Attending lectures without even having to leave your room – we’re sure some of you like the sound of that. People who are interested in the subject of econometrics are now offered the opportunity to do just that. But how does it work? Please read on for answers to four questions about the new econometrics MOOC.

An econometrics MOOC? Sounds good. But, er, what is it?

‘MOOC’ stands for ‘Massive Open Online Courses’. In other words, courses you can take from the comfort of your own sofa. Universities such as Harvard and MIT have been offering them for quite a while. Now it’s Erasmus University’s turn to start offering online courses.

Is the course open to anyone?

Technically, yes, but you will require some knowledge of statistics. The course description states that the course is mainly intended for economics, business administration and data analysis students. It might not be well suited to the humanities students among us. Oh, and just because you’ll be able to do everything at home, doesn’t mean you won’t have to do anything at all; in order to successfully complete the course, you’ll have to complete weekly assignments and make a case. In addition, you will ‘peer review’ your classmates’ work. In other words, you’ll be pretty busy.

How much does it cost?

That’s the great thing about most MOOCs: not a penny! You’ll be able to take the course for free. However, you’ll have to put in a fair bit of effort. Generally, you’ll be expected to devote one to three hours a week to studying. The course will take about seven weeks to complete.

How do I join the programme?

You can sign up through Coursera. The next course will be taught from 30 November to 1 February. If you’re not the slightest bit interested in econometrics, but do like the idea of taking a MOOC, you may be interested to learn that the next MOOC is being prepared as we speak and will be about Serious Gaming. And of course Coursera also provides access to many other MOOCs taught by other universities.