Online Education with The Tolkien Professor–Corey Olsen


Aug 29, 2018

Corey Olsen, aka The Tolkien Professor, started out putting his
college lectures out in podcast form, and ended up founding an
online master’s program devoted to the study of imaginative
literature: Signum University. We discuss Signum, the state
approval process, the current advantages and prospects of online
education, some differences between Tolkien and Lewis, and reading
Tolkien with children.


Signum University

Mythgard Institute (Signum’s free programs for the public)

The Tolkien Professor Podcast

Corey Olsen’s website


Corey Olsen

2:38 Signum University approved by the New Hampshire Higher
Education Commission

3:02 Scope of studies at Signum University: definition of
imaginative literature; Tolkien at the center

5:54 A fundamental difference between Tolkien and Lewis

15:23 The process of getting an educational program approved by
a state board

22:46 Corey’s motivations to podcast: desire to communicate with
more than a tiny academic audience, unfulfilled demand from people
who want to study Tolkien seriously

28:43 Making online education more than just an efficient
correspondence course: real-time interaction and community

33:14 Online education as an affordable alternative to bilking
students and exploiting faculty

40:00 Signum’s free programs for the public at the Mythgard

47:04 How old should your kid be to read The Lord of the

52:38 Moralizing Tolkien vs. Lewis: how they lend themselves to
different ways of reading with children

56:17 This week’s reading: J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter

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