This is a simulation that enables students to view the impact of economic policies on a variety of factors. Students input information for a variety of factors and then receive feedback on their decisions. The country in question is unknown, so other social and political influences are not considered. Both quick instructions and detailed instructions are provided before students participate. Students can select one of three countries and then receive information that includes recent economic facts and trends of the country´s performance. The results and feedback given to the users are expressed numerically and graphically. The numerical results can also be printed for further analysis.
Type of Material:
• The simulation can be used as a teaching tool by the instructor when looping together all the various concepts to show both the scenario as well as the impact of the change in the given economic policies.
• The instructor can assign group or team project to the 3 countries to play around with and then report back their findings and learnings to the class.
Browsers: Internet Explorer, Chrome & Firefox
Identify Major Learning Goals:
• Students will learn how economic policy decisions affect other economic variables
• Students will learn the interrelationships between economic policy decisions
• Through discussions, students will learn other viewpoints of what should be considered
Target Student Population:
• Introduction to Macroeconomics, Principles of Economics 1, Advanced Economics, Introduction to Microeconomics, Econometrics
• Non-economics or Non-business students taking an Economics and/or Business course as a minor but interested in understanding the effect of policies on economic indicators.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
An understanding of economic variables
• The quality of the simulation provided is clear and comprehensive
• Students have the ability to manipulate variables to see their impact
• Most of the relevant economic variables are provided here
• Using a non-specific country means that students aren't influenced by political or social factors
• Students are able to have "expert advice" when needed
• Students are able to project for six years.
• Definitions for the economic variables are provided when asked
• Decisions are made as increases by percent rather than any currency.
When the user clicks on the “Expert Advise” tab at the top left, the left side of the pop-up window is truncated; making it difficult to read the advice.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
• The module is interactive and will engage students
• Instructions are provided for the students
• Students can ask for "expert advice"
• Students can print out results
• Students can enter variables repeatedly to see the impact they have on each other, thus experimenting with the results
• Students and/or instructors can reference and apply it for a quick review of all the concepts learned in class – AS/AD curve, GDP and its components, Public Debt, Fiscal and Monetary Policies - whenever needed since it’s free and available anywhere with internet.
• Students must have a basic understanding of the economic variables
• Once the simulation page is closed, all results are lost, so students should be encouraged to print results
• Some students, relatively weak in Math, might feel overwhelmed with the computation.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
• The instructions include a flow chart to show students what steps should be taken
• The "help" button immediately moves the student to the directions page
• Each of the three countries has a different color so students can be sure they are working on the correct one
• Students can easily enter data
There is some discrepancies in the wording:
1) Case 1 and Country 1 Tabs is confusing. The former is providing background information of the country, while the latter is to be used as a toggle between the 3 countries. Perhaps change the wording of ‘Case 1’ to ‘Background Information’, or ‘Scenario’ to avoid giving the impression that there is more than 1 case. Likewise for Case 2 and Case 3
2) The Tab called “Compare Results” is inaccurate. It could be renamed as “Print” since that is the purposed served.
3) The ‘PRINT’ tab does not work (i.e. does not get enabled at all).
4) The ‘HELP’ tab is misleading and could be changed to “Instructions” as its talking more about the simulation setup rather than provide any technical help.
5) Perhaps the ‘Instruction” tab could be brought up to the Homepage rather than hidden in the “Introduction” page.
Other Issues and Comments:
• Students should enjoy experimenting with the different decisions
• Excellent and relevant simulator to understand the Economy!
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