Phil Ruder

Professor of Economics
Pacific University
2043 College Way
Forest Grove, OR 97116


Background Information

Phil Ruder, Professor of Economics

Professor Ruder earned his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1994 and has been teaching at Pacific University since that year. Phil's teaching interests include applied microeconomics, environmental economics, health economics, and international trade and development. In recent years, he has adopted the team-based learning (TBL) student-centered pedagogy.

Phil began teaching with TBL in the Spring of 2014. In the early going, he relied on modified end-of-chapter, usually highly computational, exercises for the TBL application exercises (AEs). While these activities were probably more effective at lecturing, they fell far short of the significant conceptual problems that form the basis of the best TBL AEs.

In recent years, Phil has worked to shift the AEs in all his courses away from the computational end-of-chapter problems and toward conceptually rich significant TBL AEs. At the same time, Phil has coordinated an effort to gather and disseminate AEs written by other college economics teachers. This effort got a big boost in the form of an NSF grant to support TBL AE development, dissemination of TBL pedagogy and materials to college teachers, and an empirical assessment of the efficacy of rich conceptual AEs relative to computational exercises for promoting student learning of economics.