Economics Courses Taught Through Blended Learning

Posted: Monday, December 2nd 2013 at 11:10 AM

Traditional classroom settings are falling by the wayside. More and more professors have been electing to test out a blended learning style of teaching recently. 

ECO 280 Introduction to Economics has been taught by Professors Rick Szal and Ron Gunderson through a blended learned model for two semesters now (spring 2013 and fall 2013).

This new way of organizing class allows the teacher to meet with students once a week rather than two or three times but also puts more responsibility on the students to learn the material.

“You cannot just take a course that already exists and then shove it into a blended learning [model],” Szal explained. “It really requires a whole different kind of framework. One of the things that’s important is that you would call it, in my case, a flipped classroom. What you would normally do in a classroom as a lecture, now the students do on their own and what you would normally do at home as homework, you do in the classroom.”

By making the transition to this teaching model, courses are able to have more students enrolled by combining sections and the once-a-week schedule increases the availability of classrooms.

It’s also up to the students to go over the material before class so that they can understand the concepts that will be presented and discussed in class.

“From my point of view it teaches them the way life works; you need to take responsibility for your future,” he said.

Several other courses have adopted the idea of incorporating a flipped classroom model [story HERE]. This method has proved to be successful so Szal is planning to teach another class as a pilot, ECO 201 Introduction to Business Statistics, with a blended learning technique beginning in the spring 2014 semester.

Blended Learning is an important direction for NAU because it is enhancing student learning and utilizing technology in beneficial ways. Inside NAU TV covered blended learning and featured a segment on Rick Szal's approach and classroom experience [Season 8, episode 3: 3:18-5:00 in the segment]:

Categories: economics courses taught through blended learning rick szal blended learning flipped classroom flipped fall 2013 eco 280 introduction to economics eco 280 introduction to economics eco 201 introduction to business statistics eco 201 introduction to business statistics