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Peer Review

Flash and QuickTime Movies for Principles of Microeconomics: Production Possibilities

by Larry Reynolds


Overall Rating:

4.5 stars
Content Quality: 4.75 stars
Effectiveness: 4.25 stars
Ease of Use: 4.75 stars
Reviewed: Nov 21, 2012 by Business Editorial Board
Overview: This flash video is a presentation that introduces Production Possibilities Frontier that is a conventional model used by economists to look at production alternatives of a society, a firm or individuals. The presentation is excellent to support a class lecture on the subject by giving an instructor a multi-sensory learning tool that students can read, see, and hear for increased understanding and retention. The lesson can be expanded to include a class discussion of the topic and actually applying real-world data to experiment with the model.
Learning Goals: Students will be able to: 1.Describe the production possibilities model and how it is used in economics. 2.Interpret the production possibilities graph presented in the video by comparing the vertical and horizontal axes. 3.Demonstrate ability to construct a graph by using selecting two products for the x and y axis.
Target Student Population: High school 12th grade level or college undergraduate economics student
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Basic math skills in arithmetic, algebra, and geometry, as well as an ability to manipulate data, and read graphs.
Type of Material: Presentation
Recommended Uses: Students can be divided into smaller groups to work on delving deeper into the subject by choosing a couple of products to work on. For example the groups can explain why the opportunity costs of making one product increases as more of the product is produced or explain why society might want to produce at one point on the production possibilities curse versus at another point. Another idea is to have the groups explain what it would take to move production to a point outside of the production possibilities curve. There are many scenarios that an instructor can develop to reinforce learning and increase retention.
Technical Requirements: Internet Explorer 8 or the equivalent Firefox browser will suffice. Updated Flash Player

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: • Provides an explanation of the connection between changes in resource application and the production output of 2 products • Information is easy to understand and view • A brief overview of the topic and what to expect in the video is presented at the beginning of the video so the viewer knows what to expect.
Concerns: • The presentation had no summary to reflect on and review what has been presented. • Was linear in explanation not really tied or connected to a real-world situation

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.25 stars
Strengths: • Provided a logic approach to the explanation and description of Production Possibility • Simple for student to understand and apply the concept. • This presentation is very adaptable to just about any beginning economics course. • It is an excellent tool for instructors to reinforce class lecture and engage students to actively experiment and practice creating and interpreting production possibility curves
Concerns: • Did not find an indication of what perquisite knowledge would be required for this presentation • Did not clearly define learning to be accomplished, has a lot of information, a summary of learning would be beneficial

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: • Website was easy to connect to and easy to maneuver on the page • Easy to follow the explanation • The voice over is easy to understand and the tempo and pacing is excellent. • Another feature is the ability for the viewer to go back and forward to review specific slides.
Concerns: • Provided only minimal explanation of the focus of the presentation. • The presentation was a PowerPoint type presentation adapted for Flash • Design quality was good, could be updated

Other Issues and Comments: Presentation was easy to understand and informative explanation of Production Possibility Frontier