Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Using Excel to Teach Principles of Economics

Using spreadsheets to teach economics principles is not a new idea, but the accessibility of spreadsheets makes them attractive for use in an online course like the one I'm teaching this semester.

My three Excel assignments are designed to teach students spreadsheet skills that they will use in their writing assignments.  
The first Excel assignment covers testing hypotheses about the effect of economic freedom on income using linear regression, the second covers drawing demand and supply curves with the line drawing tool, and the third involves creating cost curves and also bar charts.  More details as well as the data required for each of these assignments can be found in the XLS file titled EXCEL_ASSIGNMENTS.XLS.
After opening this file, navigate to the Worksheet named "read_me" worksheet which contains detailed instructions for completing the three assignments.
I have also made instructional videos for each assignment:

1.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nW84OVGBqiM
2.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z1CDiKuNG4
3.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwkzDOOnoKg

I have been using these assignments for several semesters and it is amazing that even the students who you'd least expect it from are able to pull off linear regression and other technical skills.