A few months ago, I wrote a post about an online video series I’ve been following by John Green on world history. A few days ago, I learned that two economics professors at George Mason University were starting an online course in the same vein as Stanford. As they’re economics professors, naturally, you’d expect that the course is on economics (it is). In fact, the two professors (Alex Tabarrok and Tyler Cowen) describe the course as:
This course covers theory and empirics and history for the economic growth of developing nations.
I have to say, I’m really excited for this course and I think you should be, too. Similar to my comment about our need to understand the implications of history and the past, I believe we also should have an understanding some of the basic underlying theory of the economy.
There are a few differences between John Green’s crash course and the course being offered by Prof. Tabarrok and Prof. Cowen. First, as I referred to earlier, the economics course is more in the same vein of MOOC (Massive Open Online Course). Second, there aren’t any fun animations from the Thought Bubble (at least I haven’t seen any, yet). Third, there are multiple videos per lesson. With John Green’s course, there was only one video per week on a given topic. With this course from Marginal Revolution University, there are usually multiple videos for a given lesson. For instance, for the lesson on People (as in, leading thinkers on the economy), there are over 30 videos. Finally, there are practice questions. Practice questions? Yes, practice questions. Meaning, the professors have included practice questions along with the videos to help the viewer interact with the material.
I’ve included the introduction video below.