Presentation on theme: "T-shirts, moonshine, and autopsies: Using podcasts to engage undergraduate microeconomics students Rebecca Moryl, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Economics."— Presentation transcript:
T-shirts, moonshine, and autopsies: Using podcasts to engage undergraduate microeconomics students Rebecca Moryl, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Economics Department of Management & Economics, Emmanuel College Prepared for the 7 th Annual Economics Teaching Conference – October 2011 Research Study Abstract.: This paper assesses the use of podcasts as the focus of required assignments in an introductory microeconomic course. Professionally-produced, economics-themed podcasts are introduced as a medium for supplementing traditional course material, rather than as a venue for replication of course lectures. A student self-assessment survey is used to assess the effectiveness of a variety of podcast-related assignments. The survey finds that a large majority of students find this use of podcasts helps them to understand economic concepts and how economics is relevant to the world. Student Feedback on Use of Podcasts “I enjoyed listening to the Planet Money Podcasts that were assigned. I felt they were a good way to apply real life current examples to economics and the business world.” “The podcasts are a great way to understand real life and current economic issues” “The podcasts make me more interested in economics which I find to be the best part about them” “The utilization of Planet Money podcasts in addition to the text and course material was extremely helpful in understanding the concepts talked about in class.” Research Results In class discussion: 95% agreed or strongly agreed it helped them to understand how economic concepts are applied in the world. Listening to podcasts on weekly basis: 90% agreed or strongly agreed helped them understand how economics is relevant to the world; 80% agreed or strongly agreed helped their understanding of economic concepts.
Planet Money Podcast Memos Memo Requirements: The purpose of the memo is for you to communicate to me how at least two podcasts you’ve listened to this semester relate to microeconomics. Each memo should identify at least two specific microeconomic concepts and explain how they are used in (or relate to) one or more recent podcasts. Current Events Economic Analysis Group Project You will select or be assigned groups of three. Each group will take on the role of the Planet Money team to prepare a ‘live broadcast’ and present to our class a Planet Money-style (micro)economic analysis of an issue of your choice. Topics could include: · A current events issue – something in the news that you think has a microeconomics angle we should know about; · An aspect of daily life that has a microeconomics angle that we might not have thought of, or that we can learn from considering more deeply; · A follow up of a question posed in a Planet Money podcast, or inspired by our discussion of the podcasts. Together your team will research and prepare a presentation of the micro economic aspects of the topic you choose. Be careful to choose an issue with microeconomic relevance. Your presentation will need to incorporate the traditional key elements of the Planet Money podcast, including a Planet Money indicator! You will be required to use some visual aid or engaging handout as part of your presentation, this can be Powerpoint or some other technique of your choice. Details of the requirements and grading rubric for this assignment will be discussed in a few weeks and posted on blackboard. You will be able to earn bonus points for creative / dynamic presentations. Additional Ideas Memos could also be assigned as online journal blogposts for students to share Students could actually make their final presentations into real ‘podcasts’ to be reviewed by peers. T-shirts, moonshine, and autopsies: Using podcasts to engage undergraduate microeconomics students Rebecca Moryl, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Economics Department of Management & Economics, Emmanuel College Listening to twice-weekly podcasts The foundation of these assignments is the required listening to two Planet Money podcasts per week, for a total of twenty-eight current podcasts over a fourteen week semester. Listening to specifically assigned podcasts Students were also required to listen to six topic-specific podcasts from the archive of previously released podcasts. Those podcasts related directly to the topics covered in a particular week, such as: · Determinants of demand (Why a dead shark costs $12 million), · Utility and consumer surplus (Lebronomics), · Tax incidence (Death saves you money), · Elasticity (Moonshine stimulus), · Globalization (India’s economy is booming).