Case study: Active Learning Instruments for Teaching Under-graduate Economics Concepts

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This case study presents four active learning techniques that can be used for improving teaching effectiveness in the economics classroom. These activities prompt students into critical thinking, active and effective information gathering, organizing, analyzing, summarizing, and evaluating. These activities eliminate memorization and repetition, give students opportunities to interact with each other, to question and try out new approaches, and to explain their own ideas while learning. Through active learning, students are pushed to analyze what they have learned, and to discuss and clarify their own reasoning. Working in groups gives students a chance to interact with each other about concepts, verbalize these concepts, and create an argument for discussion.

An effective instructor can use widely different techniques and strategies, and modify and improve these processes with careful and continuing consideration. By giving students opportunities to use their knowledge, make decisions, solve problems, and create new knowledge via active learning, critical thinking processes can emerge.

We hope these instruments will be successfully integrated into the classroom creating positive teaching outcomes. Students who actively work together will be able to effectively apply new information, select what is important, think critically, and learn to make inferences beyond the information provided.

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