Teaching Ideas

Peek inside Dirk's noggin and get great ideas for your Econ classroom.
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  • Easily Avoidable Mistakes
    1. Don’t teach beyond the course prerequisites. As tempting as it might be to illustrate an idea with some simple calculus, it will only frustrate the large majority of your students if th... Read Article
  • Using PowerPoints
    You know the feeling. The presenter is introduced, everyone applauds, and then they launch PowerPoint and before long they are reading the slides. Ugh. This is all too common and easily avoidabl... Read Article
  • Teaching Cheatsheet
    1. Own the classroom There is a reason you are the instructor. You are in charge of the learning environment and that includes everything from making the syllabus to assigning final course g... Read Article
  • Plan for the Worst Case Scenario
    Over the years I have had class interrupted by false fire alarms, power outages, a man dressed as a chicken, various fraternity pranks, ice storms, blizzards, and 9/11. You never know when somet... Read Article
  • Breaking Up a Lecture
    One way to combat short student attention spans is to break your classes into chunks of 15-20 minutes and then provide a change of pace. The breaks can take a variety of forms. You can use c... Read Article
  • Playing Music Before Class
    I came to the conclusion that the time before class starts is often poorly used and that this makes starting class difficult since student attention is not focused. This often necessitates what ... Read Article
  • Advice for Grad Students and New Instructors
    All of the important course events belong on your syllabus. Choosing an exam date at a later time will create conflicts with job interviews, other exams, and other events that students have not ... Read Article
  • Using Media in Class
    Willingham (2009) asked, "Why do students remember everything that's on television and forget what we lecture?" The answer is because visual media helps students retain concepts an... Read Article
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