Pedagogical Benefits of Mini Writing Assignments in Teaching Principles of Economics

22 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2011

See all articles by Ding Lu

Ding Lu

ShanghaiTech University - School of Entrepreneurship and Management; University of the Fraser Valley

Lijun Zhang

University College of the Fraser Valley

Date Written: October 6, 2011

Abstract

A mini writing project on economics concepts is developed for undergraduate introductory economics courses. The design of the mini-paper format ensures all students receive the same level of workload regardless the variety of assigned topics. The match of each mini-paper topic to its relevant final exam questions allows us to test the hypothetical benefits of such assignments for learning the relevant course contents. This research design has several advantages as compared to earlier empirical studies on pedagogical values of active learning. The results provide robust evidence of learning benefits of the mini writing assignments. The benefits do not differ significantly for students of different educational backgrounds or among students rendered with various paper marks but appear stronger for students from the science faculty.

Keywords: writing assignment, mini-paper, teaching economics, active learning

JEL Classification: A22

Suggested Citation

Lu, Ding and Zhang, Lijun, Pedagogical Benefits of Mini Writing Assignments in Teaching Principles of Economics (October 6, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1947968 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1947968

Ding Lu (Contact Author)

ShanghaiTech University - School of Entrepreneurship and Management ( email )

393 Huaxia Middle Rd
Pudong Xinqu, Shanghai
China

University of the Fraser Valley ( email )

33844 King Road
Abbotsford, BC V2S7M8
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.ufv.ca/economics/faculty-and-staff/

Lijun Zhang

University College of the Fraser Valley ( email )

33844 King Road
Abbotsford, British Columbia V2S 7M8
United States

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