This summer Stanford will be offering an open online version of my on-campus course Principles of Economics. People can find out more and register for the course, Economics 1, on Stanford’s free open on-line platform. The course starts on Monday (June 22). The first week’s lecture and study materials are now posted.
The course is based on my lectures in the on-campus Stanford course. Each day after giving a 50-minute lecture, I recorded the same lecture divided into smaller segments for easier online viewing. Graphs, photos, and other illustrations appear as in the lecture. Moreover, we captioned and indexed the videos and added study material, readings, reviews, quizzes, and discussion groups to the platform to make it a complete self-contained course.
The course covers all of economics at a basic level. It stresses the key idea that economics is about making purposeful choice with limited resources and about people interacting with other people as they make these choices. Most of those interactions occur in markets, and this course is mainly about markets, including the market for bikes on campus, or labor markets, or capital markets. We will show why free competitive markets work well to improve people’s lives and how they have removed millions from people from poverty around the world, with many more, we hope, still to come.
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 course also runs parallel with a for-credit Stanford Economics 1 course that also includes a midterm test, a final exam, problem sets, and homework, which are all graded and count toward a final grade and Stanford course credit. The for-credit course is offered online to matriculated Stanford students, incoming freshman, and visiting students in the Stanford Summer School.
As explained in this Wall Street Journal article, Stanford’s experience with Econ 1 online has been very good, and, of course, that’s the reason for offering this summer.