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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Education sessions at the ASSA

For those attending the ASSA meetings, here are all the sessions I could find related to economic education. Also, if anyone wants suggestions for places to eat / things to do while in San Diego, particularly if you want to get away from the Gaslamp, feel free to drop me an email - I love sharing San Diego with folks!

UPDATE: From Mark Maier: There will be a meeting for economic educators interested in community college instruction prior to the regular sessions, January 3, 2013, 4 PM. Manchester Grand Hyatt, Room Molly A&B. All welcome.

Jan 04, 2013 8:00 am, Manchester Grand Hyatt, Manchester A
American Economic Association
Financial Literacy and Content Standards in the Schools (A2) (Panel Discussion)
Panel Moderator: B. DOUGLAS BERNHEIM (Stanford University and National Bureau of Economic Research)

ANNAMARIA LUSARDI (George Washington University)
BRIGITTE C. MADRIAN (Harvard University)
JOHN J. SIEGFRIED (Vanderbilt University)
WILLIAM B. WALSTAD (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

Jan 04, 2013 10:15 am, Manchester Grand Hyatt, Manchester F
American Economic Association
Topics in Economic Education (A2)
Presiding: NANCY ROSE (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Course Requirements for Bachelor’s Degrees in Economics
WILLIAM BECKER (Indiana University)
WILLIAM BOSSHARDT (Florida Atlantic University)
MICHAEL WATTS (Purdue University)
[Download Preview]

One Essay on Dissertation Styles in Economics
JOHN J. SIEGFRIED (Vanderbilt University)
WENDY STOCK (Montana State University)
[Download Preview]

How Economists Allocate Time to Teaching and Research
SAM ALLGOOD (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
WILLIAM B. WALSTAD (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
[Download Preview]
Economic Understanding in U.S. High Courses
WILLIAM B. WALSTAD (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
[Download Preview]

Discussants:
DAVID COLANDER (Middlebury College)
JAMES M. POTERBA (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
DANIEL S. HAMERMESH (University of Texas-Austin)
GAIL HOYT (University of Kentucky)

Jan 04, 2013 12:30 pm, Manchester Grand Hyatt, Ford B
National Association of Economic Educators
Testing the Effectiveness of Economic Education at the K-12 level (A2)
Presiding: PAUL GRIMES (Pittsburg State University)

Results from the Review of the Test of Economic Literacy
WILLIAM B. WALSTAD (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
KEN REBECK (St. Cloud State University)
ROGER B. BUTTERS (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

Does High School Economics affect College Performance? Evidence from Georgia's Freshmen
CHRISTOPHER CLARK (Georgia College)
BENJAMIN SCAFIDI (Georgia College)
JOHN R. SWINTON (Georgia College)

The Self Realization Theory: Academic Achievement Gap and Student's Loan Default
KAUSTAV MISRA (Saginaw Valley State University)

Should We Teach About Fair Trade?
JOHN BROCK (University of Colorado-Colorado Springs)
JANE LOPUS (California State University-East Bay)

Discussants:
BENJAMIN SCAFIDI (Georgia College)
KRISTIN KLOPFENSTEIN (University of Northern Colorado)
DENISE STANLEY (California State University-Fullerton)
PAUL W. GRIMES (Pittsburg State University)

Jan 04, 2013 2:30 pm, Manchester Grand Hyatt, Elizabeth Ballroom F
American Economic Association
Alternative Approaches to Teaching the Principles of Economics (A2)(Panel Discussion)
Panel Moderator: SAM A. ALLGOOD (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

MARTHA L. OLNEY (University of California-Berkeley) Economics as a Language
ALEX TABARROK (George Mason University) Teaching the Solow Model in Principles
ROBERT FRANK (Cornell University) The Economic Naturalist
DAVID I. LAIBSON (Harvard University) A Behavioral Approach to Teaching Economics

Jan 05, 2013 10:15 am, Manchester Grand Hyatt, Randle A and B
American Economic Association
After the Crisis: What Did We Learn, and What Should We Teach, about Monetary Policy? (A2) (Panel Discussion)
Panel Moderator: JANET YELLEN (Federal Reserve Board)

MARTIN EICHENBAUM (Northwestern University)
BENJAMIN M. FRIEDMAN (Harvard University)
MARK GERTLER (New York University)
MICHAEL WOODFORD (Columbia University)

Jan 05, 2013 12:30 pm, Manchester Grand Hyatt, Ford B
National Association of Economic Educators
Size, Content, and Student Characteristics: What Matters in the Economics Classroom? (A2)
Presiding: JOHN SWINTON (Georgia College)

The Class Size Gap and Technology: Is Help a Click Away?
CHIARA GRATTON-LAVOIE (California State University-Fullerton)
DENISE STANLEY (California State University-Fullerton)

Going Deep or Going Wide: The Economics Curriculum
BRUCE K. JOHNSON (Centre College)
JOHN J. PERRY (Centre College)
MARIE PETKUS (Centre College)

Credit Cards and Credit Savvy: Financial Literacy and Credit Card Use by High School Students
ROGER B. BUTTERS (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
CARLOS J. ASARTA (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

College Performance and Labor Market Outcomes of Native Hawaiians
INNA CINTINA (University of Hawaii)

Discussants:
CHRISTOPHER CLARK (Georgia College)
JOHN R. SWINTON (Georgia College)
KAUSTAV MISRA (Saginaw Valley State University)
WILLIAM BOSSHARDT (Florida Atlantic University)

Jan 05, 2013 2:30 pm, Manchester Grand Hyatt, Manchester D
American Economic Association
Economics Education Poster Session (A2) (Poster Session)
Presiding: STEVEN L. COBB (University of North Texas)

Staying Relevant: The Best Media for Teaching and Learning Economics in the Last Five Years
G. DIRK MATEER (Pennsylvania State University)
KIM HOLDER (University of West Georgia)

Competitive Analysis for a Firm Using Current Market Conditions
BRIAN W. SLOBODA (University of Phoenix and U.S. Postal Service)
AREERAT KICHKHA (Southern Illinois University-Carbondale)

Interactive Lecture Demonstrations: Getting to the Reflection Step
ROCHELLE RUFFER (Nazareth College)
MARK MAIER (Glendale Community College)

The Use of Service Learning Projects to Teach Introductory Consumer Economics
ROD D. RAEHSLER (Clarion University)

Enhancing Teachers' Classroom Effectiveness in Economics: GIGEL as an Alternative Model
JOSEPH C. ONUOHA (University of Nigeria)
NJIDEKA D. ENEOGU (University of Nigeria)

Using Competition as a Pedagogical Device in Large Principles of Economics Classes
PETER F. ORAZEM (Iowa State University)

Creating Connections: Exploring Economic Issues through Cyclic Concept Mapping
NJIDEKA D. ENEOGU (University of Nigeria)
JOSEPH C. ONUOHA (University of Nigeria)

A Futures Trading Project to Promote Active Learning in Agricultural Economics Courses
MAX ST. BROWN (Washington State University)
JARED WOOLSTENHULME (Washington State University)
[Download Preview]

Market Making with i-clikers
ELISABETH OLTHETEN (University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign)
VIRGINIA GRACE FRANCE (University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign)

Learning by Doing: Getting Students to "Discover" Answers
RANGANATH MURTHY (Western New England University)

Using Newspaper Articles and Documentary Films for Applications in Principles of Economics Courses
ELIZABETH BREITBACH (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

The Labour Market
MARILYN COTTRELL (Brock University, Canada)

Rent-A-Car: Teaching Managerial Economics with a Team-Based Interactive Case Study
DMITRIY CHULKOV (Indiana University-Kokomo)
DMITRI NIZOVTSEV (Washburn University)

What Works in Principles of Macro Classes: Enrollment 700 or Enrollment 30
MARTHA L. OLNEY (University of California-Berkeley)

Learning about the Economic Impact of a Sports Arena
JOHN F.R. HARTER (Eastern Kentucky University)

Cheat Sheet: Is It Worth It? The Effectiveness of the Quality of Cheat Sheet Used in Undergraduate Econometrics Courses
LEILA FARIVAR (Ohio State University)

Power-Up Smartphones to Access Knowledge and Electrify Class Participation
HOWARD H. COCHRAN, JR. (Belmont University)
MARIETA VELIKOVA (Belmont University)

Using Creative Video Clips Projects as Active Learning, Strategies in Economics Courses
JENNJOU CHEN (National Chengchi University)
TSUI-FANG LIN (National Taipei University)

Revise and Resubmit: Using Exams as Teaching Tools
KATHRYN BIRKELAND (University of South Dakota)

Teaching Intermediate Microeconomics in "The Inside-Out Classroom"
JAMES BRUEHLER (Eastern Illinois University)
LINDA S. GHENT (Eastern Illinois University)
ALAN GRANT (Baker University)

Employing Regional Survey Data in Teaching Students on the Price Index Calculation and Cost of Living Concept
MAUREEN DUNNE (Framingham State University)
DONALD MACRITCHIE (Framingham State University)
MARTHA MEANEY (Framingham State University)
FAHLINO SJUIB (Framingham State University)

Using Extra Credit in a Student Game Theory Simulation
JAMIE VOLZ (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)
[Download Preview]

Jan 05, 2013 2:30 pm, Manchester Grand Hyatt, Ford B
National Association of Economic Educators
Advanced Placement Economics: Is This Any Way to Teach Economics to High School Students? (A2) (Panel Discussion)
Panel Moderator: JOHN SWINTON (Georgia College)

JAMES D. GWARTNEY (Florida State University)
KRISTIN KLOPFENSTEIN (University of Northern Colorado)
BENJAMIN SCAFIDI (Georgia College)
DEIRDRE N. MCCLOSKEY (University of Illinois-Chicago)

Jan 06, 2013 8:00 am, Manchester Grand Hyatt, Manchester F
American Economic Association
Research in Economic Education (A2)
Presiding: KIMMARIE MCGOLDRICK (University of Richmond)

Gender and Undergraduate Major Trends: 1990-2011
TISHA L.N. EMERSON (Baylor University)
KIMMARIE MCGOLDRICK (University of Richmond)
JOHN J. SIEGFRIED (Vanderbilt University)

High School Economics as Preparation for Principles of Microeconomics Courses
LINDA CARTER (Baylor University)
TISHA L.N. EMERSON (Baylor University)
GAIL HOYT (University of Kentucky)

Do algebra and geometry provide the same value in preparing high school students for economics?
BRENT EVANS (Mississippi State University)
[Download Preview]

A Survey of Principles Instructors: Why Lecture Prevails
WILLIAM L. GOFFE (Pennsylvania State University)
DAVID KAUPER (unknown)
[Download Preview]

Discussants:
PAUL W. GRIMES (Pittsburg State University)
JANE LOPUS (California State University-East Bay)
CYNTHIA HARTER (Eastern Kentucky University)
SCOTT SIMKINS (North Carolina A&T State University)

Jan 06, 2013 1:00 pm, Manchester Grand Hyatt, Randle B
American Economic Association
The Effects of Online Economics Courses on Student Learning (I2)
Presiding: NEAL OLITSKY (University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth)

Student Outcomes in Principles: Online vs. Face-to-Face Delivery
KATHRYN BIRKELAND (University of South Dakota)
MANDIE WEINANDT (University of South Dakota)
DAVID L. CARR (University of South Dakota)

The Effectiveness of Interactive Online Exercises across Delivery Format
WILLIAM T. ALPERT (University of Connecticut)
OSKAR R. HARMON (University of Connecticut)
JAMES LAMBRINOS (Union Graduate College)

The Effect of Blended Courses on Student Learning: Evidence From Introductory Economics Courses
NEAL H. OLITSKY (University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth)
SARAH B. COSGROVE (University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth)
[Download Preview]

Student Performance and Perception of Online Homework Systems: Upper-Level Economics Class versus Principles of Economics Students
ROBERT L. PENNINGTON (University of Central Florida)
BARBARA MOORE (University of Central Florida)

Discussants:
NEAL H. OLITSKY (University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth)
KATHRYN BIRKELAND (University of South Dakota)
OSKAR R. HARMON (University of Connecticut)
ROBERT L. PENNINGTON (University of Central Florida)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

I should not have to worry that a disgruntled student will kill me, but sometimes I do...

Caution: School Crossing
I submitted final grades on Monday. About four hours later (my current record is ten minutes), the emails began. Some of the requests are legitimate; e.g., I hit the wrong key when entering grades in the online system so someone got a D+ who should have had a C+ (I'm sure that over the years, I've made similar errors in the other direction but funny how I never hear from those students!). Some of the requests are benign; e.g., students miscalculate what their final weighted average is so they think they have a higher grade than they received. Those are just time-consuming because I have to look up their actual score, and also use the spreadsheet I posted online for them to use to verify that they just made a mistake somewhere, but once I respond, I typically don't hear from them again.

And then there are the real whiners who do not understand why they received the grade they did and have a sob story about why they 'need' a higher grade. These are the emails that stress me out, that prevent me from being able to relax and enjoy being done with the semester. A part of me wants to just ignore them but these are still my students, and my sense of responsibility as their teacher requires me to respond. But I know that my response, explaining how I arrived at their final grade, is not going to be the end of it. As soon as I hit 'send', I'm already dreading the inevitable reply. With the data class, the problem is almost always with students who do not complete the team evaluations. Because the evaluations are so critical for determining the team part of final grades, I tell the students that there are serious consequences if they do not complete the evaluations: they will not receive credit for the team assignments in their own grade. That means that instead of their individual quizzes being worth 10% of their grade, they are worth 28% (and the individual scores are always significantly worse than the team quizzes). This usually is enough to drop a student's final grade by at least a plus/minus, sometimes more. I know this is harsh but I also give the students plenty of time to get them done (they are submitted online) and many, many reminders, so there really is no excuse for not doing them. And yet, of course, there are always a few students who miss the deadline. I'm lenient up to a point - if a student emails me after the deadline, I still let them email their evaluations to me and as long as I get them before I'm done compiling grades, they still get credit for them. But there's always one or two who don't even think about it until they see their final grade, and those are the emails I dread.

My fiance pointed out that I go through this every semester, that there's always about a week after grades are submitted where I am all stressed out dealing with these emails. But this time seems worse - I just can't seem to shake the stress - and I've been trying to figure out why. Some of it is guilt and second-guessing myself: maybe I AM being too harsh or maybe I did not do enough to make sure the students understood what the consequences would be. I can usually convince myself that I am not the problem but it nags at me. Some of the stress is fatigue and burnout - the students are different but the problems are not and it's frustrating to deal with the exact same issues over and over again, every semester. This is one reason academics need sabbaticals and I'm very much looking forward to mine next year. But this year, there is something else mixed in with my stress: fear. I don't want to sound paranoid or extreme but there is a part of me that honestly worries that one of these students will show up at the department with a gun. The common thread among the emails that stress me out the most is students who are not taking full responsibility for their own actions - THEY did not complete the assignment but it is MY fault they have a bad grade because I am too harsh, unfair, don't understand their situation, etc. Rationally, I know that these students are simply young and immature, not mentally unhinged, but people in my department (and others on campus) have experienced threats from students who similarly believe others are to blame for whatever is happening to them. And of course, Sandy Hook and all of the discussion about guns is a contributor to my state of mind these days.

I'm still dealing with a couple of these students but they are tapering off. Being surrounded by family, and not checking my email too often, is also helping, so I'm hoping the stress will soon completely recede. But I'm curious how others handle this time of year. Do you respond to student emails about grades? Am I the only one who has these extreme worries?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Link round-up

Here are a few links if you want to procrastinate from grading, or get inspired for next semester...

2012 Christmas Price Index: The Cost of Christmas is up 4.8% this year. Each year, PNC makes the website a little more complicated. This year, you have to go around the world to find each item. If you have a slow internet connection, I think it would be kind of frustrating (each scene seems to take a while to load, even with a decent connection) but if you just want the punchline, click on 2012 Gift Price Index in the menu along the bottom.

Deck the Halls with Macro Follies: The latest video from EconStories (the guys who brought us Hayek vs. Keynes) has Keynes and other macro forefathers explaining their theories to the tune of Christmas carols.

How Economics Saved Christmas: This 2010 parody of 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' is a great way to introduce externalities (hat tip to Economist Educators!).

Tons of Quick Tips for Flipping Your Class: The 'flipped classroom' (i.e., having student acquire content outside of class so that class time can be used for interaction and applications) seems to be a big buzzword these days. Whether you've been flipping your class for years, or just beginning to think about it, the Peer Instruction blog has lots of great advice.

EdTech resources on Pinterest: I'm not a 'pinner' but this board (via Texas Wesleyan CETL) appears to have some great resources for edtech geeks.

And on a side note: If anyone is planning to attend the Western Economic Association conference in Seattle next summer (or is in the Seattle area already) and would be interested in being part of a panel on making classes more interactive, please email me!