This summer I will be offering my Stanford course Principles of Economics online for free. You can find out more and register for the course, Economics 1, on Stanford’s open on-line platform Lagunita. The course starts at 8 am PT Monday July 17, when I will post the first week’s videos and reading material, and it goes through 11:59 pm PT September 18. It is possible to register and join the course at any time throughout this period.
The course is based on my on-campus course at Stanford. Each day after giving a 50-minute lecture, I recorded the same lecture divided into smaller segments for online viewing. We added graphs, photos, and other illustrations–just as in the on-campus course; we captioned and indexed the videos–an attraction not in the on-campus course; and we added study material, reviews, quizzes, and a discussion forum.
The first week of the course covers “The Basic Core of Economics” focusing on such ideas as opportunity cost and the supply and demand model with practical applications. Just learning this Basic Core is a significant and worthwhile accomplishment. The course then goes on to consider many topics in microeconomics and macroeconomics including key economic policy issues. I draw on experience in government and the private sector. The course stresses the key idea that economics is about making purposeful choices with limited resources and about people interacting with other people as they make these choices. Most of those interactions occur in markets, and the course is mainly about markets, including labor markets and capital markets.
People who participate in the open online course and take the short quizzes following each video will be awarded a Statement of Accomplishment, or a Statement of Accomplishment with Distinction. The latest version 8.0 of my textbook with Akila Weerapana, Principles of Economics, and its shorter versions, Principles of Microeconomics and Principles of Macroeconomics, can be purchased and downloaded to go along with the course thanks to FlatWorld.
I am pleased to say that there has already been a buzz about the course on Twitter during the past 24 hours. Here is a sampling: