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Crude oil: using a large case to teach introductory economics


  • Woltjer G.B.



Problem-based learning is rather labor intensive for teaching staff. In addition, the problem-based structure does not work always optimally in practice. Brainstorming during pre-discussion of tasks becomes very superficial, preparation of the students is far from optimal, and post-discussion is more focused on repeating what is already in the book than on the task being discussed. However, these problems can be solved.This paper discusses a number of innovations in the format of the standard problem-based course. The uses of a large case study and the role of lectures in this, a virtual learning environment, subgroup activities, mind maps in post-discussion, and writing will be discussed. The combination of these innovations increases the efficiency of the group meetings and provides an opportunity to reduce the number of tutor group meetings. The approach that is discussed here is both useful for people who want to introduce problem-based learning as a learning approach in an efficient way as for those who want to improve on an existing problem based learning system.

Suggested Citation

  • Woltjer G.B., 2004. "Crude oil: using a large case to teach introductory economics," Research Memorandum 013, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:umamet:2004013

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. William E. Becker, 2000. "Teaching Economics in the 21st Century," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 109-119, Winter.
    2. Jill L. Caviglia-Harris, 2003. "Introducing Undergraduates to Economics in an Interdisciplinary Setting," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(3), pages 195-203, January.
    3. William E. Becker, 1997. "Teaching Economics to Undergraduates," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1347-1373, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Woltjer G.B., 2004. "An efficient format for a problem based introductory economics course," Research Memorandum 014, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
    2. Rienties Bart & Woltjer Geert, 2004. "Regular Online Assessment, Motivation and Learning," Research Memorandum 031, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).

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    Economics ;


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