Starting Point: Teaching and Learning Economics > Teaching Methods > Classroom Experiments > Classroom Experiments in Economics > Making it Work

Making it Work

students working
Classroom experiments in economics are the easiest to run in small classes of under 30 students who meet in a traditional classroom. This is because in many experiments a lot of information needs to get shared, sometimes with a single individual, sometimes with a group and sometimes with the entire class, after every period of the experiment. This is how students know what their partner or group proposed so they know how to respond, that the class sees "what happened" and how students figure out their individual outcomes. On the other hand, there are a lot of great strategies available for making it work in other classroom environments.

Large Classes

Ideally everyone should participate in an experiment. This is because research shows that actually participating in the experiment is different that just seeing the results. It also shows that experiments are still an effective tool in large classes (for more information on these research findings, see the Why Do Classroom Experiments Work page). Unfortunately, experiments can be a little trickier to manage when classes are large.

There are several strategies that can help make classroom experiments scale up to be manageable and effective for large classes.

Online Courses

Experiments present some technological challenges that can be overcome, often using easily available technology.

Using Technology

In a traditional classroom with a small number of students it is easy to conduct a classroom experiments. Technology can help instructors to use classroom experiments in large classes or in distance learning classes. Some resources include:

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