Google Drive provide an excellent cloud-based space where documents can be shared. Since some of us might be unfamiliar with this collaborative space, therefore I will provide guidelines for using Google Drive here.
- Log into your gmail account (If you do not have a gmail account, create one.
- Click on the wafer in the top menu
- Click on New and
- Click on Folder
- Provide a title in the pop-up window
- Click on Create to create the folder
- The folder will be highlighted
- Right click on the folder to open the options menu
- Click on Share
- Type the email address of the person/s in the provided space
- Click on the arrow next to Can edit and give permission (Can edit, Can view or Can comment)
- Type a message (optional)
- Click on send to send the invitation
- If the person do not have a gmail address, they will be prompted to create when in order to allow them to view the folder
- Double click on the folder to open it
- Drag-and-drop a file from your computer in the provided space
- Click on Open to open the document
- If the file is in Word format, it will be converted into a Google doc when you double click on it to open it
- You can work collaboratively in real time with Google Docs, ensuring that you are always working with the right version
- Not familiar with Google Docs? I will create guidelines if you are not familiar with Google Docs
Blogs in general was discussed in a previous post, therefore the use of blogging in economics education will be discussed here.
Using blogs in economic education
The sum of all blogs is known as a blogosphere, or in economics the econoblogosphere (Haab, Schiff, and Whitehead et al 2012:167). Blog posts can occur instantaneously with other current events (Haab et al 2012:167). A blogger can comment on a newspaper article within minutes after the newspaper’s publication (Haab et al 2012:167). Through blogging economic teachers, professors and students have easy access to the unfiltered opinions of some of the top thinkers in economics (DeLong 2006).
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Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT) was developed by Novak, Patterson, Garvin, and Chrstian (1999) and adapted for use in economics by Simkins and Maier (2010). JiTT is an intentionally designed teaching and learning strategy that (Simkins 2012:107):
- helps to structure and focus student studuying
- encourage preparation for class
- suggest just-in-time modifications of in-class activities focussed on student learning challenges.
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Evidence shows that we best learn in context (Bangs 2012:50). Context-rich problems can help students move past rote memorisation of economic vocabulary and concepts (bangs 2012:50). Learning in context is not a new idea (Bangs 2012:50). It relates to the process of apprenticeship where the master (Bangs 2012:50):
- models the process
- coaches the apprentice as he/she starts doing the work
- start with simple parts of the process before moving to more complex parts.
- fades over time to allow the apprentice to work independently.
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Assessment is a meant to an end and not an end in itself (Miller, Linn and Gronlund 2009:3)
Young academics versus experienced academics
During first few years of teaching, assessment of student understanding is simply a chore with a purpose no more important than to produce a reasonable distribution of final grades (Rebeck and Asarta 2012:177). After a few semesters of experience, new instructors begin to look more deeply into test results. They start asking questions such as: Why does half of the class not understand the difference between demand and quantity demanded? Is it the presentation of the material? Is it student effort? Is it a problematic question I continue to use?
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