• This site is a simple, but well-laid out lesson plan that relates basic economic concepts to a significant historical event in America. It provides students with an opportunity to evaluate the concepts from a different point of view in terms of solving the issues and intentions faced by the North, the South and the Government back in 1860. It adds a philosophical angel to the theories that can be appreciated by students. Students will have the opportunity to learn beyond the technical definition of the ideas. In addition, the site has an interactive grid-based activity that can be used by individual students or in groups to understand the application as well as conclude with a short five-question quiz. The Learner will be working with the PACED Decision Model and the decision grid, the students will discover that the decision to secede was indeed motivated by what Southerners believed to be their self-interest. The Learner then can analyze the opportunity cost involved in the Confederacy's actions.
Type of Material:
Drill & Practice Lesson Plan
• This lesson plan can be used in-class as well as in online discussion forums to spur individual or team-based discussions to appreciate the fundamentals of economic concepts from a historical perspective.
• This material can be assigned to individual students as a research paper to explore further the reasoning or possible hypothetical consequences behind other options that were also available to both the North and the South back then.
• Faculty can assemble teams or individual learners to play against others to gain insight and knowledge
Internet Explorer 8 or the equivalent Firefox browser will suffice. Firefox is the recommended browser, Mac.
Identify Major Learning Goals:
• The student will be able to harness a deeper historic meaning to economic concepts relative to their technical definitions.
• The student will use economic reasoning to explain why the South was willing to go to war against the North in 1861.
• The student can Identify and explore alternative plans the U.S. government considered in order to eliminate slavery and thereby avoid war.
• The student will analyze the anticipated costs and benefits associated with the plans to eliminate slavery.
• The student can identify the economic consequences involved in solving the issue of slavery.
• The learner can see the direct and indirect effects of their decisions.
• Faculty can apply the information provided to teach the learner about the environment for an economics course
Target Student Population:
• General students or Honors College students taking Introduction to Economics, Introduction to American History or Introduction to American Government courses at high school, community college and/or university levels.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
Basic computer skills and foundational knowledge of the concepts of finance or economics.
• Allows the learner to interact with the presentation to modify adjust, “what if” a situation to improve learning.
• Provides easy to understand and view examples of economic principles
• Provides an links to key economic topics-choice; cost//benefit analysis; costs; decision-making; resources
• Allows the learner to play the scenario with multiple options for how and who can play.
• Identifies a clear and succinct set of learning objectives
• Has interactive quizzes for learner to evaluate learning
• It includes the national and state standards that helps to align the lesson plan to the appropriate grade levels.
• Very short general introduction does not require all new players to attend any type of tutorial.
• Economic concepts and principles were generalized for the game as a whole -- educational values - were not clearly defined.
• Does not appear to have option for single player.
• Suggest adding an audio piece to the lesson to reach out to auditory learners.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
• Presentations allow faculty the latitude to demonstrate how economic concepts and principles effect the marketplace
• Effective “what-if” capability makes individual learning more effective. Clearly defines the goals of the “North/South” so the learner has a goal to achieve
• Provides statistics that the learner can see the decision value
• Learner is provided with foundational information about the game
• The learning objectives identified are clear, and there are ample suggestions on assessment and extension activities.
• Did not find an indication of what perquisite knowledge in business, finance and/or economics would be required for this presentation
• The learner could not easily get, acquire help for the decision grid/matrix. Has to determine how to fill –out on the learners own
• The concepts are highlighted with definition when you click on the words on the Educator’s site, but not on the Student’s site. This should be replicated on the Student’s site to make it relevant and clearer on the economic concepts to be covered in this lesson.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
• Website was easy to connect to and easy to maneuver on the page
• Key elements of the material was identified.
• Webpage had links to visuals and resource web links that would complement the concepts to be taught.
• The Decision Grid can be used interactively online and there is the option of printing it as well.
• The quiz results can be emailed to the students themselves for review or to the instructor.
• Needed to be more explanatory as to how the presentations would interact to make the information effective for a faculty member or learner
• Had examples but did not provide or demonstrate how the decision grid could be used.
• Lacked interactive visuals all appeared to be word slides with no interaction of stream video for example.
• The quiz does not provide the correct answer when an incorrect option is selected.
• The ‘Exit’ link at the end of the quiz does not seem to be working as nothing happens when it’s clicked on.
• There are answers provided to Handout 1, but not for Handout 2.
Other Issues and Comments:
The web-based presentation with interactive graphics, tutorials, and a simulation type game that will enable the learner to learn decision-making in a Civil War environment based on economic concepts and principles. The presentation will facilitate learner knowledge acquisition and acceptance through graphical representation of scenario information about the Civil War. The web-based presentation is the successful application of detail graphics and web based interfaces to the teaching of economics through decision-making. The scenario allows learners to play from a South perspective. The presentation would be an interesting media for the presentation of and the development of both business management and economic skills for K to Community College level learners. The integration of two disciplines - Economics and U.S. History - makes it powerful for the students to comprehand and appreciate how theories work in real life.
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