Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Asset Pricing Mooc, Resurrected

The online class "Asset Pricing" is resurrected, at least half-way.

The videos, readings, slides/whiteboards and notes are all now here on my webpage.  If you just want the lecture videos, they are all on Youtube, Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

These materials are also hosted in a somewhat prettier manner on the University of Chicago's Canvas platform. You may or may not have  access to that. It may become open to the public at some point.

I'm working on the quizzes, problems, and exams, and also on finding a new host so you can have problems graded and get a certificate. For now, however, I hope these materials are useful as self-study, and as assignments for in-person classes. I found that sending students to watch the videos and then having a more discussion oriented class worked well.

What happened? Coursera moved to a new platform. The new platform is not backward-compatible, did not support several features I used from the old platform, and some of the new platform features don't work as advertised either. Neither the excellent team at U of C, nor Coursera's staff, could move the class to the new platform. And Coursera would not keep the old platform open. So, months of work are consigned to the dustbin of software "upgrades," at least for now.

Obviously, if you are thinking of doing an online course, I do not recommend that you work with Coursera. And make sure to write strong language about keeping your course working in the contract.

22 comments:

  1. Professor Cochrane, I did mine AP 1 & 2 with you on old platform and we were very blessed, learned a tonnes new knowledge.., new platform, no thanks - salty disappointment with Coursera. All best and thank you again. captain

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  2. Sorry to hear that. I appreciate all the work you are doing to keep the materials alive. If I ever get roped into teaching this course, I was definitely planning on flipping the classroom and having you do the lectures.

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  3. Thanks. I am taking 35901 and 35912 this autumn and this will complement them well.

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  4. John, thank you and the entire Chicago team so much for the learning experience last year, and I am looking forward to have all your great materials back online - M.

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  5. Thanks. Have posted this to the Facebook page of the Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization.

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  6. What a gift..took the Coursera course version and thought it was invaluable given it was nearly 25 years since I took 401 and 402 from your father-in-law. It's no walk in the park, but I encourage others to at least watch the lectures and take the quizzes. Humbling (at least for me) and illuminating.

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  7. FWIW John, I watched many of the videos and found them extremely helpful.

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  8. Hi John, I can't seem to find the problem sets on your site. Will these be uploaded?

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  9. I see an ironic parable in Cochrane's unhappy encounter with the online courseware company. He seems ill served by the private sector in this instance. Coursera proved adept at externalizing its costs, to his chagrin.

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    1. That's an unbelievably dumb comment. Where is your high-quality government-provided online course software? Free markets are the worst of all systems -- except all the alternatives.

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    2. MIT OpenCourseWare is one example of good non-proprietary course software. Cochrane's anger is misplaced.

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    3. "good course software" as in "somebody uploaded all the pdf we had in an orderly manner"

      Not to mention the fact a course from early 2000s will probably be less relevant than a course from a decade later.

      Obviously they are not the same thing.

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    4. I learned a few lessons doing the online class. First, videotaping in class lectures does not work. Lecture videos have to be short and very condensed. People stop when they need to. Second, assessments need to provide lots of feedback. That's where coursera and us came to loggerheads - -the new coursera platform is basically multiple choice once through.

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    5. The MIT platform isn't non-proprietary, it's MIT's (shockingly), and by modern standards it sucks unless the totality of an online class is supposed to be terse, dated PDF's. It isn't even a platform. MIT doesn't even use it much anymore, preferring EdX.

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    6. Well, as someone who has learned a lot of courses maybe I can provide my two cents regarding the Coursera platform.
      I think that their focus on massive part of moocs often comes at an expense of quality. They have tendency (not always, of course) to water down material . Quizzes are awful, to easy to cheat and they don't promote problem solving to gain understanding. They strangely break courses into too many modules.
      I think that that's the reason also why Gautam Kaul's excellent corporate finance courses are moving to edx. Also I remember hearing from TA that he wanted to keep grading assignments free for everyone which coursera as I can re is revoking (there were ~100 quality assignments per his course, and it was the key for understanding).

      MITs courses on edx should be the role model for everyone. They are the real deal and they seem to have great team carefully designing each step.

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  10. Thank you very much! This course has helped in my research.

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  11. Dr. Cochrane, thanks for loading the course video material on YouTube. I was midway through the material when coursera abruptly took it offline. looking forward to seeing the full course republished soon. best regards.

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  12. Dr. Cochrane, thanks for loading the course video material on YouTube. I was midway through the material when coursera abruptly took it offline. looking forward to seeing the full course republished soon. best regards.

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  13. Dr. Cochrane, thanks for loading the course video material on YouTube. I was midway through the material when coursera abruptly took it offline. looking forward to seeing the full course republished soon. best regards.

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  14. Hi Professor,

    I really hope you can let us know as soon as your new course is up! Really can't wait. Doesn't matter if its edx or coursera or anything else.

    As long as there are assignments for us to track our own learning, we will be eternally grateful! Hope you keep doing what you do

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