Explosion of Online Courses

There has been an explosion lately of free online coursework that is relevant to investors and entrepreneurs. Some of the classes are being taught by great professors – some maybe less heard of professors. I have spoken about Damodaran’s online courses in the past and have taken both of his online courses. Both were very good, although I personally found the MOOC setting difficult to participate in. I hear all sorts of bragging about 10k or 20k students taking a single class. This is great and the video instruction (recorded & live) as well as the coursework are great for learning – but let me be clear thousands of students posting questions in an online forum is NOT helpful to learn anything. Small group interactions is much more conducive to learning and I hope that the massive online learning movement begins to realize that.

Most of the courses that I’ve seen get put online are basic courses (e.g. basic accounting, basic economics, VC 101, etc.). I have been surprised that the courses haven’t begun to include more targeted things like “How to start with email marketing” or more corporate focused training like “How to manage your boss’s boss”. I think there is a lot of people who would pay a minor fee $99-$200 for courses like this if they were done well and spanned only a month or so. Perhaps there are some out there and they just aren’t on Coursera, NovoEd, & Udacity which seem to be dominating the marketplace.

Here are the courses that I saw recently (on Coursera, NovoEd, & Udacity) that I thought were interesting and relevant – if you are have the time and interest, check out one course (don’t overload yourself and take more than one, most will be offered again).

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