Class Review

Honestly,at the beginning, I register this class because I don’t have any other options. Deciding to declare another major in statistics at the end of last semester makes me have to take six advanced stat courses in two semesters. After checking all the other econ courses, it turns out Economics of the Organization is the only one fits my schedule. Being not sure about what kind of class it is, I searched rate my professor to get some taste. Your score is 2.3/4.0 and seems to be the lowest in econ department and here are some comments from this website:“Just save your time and do not kill your GPA by taking this class. He means well but the tests are just way too abstract.”;”Arvan did not teach with a text book, and he spent the entire class lecturing on material not on the test. It was virtually impossible to learn the material. If you have another option for Econ 302, go with it.” At that moment, I thought I would be screwed up this semester. However, now I would recommend this class to my friends and give a 3.9/4.0 on rate my professor. I wish I could register this class earlier, at least not in this busy semester, and I can do much better.

The pedagogic approach impressed me a lot at the very beginning, although I am kind of afraid of writing. At the first half of the semester, I usually start thinking about the blog post and the related examples at wednesday and spend an hour and a half  in average to write it in UGL. I do enjoy the time that being alone and writing the blog each week. Besides, the blog post not only encourages me to start thinking and writing but also helps me in my GRE writing test. But in the second half, spending most of my time on improving my verbal section of GRE test and looking for summer intern leaves me fewer time to write the blog and I usually finish it on saturday night. For the Excel sheet, I think you must have spend a lot of time on it to provide us a convenient way to understand the model but sometimes we do need some youtube videos on topics like “Insurance under Asymmetric Information” to get the idea. The topic I enjoyed most is the Transaction Cost, Principal-Agent model and Gift Exchange model. I can relate them to a lot of my previous experiences. Especially the Gift Exchange model, it helps me solve some questions that I kept asking my mentor and did not get a satisfied answer.

At last, I want to give some suggestions on the course structure,  sometimes, I feel the blogging and excel sheet are not that related. Personally, starting from thinking about problems from daily life and then describe and solve it using economics and math is the ideal method for learning. Based on that, maybe writing and discussing  problems leading to the model we are going o learn first and then do the excel sheet could help us understand the model better. But reality could be more complex and you may have other considerations in designing the course. In addition, an optional project announced at the beginning of the semester could be useful for students who want some research experience. It is a pity that I can’t finish the project this semester, again, I wish I could register this class earlier since you treat students and the class much more serious than many other professors. Finally, about the PowerPoints, it seems there are not many PPT after the first midterm. I felt it could be useful in review but the Excel homework did a good job when I was preparing for the exam.



  1. profarvan · December 7, 2014

    Thanks for the comments. Let me take them from the bottom up. On the PowerPoints – I use them at the beginning to get students caught up. We have new students each class session during the first couple of weeks. I don’t really like PowerPoint for in class activity. I think it blocks class discussion. One the course has gotten going, I’m less sure that students need them. But if the extra credit projects idea bears fruit, maybe student created PowerPoints would be valued by other students. That remains to be seen.

    I am glad that you liked the course structure, but I will take issue a bit with your desire to try to tie everything together – particularly the math modeling in Excel and the story telling with the blogging. I’d rather have two separate and parallel paths, even if that is not how other courses do it. Integrating it all would slow us down. As it is, we only get through chapter 8 of M&R. I do think these things come together eventually. But you have to get used to the course before that can happen.


    • shiyuchen1992 · December 7, 2014

      Absolutely, to cover enough concept is an important concern and there may be others we don’t know. After all, it is a course about management, as you said, sometimes the reality is much more important than the math model. Besides, I leave the comment on the rate my professor, I believe students can get a better idea of what your class is like.


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