‘Economics with Training Wheels’:Using Blogs in Teaching and Assessing Introductory Economics
Blogs provide a dynamic interactive medium for online discussion, consistent with communal constructivist pedagogy. This paper explores the use of blogs in the teaching and assessment of a small (40-60 students) introductory economics paper. The role of blogs as a teaching, learning and assessment tool are discussed. Using qualitative and quantitative data collected across four semesters, students’ participation in the blog assessment is found to be associated with student ability, gender, and whether they are distance learners. Importantly, students with past economics experience do not appear to crowd out novice economics students. Student performance in tests and examinations does not appear to be associated with blog participation after controlling for student ability. However, students generally report overall positive experiences with the blog assessment.
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