Saturday, December 6, 2014

Class Reflection

I registered for this class fairly late (towards the end of summer) and did not have much of an opinion going in. I was dropped from another Special Topics 490 class due to it being canceled mid-summer and when I went to go talk to Stephanie the Economics adviser and told her of what I was interested in studying, she recommend for me to take this class. I told her I was looking for a class that I would be able to expand on my microeconomics knowledge, because I immensely enjoyed Intermediate Microeconomics, and not so much Econ 303 (Intermediate Macro).

Coming in I did not know what to expect from a class like this and felt that we only just barely scratched the surface of the Economics of Organizations in my Intermediate Micro class. I was extremely interested in seeing the way firms and upper management operate from the perspective of an economist. The basic relationship of incentives for employees and output I understood intuitively, but it was really interesting to learn the formulas that were derived to mathematically prove these theories and how with the help of Econ 302 concepts of indifferent curves we were able to model wages and outputs. Another interesting Excel homework and topic was the insurance under asymmetric information. I found it interesting finding the optimal bundles of premium and coverage and how to set the price to effectively split consumers into high and low risk types. I actually bumped into my friend who is currently pursuing his Masters in Economics and we had an interesting discussion on the topic and the differences in the undergraduate approach vs. the graduate. He was relatively impressed with the depth that we covered in this class.

As for the online blogging portion of the class I did think that it was beneficial and have been helpful in relating my experiences to the topics covered in class. I thought that the blog prompts were varied enough to allow me to draw from different experiences and not feel like I was repeating myself for every post. I did really appreciate the soft deadlines for the posts, mainly because it allowed me to focus on the content in each post, rather than just having something written down in time for a deadline. I felt this really improved the overall quality of my writing and ideas. I did also find the discussions about what we posted interesting and helpful, but did sometimes wish we covered some topics before the blog post was assigned. 

Overall I thought that this was an interesting course that I have already found useful for interviews and just general understanding of economics. I thought that none of the topics felt rushed and there was a good balance of math and economics. I also thought that the midterms were fair and you provided enough study material to adequately prepare for each test. Although I did feel like my grade did not reflect my mastery of the subjects covered (especially for the second midterm). I felt like it was too easy to lose almost a third of your points. And maybe a little flexibility on partial credit based on reasoning and logic would have been a more accurate representation of how well I understood the material.

It was an interesting course with excellent instruction and I would definitely recommend this course to Fall 2015 Econ students.

1 comment:

  1. On which came first, the discussion or the blog post, there is a chicken and egg problem. In many other classes I believe that students come unprepared to class and use the lecture as their first pass at the content. So my approach is designed to prevent that. Does it have some drawbacks? Sure. Every year I toy with the idea of having you do two posts per week or one longer post with two pieces to it. The first would be a reflection of what we covered in class the week before. The second would be the getting ready for the next class part. It would address this issue. But it would also make for more work for students and for me, which is why I haven't gone that route yet.