13 Resources and advice for instructors

I will add more detail here…

A proposed lecture programme

Note: I have slides covering a range of key topics, which tie in with this web book. Please contact me directly for details.

Large lectures have limited value in this context. From my experience students appreciate occasional lectures for motivation and clarification, and to ask questions, but more than 5-6 traditional lectures seems to be overkill.

Lectures can be combined with this web book: introduce this material and motivate it’s importance, answer a few student questions, quiz the students a bit, and then refer them to the material here to read on their own.

A sample lecture schedule: biweekly over twelve weeks

Here is a proposed set of lectures to be spaced out over ten weeks in the first term, for a two-term dissertation module. If you have the resources, a few lectures in the second term will also be helpful to coordinate and motivate.

The goal of these lectures is not to comprehensively cover the topics: that’s what this book is for. The goal is to motivate why these issues are important, give a bit of flavour and understanding, generate questions, and organise the module. A few ‘quizzes’ can be helpful to help students realise what they do and do not understand.

If resources permit, it will be helpful to intersperse this with casual scheduled ‘research coffees’, encouraging students to discuss their ideas with instructors and with each other. I recommend a ‘light-touch approach’ in sessions. Let the students take the lead in presenting and responding (making occasional course-corrections where necessary). From our experience, students engage actively in these contexts!

Ideally, you should follow up these up (after the sessions, perhaps) with general and specific feedback on the students presentations, points, and ideas. These can be shared both with the ‘presenters’ and the group as a whole. You can thus make the general points concrete by referring to specific examples.

Week 1 (of term):

  1. How to identify and scope-out a topic. See “Getting started

  2. ‘Economics questions’, approaches, and methods. See “Economics: Methods, approaches, fields and relevant questions

  3. Research fields in economics. See “Fields of Economics…

Week 3:

  1. Accessing and integrating previous relevant academic literature (see many parts of Literature review chapter.)

  2. Citation and referencing

  3. Academic writing in Economics: structure, tone, and logic (various parts of Writing chapter)

Week 5: Economic models and economic logic

  1. What’s the point of ‘economic models’ and ‘economic theory’?

  2. Examples of economic models and their presentation and interpretation

  3. Economic models in your paper?

  4. Using economic logic in your writing

  5. Economic models and empirical work (some examples)

Week 7:

  1. Finding and using data

  2. Developing a statistical/econometric approach; producing, reporting, and interpreting results

  3. Helpful software and tools for research and writing

Week 9: Methodological issues in Macroeconomics, Trade and Finance

Week 11: Discussing our (students’) topics and proposals, discussing some key papers of interest, responding to student questions that have arisen so far.

Throughout all lectures: “Avoiding common mistakes, misunderstandings and pitfalls”, integrate examples of worse and better practice.