If interested, please get in touch with the respective academics of each project.
Adaptable Learning Design in Economics Guide
The guide above contains Principles, Tips and Tools on how to change an economics course so that it is adaptable and resilient to exogenous shocks such as we have experienced with COVID-19. You can also watch a video , from Prof Jenkins, on how to start thinking about adapting your course. This is Version 1 reflective of what we have learnt to date. We plan on updating the guide and welcome feedback to help us with this.
Adaptable Economics Education – what, why and how
Take a look at our working paper above.
Economics Walk: a place-based method of teaching economics
Economics Walk is a walking tour of Bloomsbury London, where the tour leader takes the audience (students or members of public) through different locations (statues, buildings and shops) that have an economic story to tell. The project’s aim is to explain complex economic ideas in an accessible way to students and/or members of the public and encourage critical discussion on those ideas. This tour has been offered in person and virtually sixteen times so far, with more than 200 attendees in total. In terms of pedagogy, this tour follows a dialogical approach in a sense that the tour leader starts a conversation about each location with, and among, the audience rather than monotonically transfer facts to the participants. By using certain locations as case studies of economics, this tour offers a contextually rich understanding of the link between economic theories and real-world examples. Also, by going outside the conventional classroom and into the streets (face-to-face version), the tour automatically creates a more equal footing between the guide/speaker and the participants, hence opening the room for peer conversation and debate. Most importantly, this tour takes a place-based approach to teaching economics that can be easily adapted to different campuses, towns or cities. Professor Gregory Burge, University of Oklahoma, reviews this walk.
To find out more about the aims and innovations of this project read Ramin’s working paper: “UCL Economics Walk: A place-based method of teaching economics”.
Effect of Higher University Fees
Embedding Employability Skills in Economics Degrees
In this project, for the Economics Network, we reviewed what skills employers look for from UK economics graduates. We also surveyed economics departments in the UK to find out what they were doing to help students develop skills. There are a wide range of interesting initiatives in place, and many people working hard to support students in this area, but a mismatch still exists between the skills that are focused on in degrees and those that employers are looking for. We explore in this research why this might be the case and what challenges need to be overcome to make further developments in this area. This work was presented at the Development in Economics Education Conference September 2019. It was also discussed at a City University Seminar, CTaLE’s EconTEAching Session 3 and #TeachECONference2020. Further thoughts, building on this research, on how employability might be used as one measure of the relative value of degrees is also considered in this working paper forthcoming in the online book “What makes an economics degree ‘good’” (ed. Parama Chaudhury). An updated paper, including an initial discussion on the impact of Covid-19 and moves to adaptable learning on skill development, was prepared for CTREE 2021.
Group Work in Economics
At CTaLE we value working together on projects and understand that students can learn a lot from each other by working in groups. In our paper, Better Together, we discuss the effectiveness of different approaches to collaborative learning used in the UCL Economics Department. This work was presented at the 2015 AEA Conference on Teaching and Research in Economics Education. Cloda has also worked with the UCL IPAC consortium to develop an approach to assessing individual contributions to group work through peer assessment. Her work was presented at the UCL Education Conference in April 2018 and our May 2018 Economics Education Seminar.
Ideas On How To Develop Skills
The CTaLE team have a number of initiatives in place at UCL Economics to help our students develop their skills, for academic study and later life, within their BSc degrees. Our focus on research-based learning, underpinned by Active Learning, Group Work, Alternative Assessments and Story Telling, is at the heart of this. Students develop skills best through learning by doing and we provide the opportunities for this across individual modules, through Skills Lab and our annual undergraduate conference ExploreEcon. We have shared our practical tips on skills development with economics colleagues at the Development in Economics Education Conferences in 2015 and 2017 and with colleagues at the UCL Teaching and Learning Conference in 2013 and 2015. We also presented our experience with research-based education in an interactive session at the HEA 2017 annual conference.
Mixed Assessment Strategy for Inclusivity
Assessment strategies are a key dimension of an inclusive curriculum, with the QAA (2016) recommending strategies, such as the so-called “mixed assessment strategies’, to ensure “every student with an equal opportunity to demonstrate their achievement”. Economics, as a discipline, traditionally assesses students through closed-book exams. In the UCL Economics Department we have gone through a period of significant transition with our assessment methods across modules for the past three years. At the UCL Education Conference we delivered a presentation on the relationship between assessment strategies and inclusivity.
Optimizing the Course Evaluation Process
We’ve been working on trying to increase response rates and information content of our course evaluations over the past year (including running a randomised controlled trial to test the effects of various different setups), and now have a evaluation poster showing our findings. A preliminary draft of the full paper will be presented at the AEA’s Conference on Teaching and Research in Economics Education. The most up to date version of the paper can be found here.
Using the First Year Challenge to Enhance the Student Community
Our FYC student multi-media project has many benefits for students, in particular enhancing their sense of belonging to a community. We have evaluated the project when it was on campus/in London. Read our paper which has been published in the first issue of the Journal of Economics Teaching for more details. Of course it was a challenge to move the project online in 2020 but with the help of student partners we went virtual with a cohort of 800, located all around the world in 2020/21. Read here for details on how the FYC was adapted. You can also watch our poster presentation, with voiceover, presented at ASSA 2022, on our evaluation of the move online. This project is easily adaptable to other contexts and fields.