Interactive Video Assignment for Principles Courses, Online

Katie E. Lotz, Lake Land College
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This material is replicated on a number of sites as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service Project


This assignment is designed to enhance the experience of my online students. In this interactive assignment, students will find real world examples of supply and demand shifts by conducting a search of news outlets. Students will then be required to make a short video summarizing their chosen article. These videos will be posted by students online under a discussion post that I have created using Canvas, our online learning system.

After the deadline has passed, students will randomly be assigned one other presentation to critique. They will be required to address what they agreed with and did not agree with in the original presentation.

Learning Goals

The assignment itself is designed to help students apply economic concepts to the world around them. I have been using this portion of the assignment in my in person courses for years with much success. The added video presentation and critique will hopefully help my online students become more invested in the course itself by causing them to visually interact with their classmates.

Context for Use

This assignment is designed to be used in online courses. It is designed for an average class size of 25 but could be used in any size course. I will allow students 1-2 weeks to complete their original video post, depending on the semester. After the original videos have been uploaded, I will give students an additional few days to post their critiques. Students must have a basic grasp of supply and demand theory in order to successfully complete this assignment. This assignment could easily be modified to address a wide variety of economic concepts and thus could be used in any type of economics course.

Description and Teaching Materials

I have uploaded the assignment below which contains all of the information needed for this activity.
Student Instructions (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 15kB Sep7 16)


I piloted this activity during fall semester 2016 and it was very successful. After completion of the assignment, I surveyed students on whether they liked or disliked the assignment. 83 % of students felt that the assignment was beneficial to their learning of the material and overall enjoyment of the class. When asked specifically about the video element of the assignment, however, the results fell to 56 %. Of the other 44 % who did not enjoy the video presentation, common reasons included anxiety, lack of quiet space to record at home, or lack of required technology. I will continue to use this assignment in future semesters but will work harder to mitigate some of these limiting factors with students.

References and Resources