Using Microsoft Excel in Principles of Economics
Economic models must be presented to students in one or more of the following four ways: verbally, with tables, with algebraic formulations, or with graphs. Combining two or more of these adds to students' ability to learn the lessons we wish to teach. We have concluded that Microsoft Excel provides an excellent medium for combining the tabular, algebraic and graphic formulations of our models. Even verbal representation can be facilitated by the insertion of comments into cells and text boxes into the worksheets. Among its many advantages, it allows instructors great latitude in combining these modes of representation: in beginning courses, graphs and tables may be brought to the fore, with algebra hidden, while in more advanced courses, students may examine the mechanics of quite complex models within spreadsheets. The advantages of spreadsheets have been stressed (Cahill and Kosicki, 2000, p. 770; Mixon and Tohamy, 1999, p. 4). This paper shows how spreadsheets can be used to help students learn the material in a Principles of Economics course. It does this by exhibiting a selection of worksheets that we have employed and describing how each worksheet is used in the course. Before looking at individual sheets, however, we briefly review the evolution of this project.
Volume (Year): 14 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
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