Hybrid Courses – Economic Development


the use of this hybrid format let me do smaller
classes. Smaller classes let me do the group work,
the application, it got them to the point that they could generate their own knowledge. I’m janine wilson and i have chosen to hybrize
Economic Development We talk about debt, we talk about trade, we
talk about how a developing country manages their budget, and how that impacts the development
of that country, the growth of that country. So the motivation for teaching this hybrid
setting was primarily,that i have been teaching for about eight years before this and in the
course the students had varied levels of preparations. And so i had some students who had seen this
all before other students this was brand new. And the hybrid format gave me an opportunity
to give fundamental simple models that one student could watch over and over and over
again and another student could breeze through at double time and then we could all start
in the same positive which was a huge advantage for me. The other piece that made this course so desirable
to hybridize and this is economic development, is that i had so many students with experience
in developing countries. They’re from a developing country, their parents
are from a developing country. And at the end of class every quarter i had
people come up and say ah i’m so glad you mentioned this about microfinance because
i’m working on this NGO in kenya and then i was …. Where were you, you know in week
3? When i could have really used your enthusiasm
to help share with your colleagues. The hybrid format allowed me to do the group
work, where they weren’t just learning from me they were learning from each other and
this was a class where they had so much to learn from each other. the huge advantage for me is that i could
take my hundred person class and shrink it down to a 25 person class and we could do
the application to developing countries in this scenario but do the application of the
material together using group work, using the smaller class format. So first smaller class, that was where it
was really effective. Second is this ability to use fundamental
modeling on the videos so they could watch them over and over. The third piece i do have quite a few international
students, and i wanted those international students to be at the same point when we all
got started. And having those videos close captioned gave
me that opportunity, so that was really helpful. The other advantage of this format is that
i could get the students tooled up with the smaller class and with more application to
do their own work. So they developed a paper in this class a
seven page country study, using the tools they had learned during the week. In a large lecture format we just don’t have
that opportunity. We don’t have the opportunity to give them
the tools they need to do their own independent work. Come up with their own ideas. And this format did that to the point where
at the last session the students actually taught each other about the countries that
they had been studying each time and every quarter that i do that course just that hour
gives me chills. It makes me so happy that they have the ability
to generate their own knowledge. overwhelmingly, 99% of the students see it
as something that they needed to complete their college career. They needed that interaction with the faculty,
generating their own work, feeling like they have access to new ideas in a way that’s
very personal instead of a way that’s very impersonal
So i know there are aspects of this course that are working well because the students
are so open at giving me feedback. What’s nice about this format is i really
get to know the students and they share with me right away that they love the learning
glass, that getting the videos, being able to re-watch the videos, they really really
enjoy that portion of the course. They enjoy each other, learning from each
other. and the teaching evaluations are through the
roof. Students are thrilled with the way that the
course is run, what they’ve learned. They have a writing sample, they have this
ability to get to know their peers, its very very positive. Now the question as an economist we have is
are they actually learning. Are they just happy or are they happy and
are they getting the material. And as we’ve done some analysis actually. We used the face to face and the old lecture
style courses and we did a thorough analysis controlling for gpa, controlling for sat scores,
controlling for backgrounds, controlling for where these kids are at the beginning. And saying okay, did they also perform as
well on this same assessment, and the response is yes. They did perform the same, slightly better
but not statistically significant so what we can say is they are not learning less. Right? So in addition to getting all of this writing,
all of this richness in interaction, coming up with i think more longevity, And they are
still doing as well on the standard assessments so there is not a decrease in how much they’re
learning So a suggestion i would have for instructors
that are kind of considering teaching in a new way is to start with just a couple of
online videos. And interject them in the course they’re
already using. And see how students react. Do they find that helpful to rewatch to engage. Do you feel like you’re using that face to
face time effectively? Because if you’re not, if you have nothing
else to do with that face to face then you’re not doing the students any favors, right so
go film a video on a concept you know the students really struggle with that it’s
something that they need to watch over and over. Tuck it in. see how it feels. Do it again with another one. Tuck it in. see how it feels. At that point then when you’re ready to hybridize
you already have a sense of what goes on a video and what’s really important face to
face. I feel like that would be a really nice transition. I think that small class feeling is one of
the huge advantages for me of this hybrid class and it takes a little doing with your
scheduling but it’s possible. You can do it. And i can help you.

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