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A Little More than Chalk and Talk: Results from a Third National Survey of Teaching Methods in Undergraduate Economics Courses

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  • Michael Watts
  • William E. Becker

Abstract

In 1995, 2000, and 2005, the authors surveyed U.S. academic economists to investigate how economics is taught in four different types of undergraduate courses at postsecondary institutions. They especially looked for any changes in teaching methods that occurred over this decade, when there were several prominent calls for economists and postsecondary instructors in other fields to devote more attention and effort to teaching and to make greater use of active, student-centered learning methods, with less use of direct instruction ( chalk and talk ). By 2005, although standard lectures and chalkboard presentations were still dominant, there was evidence of slow growth in the use of other teaching methods, including classroom discussions (especially teacher-directed discussions), computer-generated displays (such as PowerPoint), providing students with prepared sets of class notes, and computer lab assignments in econometrics and statistics courses. Internet database searches were used by a small but growing minority of instructors. Classroom experiments were used by a small share of instructors in introductory courses. Assignments or classroom references to the popular financial press, sports, literature, drama, or music were used somewhat more often. Cooperative learning methods were rarely used.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Watts & William E. Becker, 2008. "A Little More than Chalk and Talk: Results from a Third National Survey of Teaching Methods in Undergraduate Economics Courses," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(3), pages 273-286, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:39:y:2008:i:3:p:273-286 DOI: 10.3200/JECE.39.3.273-286
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Byron W. Brown & Carl E. Liedholm, 2002. "Can Web Courses Replace the Classroom in Principles of Microeconomics?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 444-448.
    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. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
    4. Peter Navarro, 2000. "Economics in the Cyberclassroom," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(2), pages 119-132, Spring.
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