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Do Business Students Benefit From Playing Economics Classroom Games? Economics Network Mini Project Mike Walsh Coventry University Ref: DEE conf 09 TCs.

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Presentation on theme: "Do Business Students Benefit From Playing Economics Classroom Games? Economics Network Mini Project Mike Walsh Coventry University Ref: DEE conf 09 TCs."— Presentation transcript:

1 Do Business Students Benefit From Playing Economics Classroom Games? Economics Network Mini Project Mike Walsh Coventry University Ref: DEE conf 09 TCs and games business v4

2 (1) Introduction Students state a preference for active learning –Classroom games and experiments help Promote active learning Introduce / embed economic concepts Address differing learning styles Business students find economics relatively difficult

3 Project assessed if games improved the learning experience, and if students acquired selected threshold concepts Consider year 1 Business students on a compulsory economics module –No economics beyond year1 –Promote understanding and working knowledge (Salami 2005) YOU WILL PLAY THE PRODUCTION GAME

4 (2) Method Two workshop groups & 1 control group Lectures –Introduce a concept –Run games –Give limited feedback in lecture –Follow up exercises with two research groups

5 Evaluation –Short answer questions in summative assessment (EXAM) –Student questionnaires to evaluate student satisfaction with the learning process

6 (3) Games Game: Production game –Simplified Tennis Ball Game –Threshold concepts considered: Marginality and economic modelling. –Resources developed: Worksheet focusing on cost rather than production theory, particularly understanding of AC & MC –Problematic in the past Linking results to perfect competition & exit of BA from regional air routes

7 Number of workers (L) Output(Q) (bricks) Total Fixed Cost Total Variable Cost Total CostMarginal Cost ( TC/ Q) Average Variable Cost Average Fixed Cost Average Cost

8 Game: Deal or no deal. –Threshold concept considered: Opportunity cost Deal or No deal Game: International Trade Game –Threshold concepts considered: Elasticity, opportunity cost, partial equilibrium Game: Exchange Rates –Threshold concepts considered: Partial equilibrium and economic modelling

9 (4) Results

10 (a) Economics Network Questionnaire April- May 2008 Student satisfaction with games high

11 I found the economics classroom games useful 4 or 5 on the Likert scale - % strongly / very strongly agreeing with the statement N = 51

12 The classroom games helped link economics to business issues

13 Which game was most useful (score of 4 or 5)? Production Game80% International Trade Game74% Exchange Rate Game65% Deal or No Deal44%

14 (b) Coventry University Module Questionnaire May 2008) Selected student answers to the question: What were three good things about the module? Games explain the real world The use of games and case studies to emphasis points Action learning is also included within lectures (games, videos etc) Students are able to get more involved in lectures. The lectures keep my attention

15 (c) Summative Assessment May 2008 Exam –Students had to identify and explain threshold concepts that were relevant to business situations

16 Threshold conceptStudy group marks (n=54) Control group marks (n=24) Opportunity cost & marginal question 24%26% Economic modelling question 58%38% Overall exam mark48%45%

17 (5) Conclusions Games made economics more interesting –Need follow up activities No clear evidence from exam questions regarding acquisition of threshold concepts Games take up valuable time, but benefits can outweigh the costs

18 Bibliography Emerson T and Taylor B, Comparing Student Achievement Across Experimental and Lecture-Orientated Sections of a Principles of Microeconomics Course, Sothern Economic Journal, 70 (3) Hedges M, (2004), Case study: Tennis Balls in Economics, Economics Network Holt C, (1999), Teaching Economics With Classroom Experiments, Southern Economic Journal, 65 (3) Meyer J and Land R, (2002), Threshold Concepts and Troublesome Knowledge (1): linkages to ways of thinking and practicing within the disciplines, ISL 2002 Conceptual Paper Salami M, (2005) Teaching Economic Literacy: Why, What and How', International Review of Economics Education, vol 4, issue 2


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