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Peer Review

Flash and QuickTime Movies for Principles of Microeconomics - Lecture on Elasticity

by Larry Reynolds


Overall Numeric Rating:

4.5 stars
Content Quality: 4.5 stars
Effectiveness: 3.75 stars
Ease of Use: 4.75 stars
Reviewed: Nov 21, 2012 by Business Editorial Board
Overview: This video introduces the concept of price elasticity of demand by graphically showing the effects of price elasticity along with an audio describing the different features of the concept. Other terms are illustrated including three different classifications of demand: inelastic, unitary, and elastic. The presentation is short and focused on the concept of elasticity. It can be used as a supplement to a lecture on the subject or as a homework where students can individually review the material for further mastery.
Type of Material: Web-based flash presentation
Recommended Uses: The presentation uses traditional algebraic derivatives to illustrate the concept of price elasticity of demand. Teachers can supplement the material by providing examples (both graphic and narrative) of products with different elasticity’s of demand and supply, or show examples of the general characteristics of more elastic and less elastic demand curves. For more advanced student’s class activities could involve explanations of the elasticity equations and graphs in more depth and providing practice problems for small group work.
Technical Requirements: Internet Explorer 8 or the equivalent Firefox browser will suffice and Flash player. Updated Flash Player
Identify Major Learning Goals: Students will: •Understand the concept of price elasticity. •Interpret price elasticity of demand using a graph •Become familiar with how buyers are responsive to changes in prices when demand is in elastic, unitary, and elastic
Target Student Population: Student in college 200-400 level
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Basic computer skills and access to the Internet and micro-economics; basic algebra.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: • Provides an explanation of the connection between changes in price of a unit and units purchases • Information is easy to read and simplistically written to demonstrate mathematical computations • The video and audio together is an effective approach to teaching.
Concerns: • The presentation had no summary to reflect and review what has been presented and the importance of material. • Would was connected to real world situation or action, would make explanation more relative to students • The narration is much too fast making it difficult to follow along with the slides.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 3.75 stars
Strengths: • Provided a logic approach to the explanation and description of elasticity of demand • Demonstrated the mathematical calculations the were implemented to determine elasticity of demand • The lesson is short with a lot of content packed into the presentation.
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 • Presentation allows viewer to progress or move backward at their own pace
Concerns: • Provided only minimal explanation of the focus of the presentation, i.e., why is demand elasticity important in real-world scenario • The presentation was a PowerPoint type presentation adapted for Flash, had explanations that were pretty definitional and needed a real-world connection

Other Issues and Comments: Another idea for a presentation on this subject is to start it with on overview of the general concept and introducing students to real world examples of elasticity. Once students have a better understanding of the concept, it will be easier to grasp using formulas and equations. It will also help them to apply their knowledge to different elasticity’s as they are covered. Emphasis on the concept over the formula and calculations will help prevent students from seeing elasticity as the memorization of various unrelated formula and graphs.