EconEd 2015 Speaker Topic: Economics on Campus -- Engaging Students from Day 1

Discussion created by stevewu73 on Jun 13, 2015

My proposed talk will focus on using campus issues as a starting point to get students interesting and engaged in the study of economics.  I believe this is most effective by starting the very beginning of the first class with questions aimed to raise discussion about issues that are relevant to the students. These issues will vary by school, but might include campus policies on alcohol, the manner in which student housing is assigned/allocated, or revising admissions criteria.


When I teach my micro principles class in the fall, the class is primarily composed of first year students who have just finished orientation. An important part of orientation is a lengthy discussion of the school's academic honor code, a focal point at my institution.  This presents a good opportunity for students to think about how the honor code is set up and the incentives that are in place regarding expectations of students to report peers that are cheating, the punishments in place for academic dishonesty, and the proctoring (or lack of proctoring) of exams.


For schools that have a significant number of commuters, parking on campus might be an important issue. For other institutions, issues related to Greek organizations may be a topic of debate.


I welcome any other suggestions of important issues on your campus that can illustrate economic principles such as incentives, allocation of scarce resources, opportunity costs or others.