Integration of URSCA in economics general education courses

Report
Integration of URSCA in Economics
General Education Courses
Zamira Simkins, Rubana Mahjabeen and Sakib Mahmud
University of Wisconsin-Superior
Introduction
• Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative
Activity (URSCA):
• An inquiry or investigation conducted by an
undergraduate student with a faculty mentor that
makes an original intellectual or creative contribution
to the discipline
• URSCA at UW-Superior:
• URSCA committee & activities
• Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship program
• UW-System Growth Agenda Grant & URSCA Center
• URSCA program grants
• Partnership with McNair Scholars program
URSCA in Economics
• URSCA taxonomy (DeLoach, Perry-Sizemore and Borg, 2010):
Course
activities
Course
projects
Capstone
experience
Collaborative
research
Short
assignments,
experiments
Research
papers,
surveys
Thesis, SYE
papers
Grant-funded
studies
All
All
4th year
3rd or 4th year
Time
required
Days, weeks
Weeks,
months
Semester(s)
Summer,
semester(s)
Prereqs.
Content
knowledge
& basic
research
skills
Content
knowledge
& basic
research
skills
Integrated
content
knowledge &
research skills
Integrated
content
knowledge,
research and
teamwork skills
Examples
Course
level
URSCA in Economics (cont.)
• URSCA taxonomy (DeLoach, Perry-Sizemore and Borg, 2010):
Course
activities
Course
projects
Capstone
experience
Collaborative
research
Goals &
objectives
Application
of concepts
and theories
Integration
of concepts
and theories
Student
learning &
program
assessment
Advanced
learning &
grad. school
preparation
Research
type &
student
decisionmaking
Highly
structured,
common
instructions,
few decisions
Structured,
students
make some
research
decisions
Unstructured,
students make
most research
decisions
Varied structure,
high degree of
faculty oversight,
joint decisions
Mentoring
focus
Individual or
group,
simple
Individual or
Individual,
group,
highly complex
complex
Individual, highly
complex
UW-S URSCA in ECON Gen. Ed’s
• Project objectives:
• Integrate URSCA in all Economics Gen. Ed. courses
• Increase the number of students exposed to
experiential/active student learning
• Introduce students to research methods and practices
• Implementation:
• Courses: Economics in Society, Principles of
Microeconomics, Principles of Macroeconomics
• Products: 3 sets of course-based assignments, grading
rubrics, assessment rubrics and feedback forms
• Frequency: every semester
UW-S URSCA in Microeconomics
Economics Student Learning Outcomes:
• Master economics terms, concepts and theories:
• Demand, supply, law of demand and law of supply
• Apply knowledge to understand how the economy
works:
• Market forces of S & D, equilibrium P & Q
• Develop undergraduate research KSAs:
• Data collection, processing and interpretation
• Demonstrate critical thinking and problem solving skills:
• Data analysis
• Demonstrate effective communication skills:
• Written answers, group discussions
Project Description
Market:
• Online homework access code (e.g., Aplia access code)
Assignment details:
• Introduced after S & D
• Market assumption: perfectly competitive market
• Ideal class size: 20-40 students, 50-50 buyers-sellers
• Two+ class periods: (1+) simulation, (2) analysis
• Simulation: 10 rounds, 2-3 minutes per round
• Student instruction sheets:
• Buyers – product valuation and behavior rules
• Sellers - production cost and behavior rules
Buyer & Seller’s Record Forms
Round # Seller’s Name Price You Paid for
the Access Code
Round # Buyer’s Name Price You
Received for the
Access Code
Your Access Code
Valuation
Your Consumer
Surplus
Your Production
Your Producer
Cost of Access Code Surplus
Analysis of Simulated Data
Initial analysis:
• Cleaning the data set
• Analysis of sellers'
behavior
• Analysis of buyers'
behavior
Analysis of Simulated Data
Subsequent analysis:
• Revealing of buyer valuations & production costs
• Analysis of simulated data in graph and table format:
• Table: market Qs & Qd at each price level
• Graph: market S&D curves; equilibrium P&Q
• Application of economic theory to simulated behavior
• Discussion on findings
URSCA Project Grade
5% of class grade:
• Participation in the simulation
• Data collection
• Data analysis
• Group discussion
Student Survey Results
This assignment…
Strongly Agree
& Agree
Strongly Disagree
& Disagree
Helped you master knowledge of
economics terms, concepts, and theories
58.49%
11.32%
Improved your knowledge and abilities to
understand how the economy works
81.13%
3.77%
Taught you undergraduate research
methods and developed your research
skills
60.38%
11.32%
Enhanced your critical thinking and
problem-solving skills
58.49%
7.55%
Developed your KSAs in data collection,
processing, and interpretation
83.02%
7.55%
Enhanced your oral & written
communication skills
60.38%
7.58%
Helped you learn how to work effectively
as an independent researcher or a
member of a group
64.15%
5.67%
Conclusion
• Positive student feedback about the assignment
• Areas for improvement and extensions:
• Revise instructions to provide step-by-step guidance
for every phase of the assignment
• Vary product costs and valuations across rounds
• Extend the simulation across different market
structures:
• Perfect competition
• Monopolistic competition
• Oligopoly
• Monopoly

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