Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Romer Rules!

Paul Romer of Stanford University is one of my favorite economists. Romer is the founder of Aplia and a pioneer in the new growth theory that was discussed in Chapter 8 of your e-book. Romer’s father, Roy Romer, was the former Governor of Colorado and the Superintendent of the LA Unified School District. I was fortunate to have dinner with Paul Romer a few years back and I can tell you in spite of his brilliance he is a truly nice guy. I have no doubt that he will win the Nobel Prize in economics for his contributions to growth theory.

To learn more about Romer’s work on economic growth see David Warsh's book Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations , or look at the Economist article "The Growth of Growth Theory" in its 18 May 2006 issue. . You can also listen to a recent podcast interview with Romer in the excellent EconTalk series hosted by Russ Roberts. Or alternatively you can read the transcript of the EconTalk interview with Professor Romer.

Once macro minds start thinking about economic growth it is hard to think about anything else. You may want to consider a topic relating to economic growth as the subject of your Discussion Board posting.

Extra Credit: Address the question: Is Aplia an effective tool for improving student learning? Do the Aplia homework assignments increase your learning potential? I don’t want to hear whining that the questions in Aplia are hard. The questions on Aplia may seem hard, but they are not any harder than they would be in any standard transferable economics course. What I want to know is if you think that Aplia is a technology that leads to better educational outcomes. What do you like about Aplia? What are its weaknesses? Do you have any suggestions for improvement? Aplia’s pitch to professors is that the students do more work and the professor does less. I am also interested in knowing what other techniques that you think are useful to create a successful online learning environment. I have set up a forum on the Discussion Board called Aplia Forum. I will give between one and four points for every thoughtful post on Aplia and creating a thriving online learning environment. One post per student please. The number of points that you will be awarded to your Discussion Board Extra Credit account depends on the length and quality of your post. To earn the maximum of four points your post should be thoughtful and several paragraphs in length.


mikesanders13 said...

I have found that Aplia is a useful learning tool. The chapters of reading keep my attention by using historical events or time periods to show different aspects of macro-economics, using a show rather than tell type teaching method. I have this to be a great way to learn. I have also found the practice quizzes to be a great and interactive way to check my understanding of the chapter. The explanations of incorrect answers are great as well, they offer immediate feedback and explanations of why my answers were incorrect.
In a few other of my online classes I have found that a lecture with a power point is also a great way to learn. You are required to write a synopsis of the lecture and answer a few questions. The lecture and power point keep my attention for long periods of time while the synopsis drills the important facts into my memory. I have done well in all of my on-line classes that use this type of teaching method.
I have found that internet classes in general are a great way to learn. They tend to be much more hands on than regular classes. I seem to get a lot more out of doing something myself rather than having someone tell me how to do it.
This is my first internet class that has used Aplia, thus far it seems to be a very interactive way to learn. The only thing that I don't seem to like is that there is a lot of reading to do every week. If they included a video lecture it would keep the students entertained while they learned, reading page after page just makes teenagers bored and want to get through it faster. I do like that Aplia puts all the assignments very orderly. It is pretty self explanitory and moves a pretty steady pace. All in all I have liked Aplia thus far, my grade at the end of the semester will show how effective it really is...

Michael Sanders

macromind said...

Thanks for the useful feedback, Michael.