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Business School www.business.brookes.ac.uk Economics in Context Teaching Economics to non-Economists Judith Piggott & Fran Smith.

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Presentation on theme: "Business School www.business.brookes.ac.uk Economics in Context Teaching Economics to non-Economists Judith Piggott & Fran Smith."— Presentation transcript:

1 Business School Economics in Context Teaching Economics to non-Economists Judith Piggott & Fran Smith

2 Business School Economics in Context Economics for non-Economists Business Economics Usually compulsory Unpopular Packed syllabus Traditional lecture/seminar format Exam Poor attendance Very low averages Very high failure rates Little knowledge carried forward

3 Business School Economics in Context Meant…. Poor reputation of Economics on Business Degrees Threat of cutting out of such degrees in present and future Rethink required… Starting point = a module to provide Economic Literacy Michael K. Salemi (2005) Teaching Economic Literacy: Why, What and How, International Review of Economics Education (vol.4, issue 2) If it isnt essential, leave it out. Threshold Concepts work at Staffordshire University

4 Business School Economics in context Legacy Principle/approach To be able to take something forward, even if limited 3 Things Engage students with contemporary issues and use theory to explain these Enable them to have an economic perspective on contemporary events Leave them with a sense of what economics does and why it is important

5 Business School Economics in Context Two big questions – Micro and Macro Recession Food Prices What economics do students need to answer the questions? Micro – opportunity cost; externalities possibility frontiers Supply & demand Shifts Elasticities

6 Business School Economics in Context Macroeconomics Economic Growth Consumption Investment Interest Rates Government expenditure/taxes Exports/Imports Exchange Rates Keynesian Aggregate Demand diagram Fiscal & Monetary Policy

7 Business School Economics in Context Semester 1 – 126 students Semester 2 – weeks, 3 hours a week Seminar – PBL format Case studies, Simple data, Videos Board Game Lecture Seminar – practice the economic concepts – more traditional

8 Business School Economics in Context Assessment Individual Powerpoint slides with notes Groupwork Presentation of flowchart Instant feedback and mark Group Report Participation & Engagement mark

9 Business School Economics in Context What happened? Average of old module – 42% sem 1 & 49% sem 2 Average of new module – 56% sem 1 & 55% sem 2 Failure rate old module – 37% sem 1; 18% sem 2 Failure rate new module – 6% both Some change is due to – coursework not exam attendance mark Groupwork BUT Average for individual was around 52% both semesters

10 Business School Economics in Context 3 students applied to change to Economics Fields Staff enjoyed it more – Associate staff very enthused Feedback from students Semester 1 Lectures 88% satisfied but 72% only felt they maintained interest Seminars – 63% felt they supported learning and 53% interesting/varied Assessment – 73% felt it was interesting Semester 2 Lecture 90% satisfied and 85% felt interest was maintained Seminars – 95% felt learning was supported and 95% felt they were interesting and varied Assessment – 90% found it interesting Finally – Did the module improve their understanding? 96% felt it did

11 Business School Economics in Context What will I change this year? Not the format Assessment Powerpont slides – keeping Groupwork – Usual groupwork problems University rules prohibit now Replaced by… Peer assessment – individual Into the unknown….. It is not perfect – but a step in the right direction – for us!

12 Business School Legacy Principle One of our main objectives was to create understanding that is carried forward Has this happened? This is something we have to see in the future And perhaps to test?


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