Let’s Make a Movie! Introducing Economics With a Multimedia Project

Using the Berenstain Bears to Teach Economics in the Elementary Classroom (Yetter)
May 25, 2016
Herd Immunity: A Classroom Experiment (Grant, Bruehler & Chiritescu)
May 25, 2016

In this paper, we describe a multimedia research assignment used to introduce first year undergraduates to economics. This group assignment, named the “First Year Challenge”, immersed students into independent research at the start of their university life. It introduced students to economics in a contextual way and gave them a chance to connect with their peers and the world around them. We describe the setup of the project and its evaluation with respect to project output and effects on the learning process. The quality of the output produced by students was quite good on average despite few incentives and little prior knowledge of the material. There is some evidence that groups with a larger proportion of women and of overseas students tended to perform better in the assignment. We also found that student interactivity and class participation during the rest of the year as well as interest in studying economics appeared to have increased following participation in the project. Finally we provide advice on how to adapt this project for other contexts and fields of study.

by Parama Chaudhury and Christian Spielmann