple Inc.
Price: Free
Device: Reviewed on an iPad

iTunes U, by Apple Inc, is a very comprehensive app that allows users to access free education content from universities around the world. It is currently only available to iOS devices.

There is a private courses option for schools that participate. The Catholic University of America is not a participant. However, public content is voluminous.

When I opened the app, I chose to browse the catalog and was taken to a screen with a lot of content. Across the top you can choose categories from various academic disciplines. Standout courses are the first section, though it’s not clear what makes them standout. Some of them are clearly promoted, for example there are three “i” related courses. The next section down offers Learning Resources. These simply take me to prepared lists in the App Store. The next section is New & Notable. Again, not sure what makes some notable, but there is content added last month.

Basically, the best way to get to real courses is to search your discipline at the top of the app, or browse the discipline lists. When you find a course you like, click “Get it” and it will be added to your library.

I downloaded the BB450 and BB451, Biochemistry for Pre-Medical Students, from Oregon State University, from August 2012 and February 2013. The content is incredible. The syllabus, and the weekly lectures on video, and audio are provided. Course exams are also included. There is a link to the text book chapter for that week, however you are asked to pay to view it. I was really surprised by how substantial and comprehensive the course content included. It would make a great supplement, especially the exams, to the biochemistry for pre-med course here.

Overall, there is a lot of great content in this app, it just takes a little practice to locate the content you would like after wading through promotional material.

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