Reflecting on the course I have mixed feelings about how I feel about it. There were definitely parts that I did enjoy, but there were also some that didn't necessarily coincide with my learning style. To start with the positive, this was the first economics course I have taken that really stressed the conceptual and application side of the concepts. Both the lectures and the blog posts really emphasized a conceptual understanding that I have never had to develop with such depth in any other econ class. I really enjoyed the blog posts, they helped me to understand why the ideas we learned about actually mattered, and thinking of applications for each lesson pushed me to understand the ideas rather than recite them. I think the most interesting of these was the principle agent model, because it provided the perspective to understand a conflict in the work place that I had experienced. There is definitely a learning curve for writing the blogs, it is very different from writing an essay and I still have trouble at times with the different format. I don't know why, but I did find that I tend to be very brief when I am writing in this voice so more often than not I have had to go back and elaborate further or fluff up my sentences so that they would be communicated well in the blog.
The excel homeworks, on the other hand, I was not particularly thrilled about. I sometimes found it unclear what exactly was being asked and for some reason the way certain things were explained prior to the questions, I feel that key elements were missing from me actually understanding some the assignments. I generally feel like I learn best when I learn the content and use the homework to test and practice my knowledgeI did, however, like that they were done in excel. It was great to get immediate feedback on my answers and I thought it was a very smart way to do homework. Although it didn't allow for partial credit, I liked that I didn't have to be worried about glitchy assignment sites or log in information. Most of the assignment did go well, and actually were great at preparing me for class on Wednesday, but the more difficult assignments could have used more preparation.
Finally, with respect to the lectures I feel that there were a lot of great dynamics in class. I feel like I was able to grasp the concepts quickly because you used a lot of practical examples, and that the lectures were generally engaging. I liked how there was a participation component, and that it did help to hear new voices participating in the lecture, but it definitely could have been further utilized. It is a shame less people were willing to participate. I think a participating factor in this was that the lectures did lack a structure that most students have become accustomed too. We are very used to powerpoints being used to keep things on track, and the open lecture format does not coincide with this well. I think even a powerpoint with a few of the main points of the lecture would help to keep things on track and students to organize their notes so that they would feel more comfortable participating.
This course presented a lot of really interesting topics, and definitely taught me concepts that I will be able to use in my career rather than to just complete my college degree. I actually used some of the concepts from the lesson on insurance and risk in an interview for a company that I will actually be starting my career at! So thank you for a great semester!