Polytechnic University of Valencia Congress, First International Conference on Higher Education Advances

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Development of an online platform for experimental teaching in microeconomics
Iván Barreda Tarrazona, Eva Camacho Cuena, Aurora García Gallego, Miguel Ginés Vilar, Ainhoa Jaramillo Gutiérrez, Sandra López Ovejero, Sascha Behnk, Andrea Morone, José Carlos Pernías Cerrillo, Gerardo Vicente Sabater Grande, Tarek-Taher Jaber López

Last modified: 10-06-2015

Abstract


The instructors of the microeconomics courses at the University Jaume I in Castellón, Spain have created a group for educational innovation in microeconomics devoted to the introduction of experiment-based learning in the economics domain. The main goals of this project are to facilitate and to enrich student learning and to provide microeconomics teachers with useful materials to introduce experiment-based activities in their classroom. The methodology used is that of experimental economics: students participate in laboratory sessions where a computer program reproduces the main characteristics of the market structures studied in introductory and intermediate microeconomics. After the students interactions determine the outcome for each participant, the underlying theoretical model is solved and presented. Finally, observed and predicted outcomes are graphically compared and discussed. In order to facilitate this process, we developed a webpage in 2013 on which students and teachers can freely download instructions, software, theoretical solutions and data analysis examples corresponding to each experiment. Afterwards, we conducted a survey in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the classroom experiments in combination with the online platform. The results obtained from the questionnaire data show the effectiveness of our project. More than two thirds of the students considered these practices to be helpful for a better understanding of the course and confirmed a high demand for the online platform. 90% stated that they would recommend the experimental lectures approach. We would like to share our materials with other universities that are considering these practices as part of their teaching processes so that they can benefit from our experience.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4995/HEAd15.2015.406


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