Friday, September 28, 2012


I have been flipping Economics so far this semester, and I think I'm doing a much better job of it than I did last year.  I probably made mistakes in starting off the year right away this way, but it seems to be working.  Some things I've done differently...

First, I think I'm doing a better job of the in-class stuff.  We worked on some PBL Economics from BIE in class while students viewed the relevant podcasts at home.  This time around, my expectation is that they are viewing the podcasts outside of class.  Students in my school have time in their day to go to a computer lab, so even if they do not have the internet at home, it isn't necessary to view them during class time.  If THAT doesn't work, students can read the relevant chapters in their textbook to achieve the same goal.  I feel that last year, giving students the opportunity to view the podcasts in class communicated that they could just view them in class ALL  the time, so the class wasn't flipped at all in reality.

I've also given a review quiz to assess what students do and don't know.  This wasn't to be a "gotcha," but rather a wake up call and for them to assess what they might not be understanding.   Rather than grading this and punishing them, I posted the correct answers on the class website so they could see how the problems should have been solved, and it could be a learning tool.

When discussing the process with students after the quiz, they expressed that they have a hard time with the podcasts because they can't ask questions right there.  Totally a reasonable problem to have, but I then asked them if they could email me that moment or write their question down in the notes to be addressed in class next time?  The student said he could, and at least so far, he has.

Finally, for better or for worse, I give a quick rundown, emphasizing again what needs to be noted from the podcast.  It's quick, and hopefully helps the students to identify what should be highlighted in their notes. 

We'll see how all this works on our first assessment day on Monday, but in general, I am very happy with how Economics is going so far this semester.  My biggest problem in teaching the course in the past has been my inability to do fun and exciting things with the material besides lecture and then problems, so the PBL Economics program has been an incredible help in that regard.

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