Friday, December 6, 2013

End of Semester Course Reflection

I thoroughly enjoyed the course this semester. It was a great to be able to connect what has happened in the classroom, within student organizations, and on the job with topics in economics and business. The principle agent triangle was something that particularly stood out to me as causing numerous problems in efficiency and productivity, as well as causing stress in the workplace. I also found all the talk about motivation within organizations very relevant, especially the component regarding intrinsic motivation. Even though it can sometimes drive the best work, intrinsic motivation through feelings of partial organizational ownership can also cause problems.

I found the approach of the course to be quite rewarding, and the weekly blog posts on our own experience relating to the course topics really helped me connect what we were learning in class sessions to my own work and organization experience. I felt as though I learned more than I would have with more a standard teaching approach. The excel homework definitely helped to break down the more complicated math concepts we covered during Thursday class sessions. It was nice to be able to go back and work through the homework assignments as a refresher for the midterms too. The excel homework assigned toward the beginning of the semester definitely was more work intensive than the homework at the end. I found myself spending less and less time on it as the semester progressed. So where I once worked through it over the course of about an hour, the last assignment took only about 10/15 minutes. The blogging always took more time because I needed to take time to consider the topic and my own connections to it before sitting down to write. I’d say they usually took about an hour to complete. It was (and is) nice to be able to offer course feedback.

The course could maybe be improved by making more use of the two assigned textbooks. Also finding a middle ground for the excel homework, rather than one of the two polar ends (easy, challenging). The small class size suited the course well and definitely made the blogging more effective. Overall, I really enjoyed the class and definitely feel like I’ve learned some practical economics. 

1 comment:

  1. As providing a meter of how things went I believe your post quite accurate. Some of the reasons for why the Excel homework got shorter is that I hadn't written it yet and it needed to get done - so you do what you can in the available time.

    On the textbooks and following them more closely, so far you are the only student who has suggested that. I actually did follow the M&R text for the topics we covered, but not so much for how. And once we did the insurance model, which really isn't in M&R but should be, I departed a bit further from the book. They do spend a lot of time on Moral Hazard. So did we. B&D is a different matter. We went to it a few times in a big way, but not consistently. That's partly because it isn't economics and also partly because I expected interested students to read it fully after the class ends. We should discuss on Tuesday about the balance between Econ and other approaches.

    I'm glad you liked the course. That was pretty evident to me, but it is good to see it affirmed in your post.