NYU Stern professor Aswath Damodaran is teaching his courses to the world this semester. These are the first true classes taught at scale because there’s an actual community being created. We’re totally psyched. From his blog:
I am running an experiment this semester with the classes that I am teaching at the Stern School of Business: Corporate Finance, a first-year MBA class, and Valuation, an elective. I have taught these classes for more than 25 years now and have tried to make the material and the lectures available to the rest of the world, but I have never formally tracked those taking these classes online. In fact, if you were not an MBA student in the class, taking the class online would have required you to forage through my website for materials and keep track of what’s going on. And I would have no idea that you even were taking the class… So, I want to change that..
Last semester, I used a company called Coursekit to package and organize my class and was impressed with their clean look and responsiveness to my requests. This semester, which starts in a few days, I have created a Coursekit page for each class that is focused on just online students. I will use this page to deliver content (lecture notes, handouts and assignments that those who are in my physical class get), webcasts of lectures (though not in real time, but the links should show up about an hour after the actual class ends ) and even the exams (you can take them and grade them yourself). The site also has a social media component, where you can start or join discussion topics, which I hope will provide the element of interaction that is missing when you do an online course. When you do get to the home page for Coursekit, you will notice my mugshot in the entry way. I promise you that I have zero financial interest in the company but I really want to see it succeed, because I think the education business needs to be shaken up.
The first session for both classes is on Monday, January 30. If you want to take these classes online, here is what you need to do:
a. Corporate finance class
What is it? This is my “big picture” class about how financial principles govern how a business should be run. It looks at everything that a business does, through the lens of finance, and classifies them into investment, financing and dividend decisions.
Who can use it? I am biased but I think that everyone can use a corporate finance class: entrepreneurs starting new businesses, managers at established businesses and investors valuing these businesses.
What is it? This is a valuation class and it is about valuing any type of business: private or public, large or small and across markets. My focus is on providing the tools that will allow you to create your solution to valuation challenges, since new ones keep popping up.
Who can use it? While investors interested in valuing companies may be the obvious target, I teach the class more generally to be useful (I hope) to managers running the businesses and those who are just curious about value.
We’re extremely excited about this. Professor Damodaran is one of the world’s best business professors, and now anyone, anywhere can take his courses. It’s a kind of surreal experience because it actually feels like a class but the people are continents away.
I’ve known Aswath for a few months and he’s been a superb partner in thinking about the future of education. He’s a guy who lives to teach and wants to do his part in shaking up the system.
This marks a big step forward towards our vision of building the global learning network.