Originally posted by Kelli Mayes-Denker on August 11, 2014.
As an instructor who has taught a variety of economics classes, both principles and intermediate, I find that making the connection to real life application is key.
In daily life, economics surrounds us and can be found through the evening news or even during a shopping trip. For the principles student, these concepts need to be connected from the text to real life to inspire a search for economics examples outside of the classroom.
You can find relevant articles by searching the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, The Economist, Time or Newsweek. Each of these can be another way to add the connection outside of the class that makes an impact for life.
For instance, in my classes using forums, articles and videos have been effective ways to make this connection while providing additional ways to engage students beyond the traditional lecture.
Forums for fun analysis, interactivity and connection
In Sapling Learning, forums can be created allowing students to comment on current events and apply analysis tools learned in class. My classes tend to be structured week by week allowing students to examine 1-2 chapters of content per week. Then one application of that content is analysis on the forums.
For instance in talking about supply and demand, the students might be given a current event article on a relevant hot topic such as Amazon, Tesla, Google, etc. The students can read this article as an example illustrating what they have just learned. Then it is their turn to go to the web and search for a relevant article related to supply and demand. They then post the link for others in the class to see and comment with a bit of analysis of why this is interesting and how it relates to that week's content.
Making forums part of your class: do-it-yourself or email your Tech TA
1. Find several current event articles and then determine which chapter of your text they would best align to illustrate the content for that week
2. Go into Sapling Learning and Turn Editing On (found on the top right side of the main page)
3. Find the week that the article aligns with and then click Add An Activity from the drop down under that week, then select Forum.
4. You will be directed in a new page to Add a New Forum Topic where you can name the forum with a title and enter the web link of the example article with instructions for students to find an article and do their own analysis.
5. Click Save and Continue and your forum will now show under the week you originally chose. Shown here in week 1 as Forum: Student Bio and Introduction and then in week 2 as Forum: Provide a Microeconomic Current Event.