Teaching methods and materials in undergraduate economics courses: School, instructor, and department effects



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There has been very little change in how the economics profession teaches undergraduate students over the last 25 years. This study examines the effects of school, instructor, and departmental characteristics on teaching methods and materials used in undergraduate economics courses. We employ the regression framework originally used by Harter, Schaur, and Watts (2015a), but differentiate our work from prior research by using a single survey sample, separating descriptive statistics by course type, adding new dependent variables (e.g., use of adaptive learning technologies), and creating figures to represent predicted probabilities for a variety of variables. We find, among other things, that changes in departmental policies, such as teaching loads and class sizes, along with shifts in the composition and characteristics of faculty members (e.g., male vs. female or years of teaching experience) may have unintended consequences on instructors’ teaching practices. These findings have implications for school and departmental policies that could affect the quality of undergraduate economics course instruction.

Journal Title

International Review of Economics Education