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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Interactive graph of a competitive market

by Javier Carrillo
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4.5 stars
Content Quality: 4.75 stars
Effectiveness: 4.5 stars
Ease of Use: 4.5 stars
Reviewed: Sep 08, 2011 by Business Editorial Board
Overview: The purpose of this interactive technical note is to help students to learn and comprehend the effect of changes in the variables of supply and demand in a microeconomic market assuming perfect competition. Students can interact with both curves and see the equilibrium process in terms of prices and quantities exchanged. The program assumes that students are familiar with the underlying concepts of the graphic representation of a market with perfect competition. For a better understanding of the main effects of the changes in the curves, this graphic resource allows students to make only one move per curve and does not envisage changes in the curves´ elasticity. Students can interact with both curves (demand and supply) either separately or jointly. There are also simple exercises that enable students to test their comprehension of how the market works and check their answers through interaction with the graphic. The Learner will be viewing lectures and explanations of economic principles..
Learning Goals: • The student will be able to solidify his/her understanding of the supply, demand and equilibrium concepts in a perfectly competitive market. • The student will be able to interact and get a visual on how the market equilibrium changes given both the isolated changes in the determinants of demand and determinants of supply as well as when determinants of both concept changes. • The student will have an appreciation of real life settings provided in the 10 simple exercise s with followed up explanations.
Target Student Population: • Beginner/Introductory/Survey Economics, Introduction to Macroeconomics, Principles of Macroeconomics, Introduction to Microeconomics, Principles of Microeconomics and/or Business Students • Non-economics or Non-business students taking an Economics and/or Business course as a minor
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Basic computer skills and foundational knowledge of the concepts of finance or economics.
Type of Material: Online Interactive Animation
Recommended Uses: • This is useful as a teaching tool that can also facilitate discussions when covering the application of the concepts via the real life exercises in class. • The interactive graph can also serve as a study aid when reviewing the concepts prior to a test or exam.
Technical Requirements: Internet Explorer 8 or the equivalent Firefox browser will suffice; Flash

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: • Allows the learner to see and interact with the economic concepts through the interactive graph • Provides easy to understand and view examples of economic principles • The manual interaction with the graphs allow Learner to gain knowledge both by word and visually • Cases provided questions and explanation of the selection be it right or wrong to build learner knowledge. • Page is very succinct with its objective, assumption and directions on how the interactive graph would work.
Concerns: • Short general introduction has minimal instructions on use of the site • Very specific course content, difficult to use outside of the economics courses (identified as a technical note not full course) • 10 exercises are all prescript little option for creativity • When working on the exercises provided, it’s not intuitive for the end-user to move to the next question when getting an exercise right. The language used is ‘Try a New Exercise’. This could be improved if there is a right-pointing arrow or a link to the ‘Next question’.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: • Graphic display demonstrates how aggregate competitive market actions, concepts, and principles effect the marketplace • Learners are able to learn about competitive market environment and experiment with the graphs to denote changes in supply or demand given cases or random experimentation. • The visual will also facilitate discussions when covering the application of the concepts in class. This will definitely be one of the ‘Aha’ moments for the students when they can see for themselves the shifts relative to just reading about it in the textbook.
Concerns: • Did not find an indication of what perquisite knowledge in business, finance and/or economics would be required for this presentation • Not much of a lead in to learning objectives open to the graphs and brief explanation of what Learner can do to learn. • Confined to the 10 exercises. • There is no audio provided that limits the appreciation of the tool by auditory learners.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: • Website was easy to connect to and easy to maneuver on the page • Key elements of the topics were identified and explained. • Had available 10 exercises in addition to the option to manually change graph indicators and explanation was provided. • Had the option of reviewing it repeatedly.
Concerns: • Needed to be more explanatory as to how the presentations would or could be applied to an academic setting • Webpage had no links to other optional web links that discuss other projects in the series • The main description needs to address in more detail the value of the case studies and what the case studies reflect • In the Glossary, ‘Sx’ is supposed to denote ‘Supply of product x’, however, on the graph, it’s represented by ‘Ox’. Moreover, the unexplained use of letters ‘A’ and ‘B’ in the chart can be confusing to some as the product is already defined by letters ‘X’, ‘Y’ and ‘Z’ in the glossary.

Other Issues and Comments: This was a very professionally done interactive multimedia material that will enable students to learn and comprehend the cause-effect relationship in the competitive market environment and the observed the adjustment of the economy in the short and the long term. The program assumes that students are already familiar with the underlying concepts of the graphic representation of the model. The tool also has a number of simple exercises that illustrate the capacity and limits of the model and explain certain real economic situations (both historical and recent). Would work well with faculty from bachelor to graduate degree program.