Lecturers from the Econometrics programme are developing a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). With support from an Executive Board grant, the online lecture course will start next year.

A MOOC is of course, often developed by universities, that is freely accessible worldwide. Christiaan Heij, lecturer in Statistics and Econometrics, is developing the video lecture series with six colleagues. He explains the dual purpose of the first MOOC at Erasmus University. “This is an opportunity to showcase the university internationally and generate interest in Econometrics. Although it’s a fairly well known subject area in the Netherlands, there is less awareness of it internationally.”

Not for the uninitiated

Despite the freely accessible nature of a MOOC, Heij and his colleagues are targeting a specific audience. “Econometrics requires a certain background. It’s not a subject that can simply be explained to the uninitiated, so to speak. We are therefore focusing on adult education and on individuals with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics or Business Administration, for example.” In addition, Heij believes that general interest in an Econometrics MOOC is limited. ‘The other extreme would be to target secondary school students, for example. We did consider it, but secondary school students don’t tend to watch MOOCs.


Nothing is yet known about the scope or duration of the MOOC. The content and structure are currently being developed in consultation with RISBO, among others. Besides lectures, participants will also be expected to complete assignments. A certificate will be awarded for completing the course and passing an exam. The MOOC should be available from January 2016 via the Coursera MOOC platform, where a MOOC on terrorism, given in Dutch, is already available. EvR