Thursday, March 3, 2011

Observations on yesterday's class and moving forward

In addition to the chapters in Nudge please read the piece by Arthur Okun - the Invisible Handshake and the Inflationary Process. We will discuss this next Wednesday. But in your blogging, contain your posts to what is in Nudge. That is to be fair to the teams who are making presentations.

I was pleased with how much interaction there was in yesterday's class session. Invariably I find myself making comparisons between you guys and what I remember of myself at your age. Either I led a sheltered life or in the process of time I've duly forgotten many of my youthful indiscretions. In any event, that the class opened up in the session was nice to see. A Great Group of Economists should be applauded for successfully encouraging that end.

Now some suggestions for the class as a whole and for teams making presentations in the future.

Class as a whole
  • When the class does participate vigorously that makes it easier for the team that is leading the discussion and they are more prone to relax while doing that. So understand there is an implied obligation on the audience during these team presentations.
  • I've struggled with this all term and maybe it is too hard to get much on this, but it would be very good if after one student has made his or her point for a subsequent comment to be in the form of follow up, building on what came before.
  • The language yesterday got "colorful" as people described their experiences. Please remember we are in a classroom, not a hangout.
Teams leading the discussion
  • Please have one member of the team take notes during the presentation. This can rotate among team members as other team members lead on their section. The goal is to create a written record of the session.
  • When communicating with me by email please copy your teammates in the message.
  • Please remember that your are trying for a balance with the discussion - getting the class to open up is part of it, getting the students to reflect on the economics in the chapter you are covering is the other part.
Thanks for your attention.

Prof. Arvan

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