Barbara Millis

University of Texas at San Antonio, The

Materials Contributed through SERC-hosted Projects

Activities (2)

Pro-Con-Caveat Grid part of Starting Point: Teaching and Learning Economics:Teaching Methods:Interactive Lectures:Examples
Students receive via email, the course management system, or a web page, a blank electronic version of a pro-con-caveat grid. Their instructions are to list the arguments in favor of a certain decision and against the decision with caveats placed in a third column. Economics teachers, for instance, could (1) ask students to explore the pros, cons, and caveats of building a hospital in a certain neighborhood in their city or (2) after reading a case study of a two-career couple, have students list the pros (benefits) of their filing a joint income tax return and the cons (costs), plus any caveats they should take into consideration. Such assignments are often motivating for most students because they involve a real-life problem relevant to themselves. In the example given below, students, as homework, complete their grids, listing the arguments, pro and con, for changing the current flat rate campus parking system to one that is pro-rated based on the salary level of the person purchasing the permit. In a third column, the students list any caveats (other considerations) that might impact the decision. It is helpful for teachers to give students guidelines about how many entries they expect and how the entries should be expressed (e.g, complete sentences, bullets, etc.).

The Economics of Drug Legalization: A Double Entry Journal part of Starting Point: Teaching and Learning Economics:Teaching Methods:Interactive Lectures:Examples
With a DEJ, students identify on the left side of a grid (a Word table template e-mailed or distributed to students) the key points of an article, chapter, or guest lecture. Just opposite the key point they respond, linking the point to other academic material, current events, or their personal experiences and opinions. What becomes of the out-of-class homework assignment is critically important. Too often, teachers merely collect and grade homework, suggesting to students that their work is merely an artificial exercise intended for evaluation by a bored expert (the teacher). To avoid this perception and to build in the active learning and interactions for deep learning, teachers can have students pair to read and discuss their DEJs on the same article.

Other Contribution

Barbara Millis part of Starting Point: Teaching and Learning Economics:About this Project:Project Participants
Director, Teaching and Learning Center One UTSA Circle,JPL 4.03.03 University of texas, San Antonio San Antonio, TX 78249 Phone:210 Background Information Barbara J. Millis, Director of the ...

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Developing Modules for Teaching Economics