Hello to all Economics for Teachers readers. I was at the Westerns last week, and came across Jennifer’s session on clicking technologies. She has been gracious in allowing me to provide a guest post, so here goes:
As many of you are aware, much of (particularly) Microeconomics is about human decision-making. Since students make many decisions in their own daily lives, it should be easy to be taught effectively. The sports and cultural sectors have much (still untapped) potential to contribute to student understanding. By using interactive means such as YouTube and other internet resources, the classroom experience can be made more contemporary, relevant and interesting. I wanted to take this concept to its zenith – and as such, a year ago I wrote (and present in) a series of six short videos, called Some Sports Economics, with the aim of making a significant pedagogical contribution to teaching and learning practice. Each video takes material directly from the Sports Economics curriculum (which I teach at La Trobe), each explaining a basic economic concept (such as prisoners’ dilemma, absolute and comparative advantage, complementaries, etc.) using tools and analogies from sports, as opposed to being presented in the typical ‘dry’ textbook manner.
These six videos have now collectively yielded nearly 6,000 page views on YouTube and over 35,000 file downloads on i-Tunes. I promoted them heavily in the first few weeks of my 2012 lectures, and it was clear to see that the students who made use of them performed particularly well in the mid-semester test. I have also received significant positive feedback about these videos from students in my other subjects (where they have also been made available). Despite the (slight) Antipodean bias of the material, I believe they have a lot to contribute whatever your sporting preferences. Please feel free to use them for any teaching-related purpose if you think they will be helpful in your courses, and feel free to let me know any further analogous ideas you have – I am planning a second sports series, plus another on the Motion Picture industry. Happy teaching!