Microeconomics explores how the economy of our country exists as thousands of small and large sectors of industry. These are intertwined with trading partners, and served by establishment of security, safety, and a world class monetary system. Our focus in microeconomics is on how households and firms make decisions to promote and grow their organizations. In Dr. Bill's classes, this study is unlike any other journey you have made before. You discover explanations for events happening in the world around you. Look at these through the lens of economic thinking.
Or as Dr. Bill like to tell his students: "Think like an economist!"
General Microeconomics Education Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of Microeconomics, you should be able to demonstrate the following competencies:
- Demonstrate knowledge of the theoretical and conceptual frameworks of economics as applied to businesses in the USA, and how they interact with businesses in other countries, especially trading partners.
- Develop an understanding of self and the world by examining the dynamic interaction of individuals, groups, and societies as they shape and are shaped by history, culture, institutions, and ideas through business interactions, commodity and service trading.
- Utilize Social Science approaches, such as research methods, inquiry, and problem-solving, to examine the variety of perspectives about human experience using a variety of communication venues, culminating with professionally written reports and presentations.
- Evaluate how reasoning, history, and culture informs and guides individuals, civic, and global decisions.
- Understand and appreciate similarities and differences among and between individuals, cultures, or societies across space and time.
Course Specific Microeconomics Learning Outcomes
This class emphasizes critical thinking and problem solving for Microeconomics. It is accomplished by using economic models with the goal of the students being able to relate the models to real world economic events. Among other things, all students will:
- Explain and apply the key economic ideas: people are rational; people respond to economic incentives; and optimal decisions are made at the margin.
- Understand and be able to apply general microeconomic principles to daily activities and current events.
- Translate current economic news into the framework developed in the text
- Understand various market structures and the effect of government regulations.
- Understand and apply microeconomic models.
- Use microeconomics to think critically about real world events.
The overall goal of this class is that you gain an understanding of microeconomics and the ability to apply the principles and models you learn to real world events.
In the College Classroom
Microeconomics is a concept taught in all colleges and universities, and in some high schools around the world. In the 21st Century, students have gained more experience using media outlets. Classes were once taught in a traditional classroom with a chalk-board and instructor teaching the subject. In 1986, the software product Harvard Presentation Graphics revolutionized computer aided presentation software. It was the first personal computer program running MS DOS, to integrate text, graphics, and charts into custom slideshows. These images could be exported to color plotters or to 35mm film slides. Slides enabled instructors to incorporate photographs personally taken on hand-held film cameras and developed into 35mm color slides.
Classrooms Extend Past College Walls
Example and demonstration are combined with instructor experiences and interactions with students to increase the effectiveness of classroom-based learning. Harvard Graphics slides remained firmly in the repertoire of professional instructors into 1990 as Microsoft Corporation introduced MS Windows. Within its bundled package known as Microsoft Office rests its presentation software solution, PowerPoint.
PowerPoint ushered features of its predecessor into software available on Windows and Macintosh computer operating systems. It combines text, charts, tables, photographs, images, and video graphics in a variety of formats. Presentation cost effectiveness was substantially improved in the MS solution. Exported screen images can be sent to local printers and through video projection monitors to classroom screens. Today, PowerPoint presentations are made into YouTube videos, integrating action videos, instructor narration, and examples from the life around us.
Everyone is Using Software Solutions
Microeconomics recognizes how companies seek and fill consumer needs. Software is no exception, and software users fill a fundamental part of the cycle. While the Microsoft Corporation fills a globally dominant position in software markets, other solutions are available. A variant of MS Office is written for Apple Macintosh computers, but other programs have been developed as well. On the Linux Operating System, several solutions have been prepared. Looking similar, but not identical to the MS software, these programs enable users to make shared documents. This is footed with Word processing and spreadsheet programs.
The presentation software has been mostly defined by the Harvard Graphics to MS PowerPoint evolution. The ability to make MP4 videos in PowerPoint, with audio enabled from user's voice recording has been game changing. This is why it has been used in classes taught by Dr. Bill: students need to adopt available technologies. This is a process, not a destination.
Terrace Creek is one Tributary of a Large River System: It starts as Microeconomics
I taught a college microeconomics classes, ECON-202. I created a series of 12 videos to take the place of in-class live lectures. Each video ranges from 33 minutes to 1 hour 28 minutes. These videos were part of the on-line student experience and also replaced the live-class session lectures. These videos are only part of the educational experience. They are to be taken alongside the textbook, integration of current events, discussions, and tasks. Ultimately, students in my classes complete a term report integrating these concepts into abstract ideas. You can watch these videos to see and hear how concepts of microeconomics are expressed in the real world.
All videos made on the Dr. Bill YouTube Channel, have subtitles created from the scripts made while developing each video. Get to know your YouTube control panel as you watch these videos. The lower-right-side of the screen you will see a CC image to turn on the subtitles/closed captioning. The text placed on these videos is a perfect match in English. It translates into other languages nicely on the YouTube interface.
Some of my international students even did their narration in their native language, and subtitled it in English! This is how to master the technology.
Do you Know YouTube?
Also on the lower-right-corner of the display you will find a rotor. When clicked on, this gives options to speed the show’s video and audio – without distortion. I had a student who took my microeconomics class, then the next semester, took macroeconomics from me. She shared with the class how she would repeat watching each video to prepare for class tasks. She would accelerate them at 2x speeds on the 5th or 10th time through, “just to prepare for the quiz or exam. It works!” Yeah, she got it!
These videos walk through Learning Objectives, using action video-insert examples, discussions, and problem solving tasks. I use them for class introductions and syllabus explanation. A well developed video can extend your ideas into a convincing message. This is why all my students would convert their term report into a self-narrated YouTube video. Those are convincing messages.
Like the videos? Subscribe to this channel while watching the video, ‘like’ the show. Share the links with your friends and colleagues. Make comments to share with others how these videos help you embrace the Abysmal Science of Economics!
I make YouTube videos a part of the classes I teach. On-demand videos allow a consistent message from student to student, and between classes and semesters. The YouTube video format was something that became totally available only as PowerPoint was upgraded to Office version 2016. Onscreen video recordings were enabled, and bandwidth was augmented into realistic speeds. I place videos on my YouTube Channel page for the classes I teach. At the same time, I also augment the lecture videos with class assignments delivered through the demonstration videos.
These videos help learners discover how to use these tools to make their own videos. Students were tasked to write a term report in their Word processing program of choice, like MS Word. They were asked to use the program’s features to really use the program’s features.
- Apply Style Sheets,
- Create an automated lists:
- Table of Contents,
- List of Figures,
- List of Tables,
- Literature Cited.
- Apply the References Cited mechanism to accurately cite their sources.
Everyone knows how to use these, right? “I’ve been using MS Word for my entire life. Of course I know everything!” By the end of a class with Dr. Bill, they knew so much more. Maybe more important, they learned to know, what they didn’t know.
Term Reports to Videos
After Term Reports were completed and approved, students then made a PowerPoint presentation. They wrote a script to narrate their show. Edit, then edit again. Then they recorded their narration onto their computer – their voice. After all preparations were set, students then imported their digitally mastered audio tracks into their PowerPoint show. Here they set timing and automation on each slide, and exported it an MP4 video. The presentation video is then exported to the student’s YouTube Channel where it is viewed by other class-students. This is the Discussion Board format, commented on, discussed, and made part of the class experience.
In Economics classes, students learn of Frictional Unemployment, where employees do not possess the skills expected of them. The adoption of Tech Tools for Learner Success is one of those Frictional Unemployment protections I created for students. Experiment and learn to find abstract in your concrete examples.
Measuring Student Success
I initially taught economics classes using PowerPoint slide shows to deliver lectures. Students were provided my PowerPoint presentation shows to reference. I asked all participants to prepare their term reports, but I provided no guidance to use the software. They were instructed to deliver their term report presentations as live-events: 15 minutes per student.
The end of semester class grades followed a normal bell shaped curve distribution. The average student received a B- grade. I transitioned to make all lectures delivered as YouTube videos I created, with my scripted subtitles. MS Office Word and PowerPoint technologies became a part of the class lectures and videos. Class grade results changed. The end of semester grades increased dramatically. The bell shaped curve transitioned into an inverted J-curve with 92% of students receiving an A- or A. A few classes resulted in average students earning a B or B+. In each class, only a few students out of 100 failed the course they took.
I became better at delivering the content of the course. But more importantly, students took the challenge to empower themselves to learn more than a topic in a class.