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This paper describes a poetry experiment conducted in an economics classroom, where students were randomized across two groups with rotating assignments to write poetry or short answer essay prose during a semester long course in microeconomics. The student experience overall was positive, reporting increased excitement for and engagement with the material. Students also believed that writing poetry improved both their short- and long-term understanding and retention of the concepts. The major criticism of the experiment was the additional time and effort needed to write creatively, although this could also be related to an insufficient time to task writing standard short answer essay responses. Overall, the results suggest that creative writing provides a potentially important tool to enhance learning opportunities and economic literacy among economics students.
Although seminal literature indicates that “chalk and talk” is still the predominant lecture method (Watts and Becker, 2008; Watts and Schaur, 2011; Ongeri, 2017), research more specific to millennials (Carrasco-Gallego, 2017; Leinberger, 2015; Litzenberg, 2010; Morreale and Staley, 2016) indicates multiple challenges for economics instructors who are teaching millennials; it suggests instructors need to adapt their teaching methods. They especially point out that millennials have a different skillset than previous student cohorts. Recently, multiple new teaching methods have been proposed in the economics literature. This paper reviews and discusses the most effective teaching methods specifically targeting millennials.
New teaching methods clearly focus on the inclusion and media, which are already a salient part of the day-to-day life of students. Improving students’ engagement appears to be a paramount objective in the recent literature. Examples of methods reviewed in this papers are flipped classroom, student-crafted economics experiments, and the use of social media as a medium of instruction.
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