Interactive Tutorials in Principles of Microeconomics

Maurice Starkey

This is a set of hyperlinked mindmaps, including textual notes, images and hyperlinks, starting with Economic Environment of business. Reading the files requires the free MindManager viewer software, which is available for a variety of platforms. Previews of a couple of mind maps are available as PDFs, with reduced functionality.

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Martin Poulter, Economics Network

This tutorial connects utility maximisation and demand curves by illustrating the derivation of an individual demand curve. The interactive aspects are exercises in which the reader has to maximise utility by choosing a number of items to purchase. There are links to related online texts and exercises. This has been created by a non-economist to illustrate the potential of JavaScript for online learning.

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Jason G. Welker, Zurich International School

Welker's Wikinomics is a set of online resources for teachers and students of International Baccalaureate Economics. The video resources include around 100 video tutorials of about ten minutes each, uploaded during 2012. They use a narrated-diagram format to explain concepts in basic micro-, macro- and international economics. Each category also has flashcards, a glossary and worksheets.

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WinEcon Consortium

WinEcon is an interactive learning software package for economics, business economics, maths for economics and the range of Sloman textbooks designed to support economics courses. The software provides many hours of tutorial material and includes: all the relevant theory, interactive exercises, self-assessment questions, economics databases and an economic glossary. Teachers of economics can integrate WinEcon into their Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) by creating links from any Web page, Word, Powerpoint or Excel document to specific WinEcon topics. Students working on their own machines can also make full use of these features to link to specific WinEcon screens from their lecturer's Web pages by installing the single user software.

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Brian Watson, Plymouth College of Further Education

A number of Excel spreadsheets by Watson are listed on this Biz/ed page (scroll down a bit). They cover topics including demand and supply, elasticity, trade and comparative advantage.

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Open University

This is an interactive iterated Prisoner's Dilemma with an uncertain number of moves. It allows the reader to play against a variety of strategies, and comes with a short introduction to set the scene. This requires the Shockwave plug-in.

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The simulation of managing the cash flow of a company serves as a vehicle for teaching students about the principles of cash flow. It gives students the chance to see if they can manage the cash flow of a company for a year. It is freely available and part of the Biz/ed website.

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Bill Parke, University of North Carolina

Classic economic models is a set of economic models that run through a web browser, some of which are available as free trials. The models are divided into micro and macro models, covering topics such as perfect competition, Keynsian models, price discrimination and utility-based valuation of risk. The models take the form of model link files which can be read by the EconModel plug-in. Access to the non-free models requires an annual subscription, currently 20 USD for a year. Most of the models have exercise sheets in PDF suitable for printing.

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Samuel Baker, University of South Carolina

These interactive tutorials, dating from 2003, use Java to create animations and interactivity, dotting these interactive features through explanatory text. Topics introduced include Total Cost, Variable Cost, and Marginal Cost; Marginal Cost and the Price-Taking Firm's Optimal Output Rate; Average Cost and the Break-Even Output Rate; Demand; Elasticity; Elasticity II; Supply, Demand, and Equilibrium; Monopoly: Marginal Revenue and the Profit-Maximizing Price and Output Rate; Discounting Future Income; The Internal Rate of Return; Perils of the Internal Rate of Return; Risk; and Risk Aversion and Insurance.

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Thinkwell is a commercial learning tutorial service that supports economics, microeconomics and macroeconomics courses. It consists of video lectures that give simultaneous views of the lecturer and his slides and animations. Online interactive exercises with feedback, review notes, course management tools and a dedicated website for users. Lecturers can customise the course and view the results of interactive tests taken by their students. The materials are available online via subscription and require Flash / QuickTime / Java to load.

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These are group economic games that are set up and run in a web browser using Java. Lecturers configure the games and generate an access code, which they then pass onto students. The lecturer can then moderate the game. The games include auctions, tests of the theory of revealed preference and normal form games with customisable payoffs, amongst others. EconPort is a digital library funded by the USA's National Science Foundation.

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Moblab, Inc.

A set of configurable, graphically appealing, online interactive games that work across laptops, iOS (Apple) and Android devices. Instructors can customise the games, or use default settings, and students join by entering a class code. The instructor gets a graphical analysis of outcomes immediately at the end of the session, for use in class discussion. The site has course guides that suggest how to sequence the games in different Economics courses, and each game has references to relevant papers. The site's apps can also be used to administer individual survey or assessment questions online.

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Chris Downs, Open University

From a distance-learning tutorial originally distributed on CD-ROM, this 35-minute tutorial combines spoken and written text with animated diagrams. Divided into ten sections, it comes with online help and definitions of key terms.

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R. Larry Reynolds, Boise State University

Twenty-three interactive Excel workbooks illustrate basic microeconomics. They will allow students to explore basic economic models and cover topics such as opportunity cost, demand models with elasticities, cost / benefit analysis and the production cost matrix.

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Sanjay Paul, Elizabethtown College

Three simple interactive exercises, on the budget constraint line, indifference curves and utility maximisation, are presented here as part of a poster session for the 2003 Midwest Conference on Student Learning in Economics. Each consists of a short page with a form that calculates a particular function (which runs in the web browser) and a series of activities such as graph-plotting and calculation.

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Adalbert Mayer, Washington College

"This interactive simulation visualizes the welfare implications of different approaches to connect buyers and sellers of a good. The user can act as a perfectly informed social planner, as a partially informed social planner, or she can elicit bids/ask offers from simulated agents in a double auction setting. The resulting allocations with the implied consumer and producer surpluses are visualized. The user experiences the informational demands that a social planner faces, and she observes the ability of a price system to allocate scarce resources when information is largely private, even if individual market participants are not sophisticated." - description quoted from The Journal of Economic Education, v46 n4 DOI: 10.1080/00220485.2015.1071215

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