+3 votes
asked ago in General Economics Questions by (150 points)
Over the past five years since I started teaching Applied Econometrics to last year undergraduate students I have observed an alarming trend with disengagement from learning, which has been confirmed by my colleagues teaching other Economics subjects. However, unlike the other subjects that may involve certain amount of fun activities, like experiments of group learning, these are hard to employ in Econometrics teaching. Moreover, that I cannot make my students to undertake a research project, since they are already doing dissertation.

Thank you for sharing your experience!

3 Answers

+3 votes
answered ago by (200 points)
A fun activity that can replace experiments is working with real data and empirical papers. In my experience, students are keen to gain practical skills. Replication files are great teaching tools.

Here is what I have done for the TA tutorial time in a second-year undergraduate course at the University of Toronto: https://q.utoronto.ca/courses/80238/assignments/syllabus. It is a bit unusual at U of T because this course is a two-term long course (starts in Sept and runs through April) and is typically both the first and last course the majority of our students will take in any level of econometrics. Hence, it is a bit easier than a typical third year econometrics course but it does cover enough to prepare students for empirical third and fourth year field courses.
+2 votes
answered ago by (380 points)
I have my undergrad students replicate results from a published paper, and present their results as a term paper.  In the interim, I have them update me on the stats of their project; I feel this makes them much more interested in the methods they are learning, and helps me stay more attuned to their progress.
+1 vote
answered ago by (730 points)
You can still make the class very interactive. I do a lot of polls where students can vote on what the right answer to a question is, and then they can discuss between those who agree why they think their answer is right, and then I explain the right answer.

I also use practical problem sets a lot, where I include examples from recent media headlines to discuss things like omitted variable bias, selection, reverse causality, etc. and have them become critical consumers of news articles about academic research.