Thursday, December 5, 2013

Review and Critique of the Course

Econ of Organizations was a class I had been interested since the class catalog had come out. After reading through the descriptions of the various Econ 490 classes, I chose this section out of pure interest in the topic rather then academic curricula requirements. My main take away from this class would probably have to be insurance. Prior to this course, I had felt that I did not know much background or information in the applicable business area, knowing more of the economic theories and mechanics. However, after learning about how fair insurance is priced and the categories of insurees, I feel more confidant in my knowledge on the subject. This actually helps me out in my search to figure out what I'd like to do with my degree. With this additional information I believe I'll be able to consider the insurance and financial field more seriously.

As for the structure of the class, I liked how there were various modes of learning, online blogging, excel homeworks, and in class lectures. However, I particularly, am not an audio learner, so when it came to the class time lectures and discussions, I found myself unable to connect with the material and format. This wasn't too big of a problem though, because the blogging and excel homework and textbook combined still gave me amble material to learn from. I really do appreciate how attendance and participation were not mandatory, giving people, who similar to me, learn in different ways, the freedom to learn the material to the best of their abilities in their chosen ways.

When it came to the online blogging and excel homeworks, I felt that the material coincided well and helped me add more value to the topics. Blogging was done after I had read through the prompt a couple times and mulled it over for a day or two. Excel homeworks, however, were done on the spot and all in one sitting. At the beginning of the class I did not take notes while doing the excel homework, which turned out to be detrimental to me when it came to studying for the final. So after midterm 1, I began to take notes on the reading in my notebook while going through the homework. This helped tremendously and guided me through my thought process as I completed each excel file.

Economics of Organizations turned out to much more discussion based than I had thought the class would be. While this didn't turn out to my benefit due to my learning style, I think that classes formatted in this way can be quite beneficial and fun for students with this type of learning interest. The exams were quite a curveball, especially the first exam, as the material covered in the course tends to focus on various supplemental topics, however, if grading is scaled and based on improvement, I think overall this course is a fun interesting class that adds great benefit to economic students' college career.


  1. Thanks for your comment. In this class it seemed that the international students and Asian-American students didn't participate in class discussion much at all. It was quite noticeable to me and perhaps to you as well. So I wonder if "learning style" really is the explanation. In other classes I've taught it has not been an issue. But this time around it was and I wonder whether the approach should be modified because of that.

    The "mulling it over" for the blogging has a name - it is called doing a pre-write. It is extremely important for writing more generally. Many students get writer's block because they haven't done the pre-writing first. They assume they can just wing it off the top of their head. I'm glad you figured out a more satisfactory approach.

    The comment about taking notes on the Excel is interesting. I wonder if any of your classmates did likewise. That's something we should discuss on Tuesday.

  2. I also found the first exam to be a curve ball. I think that I am going to take your approach as I begin to study for the final. I learn best from my own notes, so I think it will be a good idea to take notes from the Excel homework instead of assuming that I'm absorbing it all. We took a similar approach to blogging. I think, in addition to Professor Arvan's comment about pre-writing, there was just a lot to process in each prompt, and it seemed to help to write after the week's class discussion.

  3. I mentioned the point about multiple teaching styles in my comment Elinor's post as well. I found the first exam to be pretty simple, but that was probably because I spent a lot of time in office hours. It helps a lot to work one on one with someone who understands the material better than you do. Taking notes from the Excel homework helps a great deal as well.