By Chris | August 21, 2008
I’ve been preparing for the Intermediate Microeconomics class I will teach this fall. While working on my syllabus, I considered creating a blog and assigning each student in my class to contribute a post. I thought it would be a good way to get students thinking about economics in their everyday lives and would offer a creative environment for aspiring economists to identify themselves.
I wouldn’t be the first instructor to try such an experiment. While browsing 26econ.com, I read that Aaron had set up a similar blog for his students. He required students in his internet economics class to post about the business model of an online business. You can see the blog here. It doesn’t feel very bloggy. The last paragraph of one post starts with “In Conclusion”. Other posts list the references at the end. Some of the posts remind me of a condensed Wikipedia entry, not bad, but not something I’d peruse in my free time.
I think the trick to such an assignment is providing an incentive for students to post, without scaring them into writing superfluous drivel. It reminds me of a post by Ben Casnocha. In the real world, unlike college, no one is obligated to read what you write. You have to catch and keep the reader’s attention. I blog part-time and still struggle with this. Is it too much to ask of a student?