The Great Courses
The Great Courses is the brand applied by The Teaching Company, a Chantilly, Virginia company, to its recordings of lectures by university professors and high-school teachers. It sells the courses in CD, MP3, DVD, and MPEG-4 download and streaming formats.
The company was founded in 1990 by Thomas M. Rollins, former Chief Counsel of the United States Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources and a graduate of Harvard Law School, who noticed the effectiveness of videotapes in learning during his study. He initially tried to create a government program to produce tapes for the public, but was unable to do so because of legal restrictions. After leaving office, he sought out top professors to create courses for sale to the public.
As of 2013 the company offers more than 450 courses, which span more than 10,000 hours of content across several subject categories: business and economics, fine arts, music, ancient and medieval history, modern history, literature and English language, philosophy and intellectual history, religion, science, mathematics, social sciences, and better living.
Course offerings are targeted to adult education and life-learners; there is also a series for high school students. Courses are not verbatim recordings of college lectures, but rather are developed by The Teaching Company in conjunction with the professor to fit the chosen medium. Video versions of courses include graphics and green screen effects. Courses also include supplemental booklets with outlines of the individual lectures, recommended reading lists, general bibliographies, and questions to consider. Full printed transcripts are also available.
Courses are available for online video and audio streaming or may be purchased in many formats including CD, DVD, audio and video downloads, and verbatim transcript books.
Partial list of instructors 
- . "The Teaching Company". The Catalyst. 2006-04-21. Retrieved 2009-06-21.
- Bales, Kate (February 16, 1994). "Ivy League Courses for Price of a Video". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-06-21.[dead link]
- According to the Kate Bales article, several states forbid federal intervention in education to develop the concept of home education.
- Teaching Company website - Our history
- "Berkery, Noyes & Co. represents The Teaching Company in its sale to Brentwood Associates", October 3, 2006.
- Linda Mathews (1996-03-31). "Adult Education; No Tests and You Can Hit Rewind". New York Times.
- Kendra Nordin (2003-01-28). "From the college lecture hall to your headphones". Christian Science Monitor.