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Tyler Cowen Does a MOOC

Here at Via Meadia we’ve been tracking the great strides online education has made this year. Startups like Coursera and edX have signed up more than a million students for courses offered by some of the best schools this country has to offer. But in a way, this was just a re-shuffle of the old university model, with an umbrella organization serving as a host to a bunch of different lectures on different topics by highly credentialed lecturers. It was only a matter of time before an enterprising, high profile public intellectual superstar disaggregated the disaggregators and started his own online university.

Enter Tyler Cowen, frequent NY Times economics contributor, AI board member, and one half of the blogging powerhouse that is Marginal Revolution. He and his partner in crime Alex Tabarrok have decided to take matters into their own hands and launch an online education startup of their own called Marginal Revolution University. Tyler:

We think education should be better, cheaper, and easier to access. So we decided to take matters into our own hands and create a new online education platform toward those ends. We have decided to do more to communicate our personal vision of economics to you and to the broader world.

Read the whole thing for a sense of the guiding principles for what they’re trying to do. Here’s the outline for the first course they’re offering, starting on October 1. Several of us here at Via Meadia have signed up. It’s free, and it’s sure to be of high quality. Loyal VM readers should consider signing up too to get a glimpse of the future of online education. Hey, you might even learn something in the process!

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