Document Type

Article

Rights

This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

Disciplines

*pedagogy

Abstract

The overall purpose of this Teaching Fellowship project is to determine whether a current bold-on continuous assessment research project can be developed further to become the main learning vehicle in a first year Microeconomics module. The main research objectives are: can a group-based research project become the main learning vehicle in a first year Microeconomics module?: can such a project provide the generic skills relevant to a modern society : can such a project be facilitated by a Wiki. There are two main sections to the extensive range of literature reviewed. One is that which considers the wide range of official reports, at national and international level, that have made a strong case for transformation of the higher education sector with the view to developing graduates possessing a wide range of generic skills such as critical thinking, problem solving and team working. The other is the extensive body of literature covering Cognitive, Constructivist and Social Constructivist pedagogic theories, which include within them approaches such as experiential learning, which focus on the development of these types of skill. This Teaching Fellowship project is conceived as a multi-stage exercise. The current Microeconomics research project involves groups of four students analysing the Irish housing market form 1994 onward.

Based on this analysis students have compiled substantial written reports (average 7,000-9,000 words) and gone on to create and deliver live presentations. Close examination of these research reports and the Reflective Diaries of individual students reveals that the research project is effective in developing many of the generic skills previously noted. The next stage of the process, based on the literature reviewed and the examination of the research project material, is to establish the modified research project as the main vehicle of the Microeconomics module in the first semester of the academic year 2013-2014 and test its effectiveness in developing further the required generic skills.

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