Operationalising a Threshold Concept in Economics: A Pilot Study Using Multiple Choice Questions on Opportunity Cost
AbstractThis paper addresses the emerging educational framework that envisions threshold concepts as mediators of learning outcomes. While the threshold concepts framework is highly appealing on a theoretical level, few researchers have attempted to measure threshold concept acquisition empirically. Achieving this would open a new arena for exploration and debate in the threshold concepts field, and provide potential results to inform teaching practice. We begin the process of operationalising threshold concepts in economics by attempting to measure students' grasp of the threshold concept of opportunity cost in an introductory economics class. We suggest two potential measures and correlate them with an array of ex ante and ex post variables, including students' expectations of success, prior misconceptions about economics and the work of economists, and actual success in the course. Results cast new light onto the factors that influence the acquisition of threshold concepts, the relationship between threshold concept acquisition and final learning outcomes, and the empirical viability of threshold concepts generally.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Economics Network, University of Bristol in its journal International Review of Economics Education.
Volume (Year): 5 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Contact details of provider:
Postal: University of Bristol, BS8 1HH, United Kingdom
Fax: +44(0)117 331 4396
Web page: http://www.economicsnetwork.ac.uk/iree
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- William E. Becker & Michael Watts, 2001. "Teaching Methods in U.S. Undergraduate Economics Courses," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(3), pages 269-279, January.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Martin Poulter).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.