The Economics Network

Improving economics teaching and learning for over 20 years

Workshop on Innovative Uses of Technology for Assessment, November 2007


Wednesday 28 November 2007, 1.00pm to 4.00pm finish


Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh


This workshop aims to:

  1. Contextualise the pedagogical rationale for using e-assessment tools in economics.
  2. Allow participants to work with two innovative classroom technologies that can be used to assess student understanding in economics - namely, Interactyx LiveEcon, an interactive economics e-learning tool and Audience/Personal Response Systems.
  3. Offer participants the opportunity to share their learning experiences of e-assessment tools.

About the Presenters

  • Kevin Hinde is Senior Teaching Fellow in Strategy and Economics as well as Deputy Director of Distance Learning Programmes at Durham Business School. He has been actively involved in teaching and learning innovations within Higher Education over a number of years and joint author of Hinde, K. & Hunt, A. (2006) "Using the Personal Response System to enhance student learning: Some evidence from teaching economics". In Audience Response Systems in Higher Education. Applications and cases. Edited by Banks, D. Hershey, USA: Information Science Publishing. He is an Associate of the Economics Network.
  • Dr W. David McCausland is a senior lecturer in Economics at the University of Aberdeen, and an Associate of the Economics Network. He is a co-author of the Macroeconomics volume of LiveEcon.

This event has been postponed. Keep an eye on our front page for the rescheduled date.


1. Welcome and introduction

2. Context for e-assessment in economics

3. Demonstration of eAssessment tools

a) LiveEcon Engage

This session aims to introduce participants to Interactyx LiveEcon, an interactive economics e-learning tool, which aims to engage students in economics by allowing them to manipulate economic variables and immediately see the effects in moving on-screen tables and charts. The focus of the session will be hands-on experience of LiveEcon's latest new feature, Engage, which allows lecturers to assign pre-written exercises to students as homework and receive reports to monitor their levels of participation.

Following a brief overview of LiveEcon and LiveEcon Engage, participants will learn how to:

  • Open Engage from LiveEcon, and navigate within Engage from LiveEcon
  • Create and customise quizzes and scenarios
  • Import existing assessments
  • Arrange an online course using the calendar using resources within Engage to maximise student participation
  • Monitor class progress using scenarios and quizzes and track participation

b) Audience Response systems.

The purpose of the session is to demonstrate how a fairly simple technology, the Personal Response System (PRS), can improve interactivity and student participation in the classroom. Each student is given a small handset, similar to a television remote control. The tutor poses questions and activities and students respond by pressing the appropriate numbered button on their key pad. The responses are received by infrared receivers and then automatically graphed and displayed on the projection screen.

We consider the pedagogical value of the Personal Response System in enhancing student learning within the classroom. In particular we show its value with regard to ice-breaking, 'informing' (for diagnostic evaluation and feedback) and 'scaffolding' (to enhance knowledge) and provide examples from our own use of this learning enhancement tool; for example, we demonstrate how to use the PRS to describe elements of game theory.

Throughout this session delegates will be actively involved in using the technology and should be able to reflect on how they may apply the techniques learnt to their own situations.

4. An information exchange session on other e-assessment tools.

5. Plenary