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Do Graphs Promote Learning in Principles of Economics?

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  • Elchanan Cohn
  • Sharon Cohn
  • Donald C. Balch
  • James Bradley

Abstract

The authors tested whether student performance in the principles of economics course is affected by the use of graphs as part of a lecture. They conducted two experiments at the University of South Carolina, one in spring 1995 and another in spring 1997. Students were randomly assigned to either a nographs lecture or a lecture with graphs. The main hypothesis was that students in the lectures with graphs would show higher gain scores than those in the nograph lectures (both lectures were videotaped). The authors found that students in the lecture with graphs in 1995 had significantly lower gain scores than those in the no-graphs lecture. For 1997, they found no significant differences in student performance between the two groups.

Suggested Citation

  • Elchanan Cohn & Sharon Cohn & Donald C. Balch & James Bradley, 2001. "Do Graphs Promote Learning in Principles of Economics?," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(4), pages 299-310, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:32:y:2001:i:4:p:299-310
    DOI: 10.1080/00220480109596110
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Peter Kennedy, 2000. "Macroeconomic Essentials, 2nd Edition: Understanding Economics in the News," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262611503, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ibrahim Demir & Robert D. Tollison, 2015. "Graphs in Economics," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 35(3), pages 1834-1847.
    2. Coates, Dennis & Humphreys, Brad R. & Kane, John & Vachris, Michelle A., 2004. ""No significant distance" between face-to-face and online instruction: evidence from principles of economics," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 533-546, October.
    3. W. Lee Hansen & Michael K. Salemi & John J. Siegfried, 2002. "Use It or Lose It: Teaching Literacy in the Economics Principles Course," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 463-472, May.
    4. Mary Ellen Benedict & John Hoag, 2011. "Factors Influencing Performance in Economics: Graphs and Quantitative Usage," Chapters,in: International Handbook on Teaching and Learning Economics, chapter 31 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Cohn, Elchanan & Cohn, Sharon & Balch, Donald C. & Bradley, James Jr., 2004. "Determinants of undergraduate GPAs: SAT scores, high-school GPA and high-school rank," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 577-586, December.

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