We recently had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Abdullah Al-Bahrani who is currently a visiting Associate Professor at the University College of Dublin (originally based at Northern Kentucky University). During his visit, Abdullah held an Economics Education seminar on the topic of “Increasing Students’ Interest Through Experiential Learning”. We were able to learn about projects set up to engage students with economics and expand their understanding of not only the topic itself but also how it could be applied to the world around them.
Certain projects mentioned were:
Econ Beats is where students are given a song and rewrite the lyrics through the lens of an economic concept. With a monetary prize and showcase at the end of the year, it’s a unique and fun way to get students to work together and have a real understanding of the topic. In undergrad, I was able to do a project for a language class where we were given a snippet of a movie (ours was Frozen) and dubbed it using the topics we had covered in class. If such a project like Econ Beats had also been available for econ class, honestly it would have been really cool to do!
The Econ Games (and Summer Data Camps)
The Econ Games is a competition incorporating economic topics and skills with the use of real-life company data. This provides students with practical experience and connections with businesses and industries. Alongside the Econ Games, there is a Summer Data Camp all about… you got it – data! Filled with guest speakers, seminars and exercises/games it helps students work on their analytical data skills.
CTaLE members’ highlights of the seminar:
Dr. Ramin Nassehi:
The most interesting aspect for me: Employers also have an incomplete and distorted knowledge on the skills set of the economists.
Prof. Parama Chaudhury:
I thought Abdullah’s idea of taking students on a “new” employment opportunity trip (the one we discussed was to a sports team to see how they use data analysis) was really cool both as an empirical economist running the Data Skills Lab and also as a sports fan! Can imagine say auction houses, grocery stores, etc., being other such trips!
We’re looking forward to having Abdullah back next year!