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Peer Review

Iowa Electronic Markets



Overall Numeric Rating:

4.67 stars
Content Quality: 5 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 4 stars
Reviewed: Jan 24, 2002 by Business Editorial Board
Overview: The Iowa Electronic Markets provides instructors and students with the ability to study many disciplines (accounting, finance, economics, and others) using the markets set up at the site. It allows students to participate realistically in the market ? a hands-on learning experience. Trading occurs through telnet sessions using real money.
Type of Material: Reference, simulation, game, and more
Technical Requirements: None
Identify Major Learning Goals: To provide students an understanding of the market through actual experience.
Target Student Population: Both undergraduate and graduate students in finance, economics, accounting.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: The materials should be used in conjunction with a class.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: Excellent way to provide students with a real experience with the markets. In fact, trades require actual money (from $5 to $500 may be invested) to enhance motivation to learn about the underlying fundamentals. There are no commissions or fees and trading is continuous. Trading takes place in English, German, Austrian, Norwegian, and Swedish. Information is comprehensive and complete. Trading occurs via a telnet session. The realism, game environment, and use of real money create a fun and effective learning experience. This is a large and complex set of materials, and it needs to be to fully demonstrate the way markets work. The user (both student and instructor) will have to read the materials in order to play the game and in doing so they become familiar with the game mechanics as well as market mechanics. Several of the markets open for trading are topical in areas of interest to students.
Concerns: A significant investment in time is required to utilize the materials. This is an inherent result of the comprehensive scope of the Iowa Electronic Markets materials. For appropriate applications, though, the investment is worthwhile.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: Captivating design and engaging interactivity offer a friendly environment for learning.
Concerns: Necessarily complex. There are many screens that may need to be navigated to thoughtfully use the Iowa Electronic Markets site. But that reflects the complexity of the markets being demonstrated.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: A full set of teaching materials and help for instructors and help for students. Its potential value spans several academic areas, particularly economics, accounting, and finance. Complete and realistic.
Concerns: : Large investment of time means it?s not worthwhile for a casual or brief exposure to students. Must be a non-trivial class module.