John B. Tylor has been teaching Econ 1 at Stanford University from quite a while now, however he recently ventured into a newer territory by dispensing the lecture online only, which were made available to both, Stanford students for credit as well as for the general public.
Until now, Stanford had never offered credit courses online. Although the idea of disseminating lectures online did not garner immediate acceptance, this system has had greater implications on Stanford as well other universities.
The usual classroom setting is termed as Econ 1. while the online lectures are given the moniker Econ 1v. Mr. Tlylor recorded his lecture in a recording studio which was then broken into smaller segments for easy online viewing. These small segments were mixed with necessary graphs, images and illustrations and were also indexed for easy searching. A total of 70 segments were uploaded which were supplemented with extra study materials and discussion forums which were made available on Stanford’s online platform. This platform is similar to the Massive Open Online Courses made available by firms such as Coursera and Udacity.
However, in Mr.Tylor’s opinion, most people require more than lectures and quizzes to understand Economics. In order to understand it, they need to talk the language of economics, take part in active discussions, work on various problems and apply economic models to current problems.
Thus, a lot of commitment is required, which is not a typical feature of MOOC’s. Thus, to garner that level of interest and commitment from students, the course was offered to Stanford undergraduate students which included freshmen and matriculated students, as well as students visiting from other universities who were willing to pay the tuition fee. Stanford students would earn credit for their degree while the outside students the credit could be utilized at their respective colleges.
While the course was made available to students for-credit, the course was also made available online for anyone who wishes to learn. The only difference in the course structure was that students in the for-credit course received additional resources such as interactive sessions along with feedbacks and assessments with grades. As for other students received a Statement of Accomplishment issued by the University.
Stanford made sure to keep the strength of the class small. The for-credit course had 25 students mostly matriculated ones, who were travelling for summer or at home and a few freshmen, including visiting students from outside universities. On the other hand, the open-for-all course had nearly 1500 students enrolled from across the globe, especially Asia and Africa.
The Econ 1v garnered popularity amongst students since it gave a chance to travelling and interning students to get credits. The feedback was positive and the scores were high. Thus, this showed online courses were accepted and more courses would enable student flexibility. Additionally, it also gave a chance to other students who wish to benefit from Stanford’s courses. The overwhelming participation from countries around the globe, including developing nations, has motivated Mr.Tylor to continue this course so that everyone can benefit and gain free opportunity to learn economics and understand the dynamics of free market.