Monday, March 31, 2014

EconTalk MOOC Podcast

Russ Roberts
podcast interview with Russ Roberts on EconTalk about my experience teaching a MOOC and thoughts on the economics of MOOCs. (The interview was based a bit on my last post here.)

Russ is a very good interviewer, and the EconTalk series quite interesting.


  1. Off topic, but he mentioned you by name!

    1. I hate to break it to you, but having Krugman insult me by name is not the highlight of my day. Apparently I can't read macro, but just as apparently Krugman is unaware of Google because he posts a quote without link. Or is there a darker reason...

  2. John,
    Is it me or is Russ Roberts really reaching critical mass? I feel like he's really starting to get the recognition he deserves. Any thoughts?

  3. Very interesting - I hadn't listened to EconTalk for awhile. I offer a footnote to questions about the "employment value" of MOOCs: I work in the institutional investment management industry and I've seen a couple of resume references to Coursera courses, though not yet to your class. I have taken a couple of the Coursera courses, including yours, and I do think they offer value even in their current, early format. I think it's particularly valuable for people like non-finance quants who want to move into this world.

  4. Very good interview. As are your other two Econtalk appearances.

    Off topic (I saw that a different link on this page prompted a post, so maybe you're taking requests...): there's a new interview with John Campbell with Justin Fox. He talks a little about the habit model you two created. He also has a new draft paper on the Nobel Laureates.

  5. John,

    What do you think about this?

    I'm sort of surprised there hasn't been any connection between this sort of American MOOC banter (which I really enjoy!) and the Tarena IPO...

    From the MD&A:

    "Capitalizing on our innovative education platform, we have built a highly scalable business that we can expand and replicate rapidly with consistent quality. We deliver high quality lectures through a group of experienced and passionate instructors based in Beijing to a nationwide network of 92 directly operated learning centers in 33 cities in China as of December 31, 2013. Compared to traditional classroom-based teaching, which requires hiring and training of instructors for local sites, we are able to expand our geographic footprint and class sizes without impacting the quality of our course offerings because we are generally able to provide our students across China with equal access to the same group of instructors. For our most established Java course, our student-to-instructor ratio increased from 1,624-to-1 in 2011 to 3,276-to-1 in 2013, and the average net revenues per instructor for our Java course increased from approximately US$2.7 million in 2011 to approximately US$6.9 million in 2013."


Comments are welcome. Keep it short, polite, and on topic.

Thanks to a few abusers I am now moderating comments. I welcome thoughtful disagreement. I will block comments with insulting or abusive language. I'm also blocking totally inane comments. Try to make some sense. I am much more likely to allow critical comments if you have the honesty and courage to use your real name.